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Bulimia and Panic Attack

[17 Sep 2010 | No Comments | 14 views | Author: Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT]
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By definition people who suffer from bulimia have behavior that is characterized by over eating (binge) and subsequent inappropriate behavior to prevent weight gain that can manifest itself with purging (induced vomiting) or excessive exercise.

On the other hand panic attacks are sudden surges of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without an obvious reason. It is far more intense than feeling anxiety or feeling stressed out. Statistics show that one out of every 75 people will experience one panic attack in their lives.

The combination of bulimia and panic attack disorder makes the treatment of either more complicated than a single disorder.

Interestingly if you have an anxiety disorder then there is an increased risk of having an eating disorder and if you have an eating disorder then there is an increased risk of having an anxiety disorder. Not everyone has both but its not unusual to for both of them to go hand in hand.

In any given year about 1/3 of Americans suffer at least one panic attack but most dont develop a repeat episode. This data means that panic and anxiety attacks are the most common emotional disorder and also has the lowest rate for seeking and finding help.

Symptoms of a panic attack include a fast heartbeat, difficulty breathing, terror, nervousness, feeling of dread, dizziness, trembling, chest pain, fear, fright, hot flashes, tingling in the fingers or toes and fearful that youre going crazy or about to die.

bulimia and panic attack

The point about panic attacks, although a very real physical phenomenon, has never killed anyone, never harmed anyone and the attacks always come to an end.

The percentage of people who have both bulimia and panic attacks or other eating disorders varies from study to study. In a study of 114 women in England 64% were found to have both while a study in Australia found that 21% had both disorders. In a study of 1500 women in Russia an astounding 95% were found to have both conditions. Whatever the percentage of people suffering from both most researchers have found that the anxiety disorder was the first to appear and the eating disorder was soon to follow.

If you have a known anxiety disorder you should know the signs and symptoms of binge eating, anorexia and bulimia so you might recognize the disorder in yourself. The sooner that you receive help the better are the chances of a recovery.

If you have an eating disorder educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders and panic attacks so that you can seek help for this as well if its appropriate.

When a person suffers from both disorders for a long period of time the likelihood that they will recover from the symptoms decreases greatly. The greatest chance for recovery comes in the first several months with the results declining with each passing month thereafter.

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bulimia and panic attack

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