“I tell myself I’m not going to binge and purge again, but then I eat too much and have to purge. Maybe, I will try again tomorrow.”
“I’m so afraid of being fat, and I don’t like my body”
“I hate that I do this, but I’m afraid if I stop I will gain too much weight.”
If you are struggling with bulimia, you probably have a very complicated relationship with food and your body. Everyone’s experience with bulimia is different and your journey is unique. Maybe, you hate the way your body looks regardless of how much you weigh. Or, you might have lots of shame about the way you eat.
Bulimia is diagnosed when a person eats a large amount of food at once (a binge) and then attempts to get rid of the calories in some way (purging). Purging can take lots of forms. A person with bulimia might vomit the food you’ve eaten, fast, over-exercise, take laxatives or use diuretics. But, purging is not an effective method of weight control.
If you have bulimia you might have a distorted view of your body. So, you might go on feeling bad about your body, until eventually the urge to binge and say “to heck with it” becomes too overpowering. Then you have to purge and the cycle starts all over again.
Mental/Emotional Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
Preoccupation with body and weight
Guilt and shame about eating
Anxiety about being able to purge
Physical Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
Russell’s sign – a callus on the knuckle where it hits the teeth during vomiting
Dental problems, especially enamel erosion
Puffy appearance from swollen parotid glands
Behavioral Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa
Eating in secret
Often leaving immediately after eating
Exercising even when injured
Counseling Can Help You Find Freedom From Bulimia Nervosa
During eating disorder treatment, we work with you to help you to get a handle on the symptoms of bulimia. We also help you understand how feelings of low self-worth, deprivation, and fear that are causing your eating disorder. Monarch therapists understand bulimia well and how it impacts your life. We have an impressive bag of tricks to help you fight your urges to binge and purge. Additionally, we want you to be compassionate toward yourself. Ultimately, our goal is to help you develop a more realistic perception of the way your body looks.
Each of our counselors at Monarch Wellness and Psychotherapy takes a personal approach to bulimia treatment. We recognize that everyone’s experience with bulimia is different. Therefore, we tailor our treatment approach to fit the unique needs of everyone we see.
By understanding the emotional need that underlies your desire to binge and purge, we can help you to find alternative ways to feel safe, in control, and empowered. Our experiential counselors might show you how art and drama can help you cope with the urges that keep you in the cycle of bulimia. Also, Monarch therapists take an active approach to bulimia treatment. So, they might encourage you to reach out when you are feeling like you’ve lost control.
Monarch Therapists Take a Unique Approach to Bulimia Treatment
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a type of therapy that helps you to focus on what kind of values are important to you as a person. Then we look at how they might be different than the values of your eating disorder. During ACT you will also learn mindfulness which is a skill that keeps you anchored in the present instead of dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT helps you think more realistically about your body and food. We all have unhelpful thoughts that are not actually realistic. Some of us might think in terms of all or nothing, assume the worst, or jump to conclusions. All of these thought patterns are things that can fuel the cycle of bulimia. CBT helps you to reality-check the way you’re thinking and learn new ways to cope with negative emotions.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
DBT focuses on changing your behavior and accepting yourself as you are. It also offers skills for managing overwhelming feelings, improving relationships, and being mindful. There is lots of research showing that DBT is a very successful way to treat bulimia.
During Psychodynamic Therapy we examine the ways past events affect your present reality. The focus of psychodynamic therapy for bulimia is to understand what has caused your eating disorder and helps you rewrite your future with new, different experiences.
Healing from Bulimia
After treatment for bulimia, you will have tools to deal with emotional distress that may be fueling your urges to binge and purge. You will also be able to be compassionate towards yourself. Additionally, your relationships with others will begin to improve. Ultimately, we hope you will freedom from the control food once held in your life.
Begin Eating Disorder Treatment in Washington DC
If you are struggling with bulimia, our therapists can help you develop a healthy relationship with food and your body. We want you to feel like you are once again in control of the urges that have kept you in the cycle of bulimia. To begin eating disorder treatment for bulimia in Washington DC, please follow these steps:
- Contact our wellness and psychotherapy clinic to learn more about eating disorder treatment or to set up an appointment,
- Meet with one of our highly skilled eating disorder therapists,
- Begin counseling for bulimia and find freedom and peace.