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Learn more about Bulimia Treatment in Florida


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Bulimia Treatment

Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, is a serious eating disorder that often occurs with other mental health disorders and substance abuse. When someone has multiple mental health disorders, one of which is an addiction, a dual-diagnosis treatment approach is needed.

Centric Behavioral Health is a provider of dual diagnosis treatment, including bulimia treatment facility locations throughout the country. Our approach to treatment is compassionate and driven by the latest science and research on mental health and addiction.

Treatment Options

Understanding Bulimia

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder with periods of uncontrolled eating, known as binging. These sessions of binging are then followed by purging. Purging might include vomiting or the abuse of laxatives.

Binging is when a person eats much more than what would be considered normal in a short window, usually within two hours. 

When someone has bulimia, they can’t control their binge eating episodes. Depending on the person, the binging and purging cycles might happen multiple times a day or several times weekly.

Someone with bulimia is likely to have a normal or above-normal body weight, so it’s often harder for their loved ones to see the problem until it’s gone on for long periods. It’s unlikely for someone to receive help for bulimia until they’ve reached middle age, at which point, it’s harder for them to make a change.

There are two categories of bulimia, defined by how the person suffering from the disorder restricts their calories. 

Purging-type bulimia includes self-induced vomiting or using enemas, diuretics, laxatives, or medicines intended to clear the intestines.

The second type of bulimia is non-purging, where someone will use other behaviors instead of purging. For example, in non-purging bulimia, a person might use fasting or exercise excessively to “compensate” for their binging behaviors.

Frequently starting during the teen years, bulimia most often affects females, but males can be impacted as well.

Someone with bulimia is more likely to come from a family with a history of eating disorders, mental health problems, or physical illnesses.

Substance use disorders, anxiety, and mood disorders often co-occur with bulimia.

When someone has bulimia, they will work hard to keep their periods of binging and purging a secret from the people around them.

The earlier someone receives treatment for this eating disorder, the more likely future problems can be prevented. Otherwise, bulimia can lead to serious physical and mental health consequences, and it can ultimately affect almost every organ and be deadly.

Centric Behavioral Health is a leading bulimia rehab center. We offer dual-diagnosis treatment programs for co-occurring mental health and eating disorders and addiction programs.

We work with most major insurance carriers.

Centric Behavioral Health facilities work with most major health insurance carriers in order to provide effective, accessible treatment options for substance abuse and mental health.

What Are Common Bulimia Symptoms?

A person with bulimia may have symptoms that include:

  • Normal or above-average weight
  • Secretive, self-induced vomiting
  • Fasting excessively
  • Recurring binge eating sessions
  • Fear of being unable to stop eating
  • Strange habits surrounding eating, or rituals
  • Use of diuretics or laxatives
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of menstruation
  • Dissatisfaction with appearance
  • Preoccupation with body shape, food, and weight
  • Inflamed or sore throat
  • Low energy levels
  • Dental problems because of vomiting that causes enamel erosion
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Fear of gaining weight

When someone struggles with bulimia, they might binge to reduce their anxiety and stress, leading to depression, disgust, and guilt. Purging is a means to short-term relief, and eventually, the person might start to engage in riskier and riskier behaviors, including drug and alcohol use.

Complications stemming from ongoing bulimia include:

  • Heart problems because of imbalances of electrolytes
  • Dental problems
  • Ruptured stomach
  • Inflammation of the esophagus
  • Kidney issues
  • Reduced libido
  • Substance use disorder
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

There’s a misconception about eating disorders, including bulimia, that it’s a choice. Eating disorders are serious and deadly diseases.

Eating disorders are likely caused by complex interactions that are biological, genetic, social, psychological, and behavioral.

Centric Behavioral Health offers bulimia treatment that considers the complexity of eating disorders, particularly when someone suffers from addiction. Our bulimia treatment is evidence-based and led by a team of caring experts.

Substance Use and Bulimia

It’s estimated that 36.8% of people with bulimia nervosa have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Around 27% of people with anorexia and 23% with binge eating disorder also have a substance use disorder diagnosis.

Both disorders have serious physical and mental health ramifications that worsen the longer they go without treatment.

Someone with a substance use disorder is mentally and physically dependent on drugs or alcohol. Much like bulimia, there’s often intense secrecy to try and keep the disorder hidden, even though red flags tend to become more and more noticeable over time.

Signs of substance use and addiction include:

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Impaired coordination
  • Social withdrawal
  • Financial problems
  • Declines in job or school performance
  • Issues in relationships
  • Intense substance cravings
  • A loss of control
  • Continuing to use substances despite known harmful consequences
  • Withdrawal symptoms occur when attempting to cut back or stop using a substance
  • Changes in mood, attitude, or personality

Much like eating disorders, substance use disorders are complex and likely arise because of a combination of contributing factors, including genetics, a family history of addiction, and environment.

Someone with an eating disorder like bulimia might turn to substances to self-medicate the physical or mental symptoms they’re experiencing. Some theories indicate that eating and substance use disorders involve the same brain areas. When someone has bulimia, they tend to struggle with compulsive and impulsive behaviors; the same is true of substance use. They might have negative childhood experiences and problems relying on healthy coping mechanisms.

Centric Behavioral Health provides bulimia treatment and addiction treatment. We believe that when all disorders are treated at the same time, it improves recovery outcomes and helps people as they transition back to their daily lives to avoid the risk of relapse.

Begin Your Journey

Your journey to wellness begins at one of Centric Behavioral Health’s top-rated programs around the country. Our caring admissions team is standing by ready to help you right now.

Treating Bulimia and Addiction

In a dual diagnosis treatment program, as is available at Centric Behavioral Health, both disorders are treated independently but from the perspective of how they affect one another. 

Everyone is unique, so their treatment plan should be as well, and treatment might include a combination of therapeutic approaches. These approaches include individual counseling, behavioral therapy, group therapy, lifestyle coaching, and medication management.

Our bulimia treatment in Florida is available on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many clients move through a continuum of care, beginning with a more intensive level of treatment. Then, as they’re ready and develop more coping skills, they can gradually transition to lower care levels.

If you are looking for mental health or addiction treatment services or near you, Centric Behavioral Health Can help. If you’d like to learn more about our inpatient drug rehab centers, contact us today.

Let Us Help You Learn to Thrive

Centric Behavioral Health is dedicated to helping others. Our mission is to connect those who contact us with our trusted treatment programs around the country. Contact us today to learn more about our expert programs and how we can help you find long-term healing today.