Bulimia, Bucks County

Bulimia nervosa is one of the most frightening eating disorders for adolescents/teens in Bucks County, PA. Adolescents/Teens with bulimia engage in frequent and repeated binge eating and purging – that is, vomiting after eating often with the goal to prevent weight gain. 

Common bulimia behaviors and characteristics include:

  • Uncontrollable binge eating 
  • Self-induced vomiting or overexercising to keep from gaining weight after bingeing
  • Going to the bathroom right after eating, during meals or for long periods of time
  • Constantly worrying or complaining about being fat
  • Not wanting to eat in public or in front of others
  • A distorted, excessively negative body image
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Unnecessarily using laxatives, diuretics or enemas after eating
  • Fasting, restricting calories or avoiding certain foods between binges
  • Using dietary supplements or herbal products excessively for weight loss

Symptoms and complications of bulimia may include:

  • Damaged teeth and gums
  • Sores, scars or calluses on the knuckles or hands
  • Fluctuating weight
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Enlarged glands in the face

Bulimia sufferers often maintain a normal weight or may even be slightly overweight, so it may not be readily apparent that something is wrong. 

Our Approach

We begin with an intake evaluation to assess the severity of the case, which is based on how often the client is bingeing and purging. The patient will be asked to go to their family doctor or pediatrician for a full work up to determine what effects bulimia has had on their health. For very severe cases, we may recommend checking into an inpatient treatment center for 30 days or more.  If that is the case we will walk along side you from the beginning, middle, and to the end of the process. We support the clients in rehab and as they are discharged. We will then create a treatment team at home for the patient so a smooth transition is possible. 

However, our goal is to avoid inpatient treatment unless absolutely necessary. If the patient’s health has not yet been significantly affected, we can begin the process of outpatient therapy. The objective of therapy is to gain an understanding of what the patient is actually “purging” – what feelings underlie and trigger the bulimic behaviors – and address it accordingly. It’s best to involve the family in the course of treatment, potentially including one of our family therapists who can help explore how changes in the family dynamic and behaviors can assist in the patient’s recovery. 

Call our offices today to set up an appointment with a therapist if you or a loved one are struggling with bulimia.