Handbook of Eating Disorders: Physiology, Psychology, and Treatment of Obesity, Anorexia, and Bulimia

By Kelly D. Brownell; John P. Foreyt | Go to book overview

24
Cognitive-Behavioral and
Pharmacological Therapies
for Bulimia

G. Terence Wilson

The upsurge of interest in the nature and treatment of bulimia has been recent and sudden. It was only a few years ago that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) of the American Psychiatric Association' included bulimia as an eating disorder that is distinct from anorexia nervosa, obesity, or any known physical disorder. Prior to that, little attention had been focused on bulimia as an independent psychiatric disorder.6,40 Only now are controlled treatment studies beginning to appear. Indeed, there are only a handful of reports of even an uncontrolled clinical series of patients. The treatment literature has consisted of isolated clinical reports of mainly single case studies (AB designs), together with the usual speculation, based on a loose mixture of clinical experience and theoretical analysis. In this chapter my purpose is to summarize and critique both uncontrolled clinical reports and controlled studies on the treatment of bulimia and to discuss some of the more important clinical strategies that have been proposed.

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