Teen Bulimia is an eating disorder, characterized by teens having a distorted image of their bodies and weight and as a result, go to extreme lengths to lose weight. The extreme behaviors include purging food, severely restricting food and/or fasting, as well as maintaining extreme exercise habits. It’s also common for Bulimia to exist as a Co-Occurring Disorder along with another eating disorder, such as Anorexia, and/or some Mood Disorders, including Anxiety and Depression.
The most characteristic symptom of Bulimia is the behavior of teens over-eating and then purging their food, in order to lose weight. Similar to Teen Anorexia, teens with Bulimia also suffer from an obsession with their body image and weight, which is often accompanied by an urge for some sort of extreme control over an aspect of their lives.
Teens with Bulimia may understand their behaviors are unhealthy, but are so obsessed with their body image and weight that they’re unable to correct their behaviors and/or perceptions of their own bodies. In order to continue their behaviors and controlling their weight, teens with Bulimia will often hide their behaviors and attitudes from others, so that they’re not challenged. Beyond the specific eating behaviors, teens with Bulimia often may also show symptoms such as a dry, itchy throat, stomachaches, dental issues and/or skin issues, digestive discomfort, and disappearing during meals. It’s important to note that in severe cases, chronic purging can lead to other physical difficulties, including ulcers and trachea problems, due to the stomach acid negatively affecting the system.
As with any eating disorder, the first priority of teen bulimia nervosa treatment is to ensure the physical safety of the teen. Beyond this, therapists work with teens to help addressing their eating habits and the thought patterns that are connected with these habits. By helping teens to identify what sorts of belief systems are in place surrounding their eating habits, and also supporting teens to begin forming new healthy eating habits, teens can make progress in understanding how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected.
Furthermore, therapists work with teens to address any underlying feelings of stress, anxiety, and/or fear that may be related to the teens’ eating behaviors. Very often we find that teens dealing with bulimia are struggling with other severe forms of stress and/or anxiety, which have resulted in the teens grasping for control, by severely limiting what they eat and how they look. Therefore, in an effort to work with teens to thoroughly address all aspects of their lives and/or potential triggers, it’s important to support teens to gain relief from the stress they’re experiencing, as well as to equip them with tools and resources to deal with stress, in healthy ways. Lastly, therapy should address nutrition and health aspects, in order to help teens learn safe, healthy ways to maintain a good weight, as well as ensuring they get the proper nutrients from food.
Paradigm New York:
At Paradigm New York, we provide thorough teen bulimia nervosa treatment, as well as teen treatment for other Co-Occurring disorders. Our eating disorder treatment plans are designed holistically, taking all mental, physical, emotional, social, and practical aspects into consideration, in order to support teens to make a thorough recovery and to be as equipped as possible to live healthily. Paradigm New York is one of the leading treatment centers in the United States, and is located just outside of New York City. Serving teens from New York as well as the rest of the country, Paradigm New York specializes in designing individualized treatment plans that include a wide array of traditional and progressive treatment techniques.