Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder also known as “binge purge” behavior. It is described “an illness in which a person binges on food or has regular episodes of significant overeating and feels a loss of control,” according to the US National Institute of Health.
This is followed by vomiting or laxative abuse to prevent weight gain. A typical adolescent can suffer from it. A person with a bulimic mother or sister is likely to develop one and individual with low self esteem or a perfectionist by nature is highly susceptible.
Bulimia is listed and recognized as an eating disorder by mental health professional’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder.
The criteria include repeated episodes in binge eating, including abnormally large amount of food and their feeling of no control; repeated efforts to make up for the binging by self induced vomiting; excessive exercise, fasting, abuse of laxatives, evenness, diuretics; behaviors occurring for at least three months; self evaluation over influenced by body shape and weight; and these behaviors not occurring during periods of anorexia.
You need to take the person with bulimia to a doctor who will conduct a thorough physical examination. A bulimic can be anemic with weak bones that may have already fractured, swollen lymph nodes, dehydrated, with rotting teeth and diseased gum, with irregular and no menstruation compounded with an irregular heartbeat.
After the thorough physical examination to the patient, a mental health professional can take over and conduct the psychological examination by applying the criteria in accordance to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder.