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Choosing a Bulimia Treatment Program: Factors to Consider for Effective Recovery

Are you considering bulimia treatment but aren’t sure where to start? Asking for help can feel intimidating, so we’ve created the guide below to help you feel confident in finding the right treatment option for you.

Bulimia Diagnostic Criteria

Those suffering from bulimia use unhealthy behaviors to compensate for something they ate. This is used as a method to lose weight or to avoid gaining weight. Diagnostic criteria for bulimia includes:1

  • Eating a large amount of food in a short period and feeling out of control while eating
  • Using inappropriate behaviors to compensate for the eating, such as vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, or engaging in excessive exercise
  • Periods of eating large amounts of food with a compensatory behavior occur at least once a week for three months
  • Self-evaluation is significantly influenced by weight or body shape
  • The presence of these signs is not occurring along with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa

Factors to Consider When Choosing Bulimia Recovery Centers

Not all eating disorder treatment centers are the same. That is why it is important to find a center that is right for you. Below are some factors to consider when choosing a treatment program.

Amount of Support Needed

There are a few things that you want to consider before choosing a treatment center. The first is determining how much support you need. While some people may be able to recover using outpatient therapy, many individuals struggling with bulimia need more. 

Residential treatment can be a great option for those who are afraid that they will engage in destructive behaviors any time that they are alone. During a residential stay, you will be supported by eating disorder staff 24/7 to encourage you to use healthy coping skills.

The next level after residential treatment is a partial hospitalization program (PHP). This day treatment program provides support during the day with more independence in the evenings. 

Medical Stability

Another important factor is your medical history. Eating disorders can have serious, life-threatening health consequences. If you are experiencing any signs of medical instability, have serious complications as a result of your eating disorder, or are at high risk for medical issues, you likely need a higher level of care.

Residential treatment can provide closer medical monitoring than outpatient programs and may be the best option until your eating patterns become more consistent and medical issues improve. 

Co-Occurring Mental Health Problems

Those struggling with eating disorders often also battle other mental health issues. Eating disorders are frequently developed to cope with these co-occurring conditions

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, or trauma, it is important to find a program to help treat both the eating disorder and other co-occurring conditions. 

Bulimia Recovery at Toledo Center

Our treatment center is a great place to begin your journey to recovery. From day 1, we work hard to provide a safe, supportive environment for you to work on your relationship with food. Give us a call at 419-885-8800 or complete our contact form to learn more. 




  1. Bulimia Nervosa | National Eating Disorders Association

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