Bulimia nervosa is characterized by episodes of binge eating in which a person experiences a tremendous sense of loss of control and consumes excessive amounts of food. This behavior is followed by a variety of compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, the use of laxatives, fasting or excessive exercise.
Persons are preoccupied with their appearance and body image.
Individuals often feel that their behavior is pathological and intensely out of control. Because of the high degree of shame, individuals may hide their behavior from others, even their clinicians.
Bulimia usually develops later than anorexia, in late teens and early twenties. It is a chronic condition, with fluctuating intensity and periods of normal behavior and binge-eating.
For eating disorders, behavior therapy, family therapy and at times medication and in-patient medical intervention may be necessary.
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