It is possible to recover form bulimia but the process will be long and very difficult. Even the best treatment options to help manage bulimia are pointless unless you recognize that there is a problem, and you want to be healed. This means you will have to be ready to change your circumstances and your lifestyle as well.
Family members and friends often don't know what to do to help someone with bulimia. This is because a bulimic will generally do all they can to hide their condition, and will be very defensive if confronted with it. It is important, however, that if you do have such concerns, you learn about how to start this conversation, and how to offer treatment options.
Examining the Treatment Options:
Generally, psychological treatment is the first among the best treatment options to help manage bulimia. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is used in order to change a bulimic's outlook on eating and weight. CBT also gives patients an opportunity to explore what made them develop unhealthy attitudes and lifestyles. Generally, someone with bulimia will also be asked to keep a "food and mood" diary, so they can determine whether there are any mood triggers for the disorder.
Interpersonal therapy can also be beneficial. Here, the focus isn't on food problems but rather on personal relationships. This type of treatment is usually offered when there is a clear link between bulimia and a recent life event, such as the passing of a loved one. Through this therapy, a bulimic will learn to build new relationships, instead of developing one with food.
Another form of treatment is medication. Antidepressants, particularly fluoxetine (Prozac), are quite effective. While these are designed to treat depression, they can also help with social phobia, anxiety, OCD, and eating disorders. It generally takes several weeks for these medications to really work, and they are associated with strong side effects. Patients also have to continue to be monitored by their physician to be sure that the medication is effective. Antidepressants are generally not recommended for those under the age of 18.
Then, there is hospital treatment. It is not common for people with bulimia to require hospital treatment, unless they start to develop significant health complications. Specifically, if people with bulimia also appear to be self-harming or to have suicidal thoughts, they will usually be hospitalized.
Recovering from Bulimia:
The best treatment options to help manage bulimia will set you on the road to recovery, but they are not a magic cure. People with bulimia will have to work very hard and this will also affect their loved ones. They must learn to change their relationship with food and their eating habits, and they may need to gain weight as well.
The longer bulimia is untreated, the more difficult it will be to gain weight and re-learn proper habits. This is why it is so important to find treatment as early as possible, as this greatly increases the chance of recovery. Most of the time, this is a process of ups and downs, with frequent relapses usually occurring.