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Bulimics have fears and concerns of treatment and help. There are many ways to help a bulimic through many different therapies. There is cognitive behavioral, individual, family, and group therapy. Psychopharmacologic therapy, self-help groups, hospitalization and nutritional counseling are also helpful. Immediate treatment is the best way, but many don’t seek treatment until their thirties or forties. Fifty percent of patients fully recover; however, thirty percent have a relapse up to six years later. (Bulimia pg ). With treatment, bulimia can be successfully overcome.

Nutritional counseling is one way of treating bulimia nervosa. With nutritional counseling, normalizing the eating habits is the goal. A registered counselor works out a meal plan and gives nutritional information. Self-help groups are very similar to support groups. They provide support and encouragement to maintain therapeutic change (Sherman 8). These methods are not used as much as other methods.

Psychopharmacologic therapy uses drugs with different therapies. If drugs are used by themselves, it only eliminates fifteen percent of bingeing habits. Most of the drugs are anti-depressants because most bulimics binge and purge on account of being depressed. Prozac is approved to treat bulimia. It has been found to have a sixty-seven percent reduction in binge eating and a fifty-six percent reduction in vomiting. Prozac is administered for bulimics who have the problem for more than six months and who purge more than three times a week. The other two drugs used are Imipramine and Despiramine. People who are schizophrenic or paranoid may get worse with these drugs. Despiramine is an addictive drug and patients may suffer withdrawal symptoms after they are done using this drug (Bulimia pg ).

Individual therapy treats the patient to their specific needs and therapists use a specialized approach. The therapist works in effort to determine how the eating difficulties develop. They also figure out how to effectively change and begin the change process. The therapist may also use nutritional counseling (Sherman 84). Only thirty percent of patients that go through individual therapy fully recover without any other type of therapy (Bulimia pg 4).

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Family therapy is used often to modify maladaptive family interactions through cooperation of the family. This type of therapy involves the family members that play a role in the bulimic person’s difficulties. The focus of family therapy is less on the individual and more on the family as a unit. The therapist tries to figure out the families’ role in the individual and direct change. When successful, the need to binge and purge should diminish (Sherman 86).

One of the most effective therapies is group therapy. There are five causes that are beneficial from group therapy. First, it allows the bulimic individual to know that he or she is not alone. Second, there is a group of therapists to understand how they feel. Third, it is a safe environment to learn new skills to give up the eating habits. Finally, it provides each member with the opportunity to make significant attachments within the group and therapeutic separations at the end of the treatment (Sherman 86).

Cognitive behavioral therapy is very useful in helping in helping individuals with bulimia overcome long-standing abnormal eating behaviors. Fifty percent of its patients fully recover. Of the fifty percent that do not recover, some may show partial improvement through another type of therapy (Bulimia pg 4). This therapy has been proven to significantly decrease the frequency of binge eating and purging in the majority of its patients. Cognitive behavioral therapy combines many other therapies into one treatment process. It focuses on restructuring conditions related to eating behavior, body shape and weight. The goal is to interrupt the binge eating while reconstructing attitudes, beliefs, and values that have maintained this eating disorder. The therapist helps identify irrational thoughts the clients have that contribute to their disorder. They also want to restore control over dietary intake and improve cognitive methods for controlling feeling. The therapy includes self-monitoring of the frequency, amount, situations, thoughts and emotion associated with bingeing, daily intake journals and prevention by discussing the risks of vomiting, laxative abuse, and health damage (Bulimia pg 5). An estimated 1 in 100 American women binges and purges, so therapists can use assertiveness, communication and problem solving strategies, as well as relaxation and positive body imagery training as needed.

In extreme cases, hospitalization is a type of treatment. General estimates suggest that as many as ten to fifteen percent of eating disorders are fatal for those affected. This is usually only necessary if the bulimia has gotten out of control and the person performs self-induced vomiting several times a day, is vomiting blood, is suicidal because of their eating disorder, or is suffering from dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance. Under hospitalization, therapy is intensive and practical, and is aimed at developing increased control over normal eating, weight and body image. This therapy also addresses psychological issues that could lead to relapse. At the hospital, the services offered are daily treatment planning, interpersonal psychotherapy groups, meal planning and preparation groups, nutrition groups, body image and self esteem groups, communication groups and exercise, stress and relaxation training. Meals are monitored by a nursing staff to help patients break habits related to eating disorder, including binge eating and vomiting or food refusal. Often, patients attend hospitals to have special dental care on their damaged teeth caused by purging and to minimize dental problems in the future (Hopkins 1). Hospitalization should be a bulimics last resort.

In conclusion, bulimics have many types of therapies to choose from. Although some are better than others, every bulimics is different. Any therapy can work; it just depends on the person. Although only fifty percent fully recover, hopefully in the next few years that percentage will rise.

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