Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are two psychiatric eating disorders characterized by a preoccupation with food. Those affected with Anorexia Nervosa have a negative self image and a perception of being overweight. While actually often extremely underweight, anorexics see themselves as fat and have an overwhelming fear of gaining more weight. They develop an aversion to food and refuse to eat. People with Bulimia Nervosa engage in recurrent episodes of binging and purging (self-induced vomiting, fasting, laxative use, excessive exercise). Bulimics will eat huge amounts of high-caloric food, often in secret. Both of these disorders are most common in teenage girls and young women, and both have serious medical consequences.
Symptoms/Signs of Eating Disorders:
A High Achiever with a Low Self-Esteem
Saying “No” to Food
Excessive Control Over Appetite and Other Aspects of Life
Extreme Weight Fluctuations
Fasting or Excessive Exercise
BMS Treatment Options for Eating Disorders:
In both cases, Counseling Services must focus on the body-image obsession. Individual counseling primarily targets self-image and self-evaluation. Family counseling often can uncover the “reinforcers” of the anorexic or bulimic behaviors. Family Outreach is an often successful program for families who want to participate in the treatment for eating disorders in their children and/or adolescents. Constant monitoring is often necessary.