People with bulimia are very anxious about their weight and strive to have the “right” figure. They also spend a lot of time thinking about food.

People with bulimia binge eat in a pattern known as ‘binge eating’, where they eat a lot of food (or what feels like a lot of food) in a short period of time. time lapse. They then try to avoid digesting the food and gaining weight by ‘purging’ themselves.

Causes of bulimia:

The exact causes of bulimia are unclear, but most experts believe it is likely the result of a combination of factors.

Psychological factors:

Many people with bulimia share certain thought and behavior patterns that make them more susceptible to developing this condition. This is in particular

  • a tendency to depression and anxiety
  • difficulty managing stress
  • worrying frequently and being afraid or doubting the future
  • perfectionism – setting strict and demanding goals or standards that are unrealistic to maintain
  • difficulty expressing feelings
  • experiencing unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that make him feel like he has to behave in a certain way.

Environmental factors :

Environmental factors are elements of the world around a person, and events that occur in their life, that can affect their mental well-being in various ways.

Puberty can be a major contributing factor to bulimia. This is likely due to the combination of hormonal changes and feelings of stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem during puberty.

Stressful life changes – for example, moving, relationship breakdown, entering college or university, or bereavement – ​​can also have an impact.

Western culture and society can also play a role. People of all ages are exposed to a wide range of media messages that convey the idea that only certain body shapes are desirable and that one should be ashamed of not having the “ideal” body.

Other environmental factors may contribute to the onset of bulimia:

  • pressure and stress at school, such as exams or bullying – especially if someone is bullied about their weight or shape
  • occupations or hobbies where thinness is considered the ideal, such as dancing or athletics
  • difficult family relationships
  • physical or sexual abuse.

Biological and genetic factors:

The risk of developing bulimia is thought to be higher in people with a family history of eating disorders. This suggests that genetics could contribute to the development of bulimia.

As with other mental disorders, such as depression, people with bulimia may have differences in how their brains work compared to people without. These differences may affect the part of the brain that is linked to appetite and body image.

Treating bulimia:

Before your treatment begins, you will likely undergo a comprehensive health assessment. This assessment will help your healthcare professional establish a treatment and care plan. For example, he could assess

  • your general state of health and any medical needs
  • your social situation, such as the support you get from family and friends
  • your mood and the risks that affect you, for example if you are at risk of harming yourself
  • whether there are any physical risks associated with bulimia that require urgent treatment.

Your care plan:

For many people, guided self-help can be an effective treatment for bulimia. Guided self-help involves working through information and activities on your own, and having regular support sessions with a professional (usually a psychologist). These activities can include filling out worksheets, keeping a food journal and meal plan, and writing about difficult thoughts and feelings.

If this is not successful, your GP can refer you to an eating disorder service, which will offer you a structured program of psychological treatment.

Psychological treatment:

The main type of psychological treatment for bulimia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT starts from the idea that thoughts, feelings and behavior are linked and influence each other. If bulimia causes a person to behave in unhealthy ways, CBT helps them change their harmful behavior while working to change their thinking about food, diet, and weight.

Medications :

Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to treat bulimia. The SSRI usually recommended to treat bulimia is fluoxetine (brand name Prozac).

It’s also best not to take SSRIs if you have epilepsy or have a family history of heart, liver, or kidney disease.


Recovery from bulimia can take a long time and it is quite common for bulimia symptoms to return after treatment – ​​this is called a relapse, more likely in times of stress. In the event of a relapse, the procedure for obtaining treatment is the same: the first step is to consult your general practitioner.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.