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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.

Areas We Serve:

Agoura Hills, CA | Boston, MA | Eugene, OR | Irvington, NY | Los Angeles, CA | Malibu, CA
New York, NY | Newport Beach, CA | Philadelphia, PA | Portland, OR | Westchester, NY

Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD, LMHC, RTY 200, is Chief Clinical Officer at Monte Nido & Affiliates, overseeing the clinical operations and programming for over 50 programs across the U.S. Dr. Spann is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and clinical supervisor as well as an accomplished presenter and passionate clinician who has spent her career working in the eating disorder field in higher levels of care. She is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals where she serves on the national certification committee, supervision faculty, and is on the board of her local chapter. She received her doctoral degree from Drexel University, master’s degree from the University of Miami, and bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.