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Do Not Try This at Home; Five Reasons Why You Need a Professional Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Plan

Bulimia nervosa is one of the most common eating disorders, and among the most well-known. When this disorder is not treated properly, it can lead to a host of complications and may even be fatal. For this reason, treating this disorder effectively is essential. In general, you should seek bulimia nervosa therapy from a professional treatment center, as opposed to attempting to treat the disorder at home. Professional bulimia nervosa treatment offers many advantages that make it the preferred approach for addressing this complex issue.

About Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is a common eating disorder usually characterized by episodes of binge eating, followed by purging or laxative abuse to eliminate the extra calories in an attempt to avoid weight gain. People with bulimia nervosa may use different strategies to purge after an episode of binge eating, including self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, fasting and/or excessive exercise. Some of the symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Episodes of eating an unreasonably large amount of food within a short time
  • Feeling out of control during episodes of binge eating
  • Efforts to purge immediately after an episode of binge eating

In some cases, the individual who has bulimia nervosa will be unaware of the disorder or unwilling to admit that a problem exists. However, friends and family may notice signs of the disorder. These signs may include:

  • Appearing uncomfortable to eat around other people
  • Eating small amounts at regular mealtimes
  • Stealing or hoarding food
  • Disappearing after meals
  • Discolored teeth
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive concern with weight, shape and appearance
  • Withdrawal from friends and family

If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to speak to your loved one about the possibility of bulimia nervosa.

Dangers of Bulimia nervosa

Over time, this disorder causes many different complications for patients, including:

  • Digestive problems
  • Gum disease and tooth decay
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • In females, menstrual irregularities
  • Dehydration
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Mood disturbances, such as depression and anxiety
  • Trouble with relationships
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

The risk of serious complications increases as time goes by. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of bulimia nervosa, it is important to look for an appropriate bulimia nervosa therapy program as soon as possible.

Why You Need Professional Bulimia Nervosa Treatment

Once an individual understands he or she is dealing with bulimia nervosa, the best way to recover is through treatment. While some people may be tempted to attempt to handle this disorder on their own to save money or for the sake of convenience, this is not the best approach. Here are five reasons you should always opt for a professional bulimia nervosa treatment plan instead.

1. Many treatment options are available.

When you try to treat your bulimia nervosa at home, you are limited to what you can do on your own. However, a professional bulimia nervosa treatment plan can be customized to meet your unique needs. Many different treatment approaches can be incorporated into a professional bulimia nervosa treatment plan, ensuring you have the best possible chance of becoming fully recovered.

Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Options

When you opt for professional bulimia nervosa treatment, you can choose between residential and outpatient therapy. With a residential treatment program, you will live onsite while you complete the treatment process, allowing you to focus on getting better. With an outpatient program, you will be able to return home in between therapy sessions, which can be beneficial if you have other obligations or are not comfortable with the idea of leaving home for an extended period of time.

Regardless of whether you decide to enroll in a residential or an outpatient program, you will receive access to a number of different therapies. Common bulimia nervosa treatment options include psychiatric care, individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, medical care, nutritional counseling and alternative therapies, such as recreation. In most cases, a combination of different treatments will be utilized to promote recovery.

2. You will be receiving treatment from experts.

When you try to treat your disorder on your own, you will be responsible for determining how to work toward recovery. However, it is unlikely you have the knowledge or experience you need to come up with an effective treatment plan. On the other hand, if you enter a professional treatment program, your treatment plan will be designed by a team of experts who understand bulimia nervosa and how it affects you. They will take the time to learn about your background, personality and specific needs moving forward. Using this information, their knowledge and their skills, they will be able to develop a treatment plan that maximizes your chances of recovering from your disorder as quickly as possible.

As you move through your professional bulimia nervosa therapy treatment program, experts will assist you every step of the way. Most professional treatment programs will provide you with access to professional counselors, medical professionals and other experts who will give you the guidance, support and care you need to be successful.

3. You will be more likely to achieve full recovery.

There are many drawbacks to trying to recover from bulimia nervosa at home, including:

  • No access to experts or other professionals who can help you develop a treatment plan
  • Less support and guidance during treatment
  • Little to no accountability
  • No set time to focus on your recovery

Because of these drawbacks, at-home bulimia nervosa treatment is likely to fail, causing the patient to relapse many times and/or take much longer to recover from the disorder. However, if you opt for a professional, evidence-based treatment program, you have a much better chance of achieving a full and lasting recovery from bulimia nervosa.

4. You will be less likely to relapse.

Following bulimia nervosa treatment, most patients will be concerned about the possibility of relapse. If you relapse, you will begin experiencing the symptoms of bulimia nervosa again, and additional treatment may be necessary. Even if you are able to successfully treat your eating disorder at home, the risk of relapse will be higher than it would have been if you had gone through a professional treatment program. In a professional treatment program, you will learn skills and coping mechanisms that you can use after you leave treatment to avoid relapse, even when you are faced with stress or other triggers that raise your risk of relapse. On the other hand, if you do not have these skills because you tried to handle the disorder on your own, triggers may cause you to start showing signs of bulimia nervosa again even after you have made improvements.

In addition, most professional treatment programs include a gradual transition back to normal life, which can make it easier for patients to adjust to being outside of treatment. This reduces the risk of relapse even more. Furthermore, if you choose to complete a professional bulimia nervosa treatment program, you will also have access to resources that will help you if you feel like a relapse is a possibility at any time after you have finished the program.

5. You will be able to focus on becoming fully recovered.

Trying to recover from bulimia nervosa on your own is especially difficult because, in most cases, you will be in the same environment that led to the development of the disorder in the first place. Attempting to navigate the stresses of everyday life, such as your job, family and other obligations can make it impossible for you to focus on the process of recovery. However, professional bulimia nervosa treatment programs give you the option to focus fully on eliminating this disorder from your life.

Choosing a Bulimia Nervosa Therapy Program

Professional bulimia nervosa treatment is clearly the best choice for anyone who has this disorder. However, even after you have determined you need professional treatment, you may still have a difficult task ahead of you. With so many different bulimia nervosa treatment centers to choose from, it can be difficult to find the option that is best for your needs.

Not all bulimia nervosa treatment centers are the same. For example, while some offer both residential treatment and outpatient treatment, others offer only one option or the other. In addition, while some bulimia nervosa treatment centers utilize a wide variety of different therapies, others offer only a few bulimia nervosa treatment options to their patients. Furthermore, some bulimia nervosa treatment programs require all patients to progress through the same program at the same pace, while others customize treatment programs to meet the needs of each individual patient and allow patients to move through treatment programs at a pace that is right for them.

When comparing professional bulimia nervosa treatment options, it is important to consider all aspects of the programs you are considering. Some of the characteristics you should consider include:

  • Program structure: Is the program residential or outpatient? Which of these options do you believe will be best for your needs?
  • Therapies included: What types of bulimia nervosa therapy are available from the treatment centers you are considering? Do they offer a variety of treatment options?
  • Program customization: Does the treatment program customize plans to meet the needs of patients? Will experts consider your own experiences with bulimia nervosa when deciding what therapies you will receive and how your program will be structured?
  • Reputation: One of the most important considerations is the reputation of the bulimia nervosa treatment program. Do past patients report positive experiences? Have they been able to achieve full recovery?

For most patients, logistical considerations like cost and location will also be important. However, these are not the most important factors to consider. In all cases, the quality of the treatment received should be the top priority.

Bulimia Nervosa Treatment with Monte Nido

Monte Nido offers bulimia nervosa treatment to patients in several states, including California, Oregon, New York and Massachusetts. We offer both residential treatment and day treatment programs for the convenience of our patients. Every patient’s treatment plan is customized to meet his or her specific needs in order to ensure the best quality of care. When treating any patient with bulimia nervosa, our ultimate goal is to help that patient leave the treatment program fully recovered.

Monte Nido uses a combination of therapeutic approaches, including individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, medical care, psychiatric care and more. We treat all types of bulimia nervosa patients, including those who have also been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, such as PTSD. Studies have shown our methods are successful, with the majority of our patients reporting good outcomes even years after treatment has been completed. We accept most types of insurance to reduce costs for our patients.

Please contact us today at 888.228.1253 to learn more about bulimia nervosa treatment options at one of our facilities.

Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.


Binge Eating Disorder I: What is it?

Executive Director of Oliver-Pyatt Centers and Clementine Miami Melissa Spann, PhD, CEDS-S shares an informative piece on Binge Eating Disorder. Dr. Spann discusses the potential causes and symptoms in part one of her two part series…

Society unfortunately has a history of making weight based judgements of others as evident through the media. This is known as weight based stigmatization. According to the National Eating Disorder Association a person who is stigmatized possesses a weight that leads to a devalued social identity. This stigma, along with a number of other factors, can lead to more frequent binge eating and an increased risk for eating disorder symptoms such as Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

Continue reading…


How Body Dysmorphia Affects the Development of Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa

Binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa are two different eating disorders that can develop in all races, genders and ages. Both of these disorders are serious and can lead to many unwanted consequences, from physical effects to psychological damage. Like all eating disorders, binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa can be the result of a variety of contributing factors. For some patients, body dysmorphia plays a role in the development of the problem. In fact, body dysmorphia may be one of the primary bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder causes in the majority of cases.

What Is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by periods of eating large amounts of food, which is known as “binging”. In most cases, these episodes of binging last for no more than two hours. During the episode, you may feel your eating is out of your control. This is followed by an extreme attempt to eliminate calories consumed during the binge, which is known as “purging”. Purging may take several different forms, including self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, extreme exercise or a combination of these attempts. Some people with bulimia nervosa may also alternate between episodes of binge eating and fasting.

Some of the specific symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Periods of binging, which means you eat a large amount of food in a short amount of time
  • Loss of control during episodes of binging
  • Rapid consumption of food during episodes of binging
  • Eating until you are uncomfortable or sick
  • Eating even though you are full
  • Hiding your eating from others
  • Engaging in purging behaviors to eliminate calories and avoid weight gain
  • Mental disturbances related to your eating, such as depression or anxiety

While some people with bulimia nervosa may have only a few of these symptoms, others may have almost all of them. However, any combination of these symptoms may indicate bulimia nervosa is present.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by periods of eating large amounts of food in one sitting. Unlike people with bulimia nervosa, however, you will not attempt to eliminate the extra calories through any type of purging.

Many of the signs of binge eating disorder are similar to the signs of bulimia nervosa. Some of the specific signs of binge eating disorder may include:

  • Eating very large amounts of food within a short period of time
  • Inability to control eating behaviors
  • Eating very quickly during episodes of bingeing
  • Eating until uncomfortable
  • Eating despite feeling full or even sick
  • Eating secretly and/or by yourself
  • Attempting to diet frequently with little or no success
  • Feeling upset, guilty or ashamed of eating behaviors
  • Depression related to eating

As with bulimia nervosa, you may have binge eating disorder without having all of these symptoms. Any combination of the symptoms above could indicate the presence of a disorder.

What Is Body Dysmorphia?

Body dysmorphia is a disorder that occurs when an individual develops an unreasonable preoccupation with a perceived defect about their appearance. For example, the individual may be convinced that he or she has a deformed nose, a large forehead or some other highly noticeable defect that is not really present. Among people with eating disorders, these preoccupations usually focus on weight or body shape. For example, the individual may believe he or she is severely overweight even though his or her actual weight is normal or close to normal.

Body dysmorphia can come with a variety of signs and symptoms. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of this condition include:

  • Obsession with a specific feature of the body that is considered undesirable
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Camouflaging of the perceived defect, such as by using makeup or wearing specific types of clothing
  • Comparing appearance with other people
  • Excessive grooming
  • Excessive exercise
  • Avoiding mirrors or looking in mirrors obsessively

Does Body Dysmorphia Cause Binge Eating Disorder or Bulimia Nervosa?

Research into specific binge eating disorder causes and causes of bulimia nervosa is ongoing. However, body dysmorphia is a well-known contributing factor. When someone has body dysmorphia, he or she is much more likely to be critical of weight, body shape and fitness levels. If the individual becomes obsessed with one or more of these issues, the development of bulimia nervosa may be more likely.

The relationship between binge eating disorder and body dysmorphia is more complicated. However, even though the link is not as clear, body dysmorphia can still play a role in the development of this disorder. For example, someone who has body dysmorphia may use binge eating as a coping mechanism. Someone with body dysmorphia may also be prone to frequent dieting, which can contribute to the development of binge eating disorder as well. In these cases, the individual restricts his or her food intake on a regular basis and eventually becomes overly hungry and frustrated, which can lead to episodes of bingeing.

How Does Body Dysmorphia Affect the Treatment Process?

When working toward binge eating recovery or bulimia recovery, the patient must address each of the factors that contribute to his or her eating disorder so he or she can resolve each issue and overcome the disorder. If body dysmorphia is one of the factors contributing to the individual’s disorder, it will need to be incorporated into the treatment process. For this reason, it is important for treatment professionals to be able to recognize the presence of this issue and structure the patient’s treatment plan accordingly.

Body dysmorphia can be treated in different ways. For example, some patients who have this disorder may benefit from specific medications, such as an antidepressant. Other patients with body dysmorphia may benefit more from cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help them identify and change their irrational thoughts and negative patterns of thinking. In some cases, the same patient may benefit from both therapy and medication. A professional will be able to determine what course of action is best for each individual patient.

Pursuing Bulimia Recovery and Binge Eating Recovery

If you have noticed the signs of bulimia nervosa or the signs of binge eating disorder, you may be at risk of developing serious complications. For this reason, seeking treatment as soon as possible is highly recommended. With the right treatment program, you will be able to address all of the underlying factors that led to the development of your eating disorder, eliminate the symptoms of the disorder, learn coping mechanisms and improve your physical health. In time, you may even achieve a full recovery from the disorder, which means it will no longer affect any aspect of your life.

The majority of treatment programs begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient and an effort to understand the individual’s eating disorder. For example, if you have binge eating disorder, the beginning of your treatment process may involve exploring different binge eating disorder causes to determine which factors are contributing to your specific issues. Once these factors have been identified, the eating disorder treatment professionals at your chosen facility will develop a treatment plan. The goal of treatment is to not only help you eliminate the symptoms of your disorder, but also to understand how it developed and how you can avoid relapse after the treatment program is complete.

However, it is important to note that not all treatment programs operate in exactly the same way or offer the same quality of care. For example, while some treatment plans offer therapy only during the day and allow patients to go home when they are not in a session, others require patients to remain in the treatment facility at all times. Likewise, different treatment programs utilize different approaches to help patients recover from their disorders. Some of the different services that may be available in eating disorder treatment facilities include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Exercise education
  • Nutrition education
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Psychiatric care
  • Medical care
  • Aftercare
  • Relapse prevention

Most patients will need a combination of these treatment services in order to maximize their chances of a full, lasting recovery from binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa.

Choosing the Right Treatment Program

Regardless of whether body dysmorphia appears on your list of bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder causes, choosing the right treatment program for your needs is essential. As you compare different treatment programs, be sure to consider all of the following factors.

  • Program structure: Eating disorder treatment programs are available with different structures. For example, some programs are residential, while some are outpatient. Programs also vary according to their length and the specific schedules patients follow each day.
  • Therapies: Different treatment programs will offer different therapeutic approaches or services. Be sure to review the available services carefully before enrolling in any treatment program to be sure the program you choose is a good fit for your needs.
  • Treatment plan customization: The best eating disorder treatment programs are those that customize each individual treatment plan to meet the needs of the specific patient. Avoid eating disorder treatment facilities that require every patient to undergo the same one-size-fits-all treatment program.
  • Reputation and success rates: An eating disorder treatment program’s reputation and success rate gives you valuable information about the program’s effectiveness. You can learn about the program’s reputation by reading reviews and testimonials from past patients. To learn about success rates, ask the treatment facility to provide whatever information it has available.
  • Practical considerations: Most patients will also consider the location, cost and convenience of the programs they are comparing. However, even though you may need to consider these factors when you make your choice, they should not be your top priorities. Ensuring you receive good quality eating disorder treatment should be your ultimate goal during this process.

Eating Disorder Treatment at Monte Nido

Monte Nido provides effective eating disorder treatment to patients in a variety of locations across the United States. We offer treatment for a variety of different disorders, including binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. Our treatment programs can help virtually any patient to overcome his or her eating disorder, including those patients who are struggling with co-occurring issues like body dysmorphic disorder or psychiatric problems. In addition, surveys indicate the treatment programs we operate are effective and continue to improve patients’ lives even several years after they have graduated from treatment.

Living with an eating disorder not only impacts your quality of life, but it can also put your health in danger. Professional treatment is the best way to address the issue and begin on the path to recovery. The experts at Monte Nido believe full recovery from bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder is possible. To learn more about our treatment options, please contact us today at 888.228.1253.

Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.


Fully Recovered vs. In Recovery: A Discussion of the Similarities and Differences

When someone has an eating disorder, their goal is to eliminate the disorder from their life. In most cases, this involves engaging in an appropriate treatment program, such as one that provides anorexia nervosa treatment. The phrases “recovery,” “in recovery” and “recovered” are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing for the people involved in the process, as well as those who have loved ones with an eating disorder. For this reason, it is important to define these terms clearly.

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A Glimpse into the Soul: Colleen Baker

Monte Nido Eating Disorder Center of Manhattan Lead Therapist Colleen Baker, LMSW shares her soulful journey to joining the Monte Nido team in this week’s blog post. Learn more about Colleen and her work at Monte Nido Manhattan…

Share about your background and what led you to Monte Nido:

I became passionate about the field of eating disorder treatment and recovery through my own recovery process, finding my way into advocacy work and non-profits such as NEDA and Project HEAL in college and exploring these interests/opportunities further upon my arrival to graduate school for social work in New York CIty. Through the incredible souls that I met within these organizations, I found my way to Monte Nido, a treatment program I had been admittedly following and dreaming of working at for years, and began my work at the end of grad school at Monte Nido River Towns (“Irvington,” officially, at the time) as a recovery coach (“mental health worker” at the time). After about a year of recovery coaching in a residential setting, I had the opportunity to move onto EDTNY and become a Primary Therapist. I ultimately became Lead Therapist there about a year and a half later and I’ve been in that role ever since. From River Towns to EDTNY, I’ve been in awe of the soul and spirit that exists within this company and have met many of my current best friends, mentors and colleagues for life. Continue reading…