Getting treated early is vital. The longer either disorder lasts,
the greater and less reversible the damage becomes.
The family is often asked to help in the treatment, which might
include psychotherapy, nutrition counselling, behaviour modification
and self-help groups. Therapy is usually on an out-patient basis
and normally lasts a year or more, unless life-threatening physical
symptoms or severe psychological problems demand hospitalisation.
There are presently no drugs approved specifically for bulimia
or anorexia but several are being investigated for this use and
among them are several anti-depressants.
If you think a friend or family member is suffering from bulimia
or anorexia, point out in a caring, non-judgemental way the behaviour
you have observed and encourage the person to seek medical help.
If you think you may be suffering from either of these disorders
yourself, keep in mind that you are not alone and that this is
a health problem that requires professional help. As a first step,
talk to your parents, family doctor, religious counsellor, school
counsellor or nurse.
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