bulimia tratment

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What causes bulimia?

  • People develop bulimia after dieting to try to lose weight. After dieting, people usually develop cravings for food, which is normal and subsides in time if you eat normally. Some people however are so afraid of regaining weight or so angry with themselves for overeating that they try to find excessive ways of dealing with their overeating. What starts as a way to control weight becomes compulsive, and eventually a way of regulating your emotional states
  • There is no single cause of bulimia - although the condition usually develops in someone who has poor body image and low self regard, who has difficulty in managing his or her emotions and who tries to escape from painful or unwanted feelings such as anger or sadness
  • Recent research into the causes of bulimia have identified certain personality features such as impulsivity, or fear of real or imagined emotional abandonment, and family patterns such as alcoholism or lack of cohesion, as risk factors for this condition
  • Concerns about shape and weight in mums and dads lend themselves to dieting behaviours and body image concerns among their daughters
  • Contrary to expectations, a history of trauma, sexual or emotional abuse or loss such as the death of a loved one, do not cause bulimia but may play a part in making a person vulnerable to the features which maintain the illness

How common is it? What are the statistics?

  • Estimates of incidence vary. It usually begins in late adolescence. The average age of onset is 16-18 years in females, 20-24 years in males
  • About 3 in 100 women experience bulimia in their lifetime, and about 5 in 100 sufferers will be male. During adolescence about 1 in 20 girls may be bulimic. This means that in there will be a couple of girls with bulimia in the average classroom
  • It sometimes follows a period of anorexia but not all sufferers will have had anorexia
  • Once someone develops the illness it may continue for many years, so despite the fact that it is seen to be a condition affecting young women, there are thousands of mature secret sufferers in all walks of life


The NCFED offers a gentle, personalised treatment programme for bulimia nervosa. We have 20 years experience of working with bulimia and have guided thousands of people into recovery and a normal, happy life. For more information on the National Centre For Eating Disorders' unique treatment programme click here. To book an assessment with one of our counsellors click here.

Workshops are a great way to make fast changes with people who understand and support you. The NCFED regularly runs successful eating disorder workshops and group therapy programmes. Please click here for further details.

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