What Are the DSM Criteria for Bulimia?

What Are the DSM Criteria for Bulimia?Bulimia is a dangerous eating disorder that risks an individual’s physical and psychological health. Engaging in this type of behavior for any period of time can be deadly, and it can cause pain and suffering for onlookers.

DSM Criteria for Bulimia

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM) is a book that healthcare professionals use to diagnose different mental illnesses. It is highly regarded as an integral piece of the diagnostic world, and continues to provide solid evidence for healthcare professionals and their patients. Those who are suspected to have bulimia must meet the following DSM criteria:

  • Eating within any 2 hour period an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar time and under similar circumstances
  • A lack of self-control over eating during the episode, which means feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating
  • Recurrent inappropriate, compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas or other medications, fasting or excessive exercise
  • Binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for three months
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

While this official DSM criteria helps healthcare professionals diagnose patients with bulimia, it is also noted that patients may still struggle with body image issues even if they do not meet these specific criteria.

Treatment for Bulimia

Once a patient is diagnosed with bulimia, she will be provided treatment options that will help restore her mental and physical health. The most common form of treatment for bulimia is psychological counseling, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, where she can learn how to change her thinking patterns to encourage positive results. This can not only help her change her perception of her body, but it can also end her bulimic behaviors. In addition, patients can also receive treatment through medication, as many instances of bulimia develop as a result of a mental health issue such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety. Therefore, patients can receive the proper medication to treat their mental issues while they also receive psychological care for their eating disorder.

Help Treating Bulimia

We understand how difficult it can be to live with bulimia, and we want to help you get healthy once and for all. Let us do that by calling our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now. Get the guidance you need to make the best decisions for your health.