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Self-help and patient support groups
"I had been concerned about my daughter's weight and health and her not looking well, generally." Parent of a high school student who felt she and her husband had an open relationship with their teenage daughter.

Self-help and support groups for people with bulimia meet regularly to share information and provide emotional support for their members. These groups may or may not be helpful to a patient. There are questions one should ask when checking out a support group to determine if a group is right for a person.

Online Support Groups

Individuals with bulimia nervosa can also find support in online chat rooms hosted and moderated by reputable groups and Web sites. Although some chat-room topics support recovery from an eating disorder, others promote and encourage the disorder. Parents may want to use parental Internet controls to block pro-bulimic and pro-anorexic sites for children. Many of the chat rooms are short-lived. A Google search will turn up current ones. Family and friends of people with bulimia nervosa can also find family support groups. Here are several credible chat rooms.

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Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person engages in binge eating (eating a lot of food in a short time) followed by some type of behavior to prevent weight gain from the food that was eaten. This behavior can take two forms: self-induced vomiting, misuse of enemas, laxatives, diet pills (called purging) and excessive exercise, fasting, or diabetic omission of insulin (called non-purging). Some people with bulimia nervosa may also starve themselves for periods of time before binge eating again. Bulimia nervosa has important mental, emotional, and physical aspects that require consideration during treatment.

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