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Teen Bulimia Nervosa Treatment

What is Teen Bulimia Nervosa Treatment?


Teen Bulimia Nervosa Treatment is needed when an adolescent has a mental disorder in which they are obsessed with their body weight and appearance and in which order to control their weight, they regularly binge-eat and then purge their food.  Teens with Bulimia also might binge and fast and/or over-exercise, in an effort to lose weight.


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What It Looks Like


Teen Bulimia Nervosa is a serious Mental Illness in which teens have an obsession with their body weight and appearance and will go to severe lengths in order to try to lose weight.  Though similar to Anorexia in that teens with both Disorders have an intense dislike of their bodies accompanied by a desire to lose weight, teens with Bulimia exhibit behavioral cycles of binging, purging, and then experiencing shame.  They might purge the food by means such as vomiting, diuretics, laxatives, or enemas.  Another difference is that teens with Bulimia usually do not drop excessively below normal weight, though they may lose a considerable amount of weight in an unhealthily quick amount of time.


Some of the other symptoms that teens with Bulimia exhibit include, but are not limited to:


  • Chronically sore, irritated throat
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Often using the bathroom directly after meals
  • Dental problems, such as worn tooth enamel, due to teeth being exposed to stomach acid
  • Acid reflux disorder
  • Digestion problems
  • Dehydration


Beyond just having mis-perceptions about their appearance, teens with Bulimia give unusual importance to their appearance and its effect on other aspects of life.  Because teens have such an obsession with maintaining their weight, they’ll often make efforts to hide their behaviors.  Those with Teen Bulimia Nervosa also often experience symptoms of Depression and Anxiety.


Teen Bulimia Nervosa Treatment


Teen bulimia nervosa treatment involves first intervening in the teen’s relationship with food, and ending the cycling of binging and purging.  Therapists do this while providing support, oversight, and boundaries that assure teens begin getting proper nutrition.  Though cutting off the binging and purging cycle can prove difficult at first, often teens begin to sense some relief in a therapist’s oversight of what they eat, as opposed to feeling controlled by their compulsive eating behaviors.


Therapists simultaneously help teens to evaluate their relationship with food and discuss any possible stressors or conflicts in life which might be triggering them to over-eat, and/or have negative perceptions of themselves.  Through several different approaches of talk therapy, therapists work with teens to help identify false belief systems they may have and work to replace them with positive, healthy messages.  This can provide the foundation for teens to begin rebuilding confidence and a stronger sense of self, independent of their physical appearance.


Depending on other additional symptoms a teen may be experiencing, such as symptoms of Depression or Anxiety, sometimes therapists may prescribe medications to help alleviate these symptoms.


Lastly, Paradigm Malibu also works with teens in group sessions and family sessions, in order to help put in place a healthy support system to which the teen can return.  Also, these sessions can be extremely helpful for family members and parents, who often have stresses and questions of their own, related to their own experience.


Teen Bulimia Nervosa | Teen Bulimia Treatment | Paradigm Malibu




Can my teenager get out-patient treatment for Teen Bulimia?


There are a number of good, effective treatment centers and resources available for teens with Bulimia, including out-patient options.  The most important thing is for you to get your teenager professional support as soon as possible, that most wholly and properly fits his or her individual needs.  With that being said, we find that residential treatment offers a unique intensive approach to making considerable strides toward recovery in a relatively short amount of time.  Often, with the distractions and stresses of life put temporarily on hold, teens can really focus on and engage in their treatment, which makes for the most successful and lasting effects.