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Bulimia Nervosa

This condition is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge-eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as purging, fasting or excessive exercise. By definition, these symptoms occur at least twice a week for at least 3 months.

Individuals with Bulimia Nervosa will be very preoccupied by their weight and body shape, but they will not necessarily be underweight. By definition, Bulimia Nervosa cannot occur solely during those times when an individual meets diagnostic criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, for in those cases Anorexia Nervosa, Binge-Eating/Purging Type will be the correct diagnosis.

There are two subtypes of Bulimia Nervosa:

Purging Type: the individual will regularly engage in purging behaviors.

Nonpurging Type: the individual will not regularly engage in purging behaviors, but will use other inappropriate compensatory behaviors like fasting and excessive exercising.

Though not part of the official diagnostic criteria, individuals with Bulimia Nervosa will commonly feel ashamed of their binge-eating and purging behaviors and will try to hide these from others. Binge-eating episodes are usually unplanned and tend to occur when the individual is feeling stressed or upset about something, or when they are very hungry following dietary restraint. Binges will only end once the individual is uncomfortably or even painfully full, and will usually lead to feelings of intense guilt, shame or disgust, which can then prompt the individual to engage in purging behaviors.


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Anorexia Nervosa

Binge-Eating Disorder