Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are serious disorders among our adolescent girls. According to the eating disorder hope website Anorexia has the highest mobility rate out of all mental disorders, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms (Hamilton, 2018) so these girls can get the treatment they need.

Warning Signs

There are many warning signs to Anorexia and Bulimia. According to Nicole Williamson PhD at the Tampa General seminar, (May8, 2018) People with Anorexia might dress in layers, become obsessed with dieting and counting calories, using diet pills, and fasting or skipping meals all together.

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Bulimia has some of the same signs like being weight obsessed, but they also tend to frequent the bathroom a lot, eat to the point of discomfort, and smell of vomit consistently. These diseases not only effect the patient, but also their friends and family. Confusion and how to handle the situation is common. People want to be supportive, but feel unsure how to do so. Fear and guilt are another reaction some people have, feeling responsible for the eating disorder or not recognizing the signs and symptoms earlier.

Role as the Nurse

As the nurse it is important to look for non verbal cues from the patients and ask open ended questions to obtain the most information. According to Nicole Williamson PhD at the Tampa General seminar (May8, 2018) Choosing the right verbiage and the way you speak to the patient can also have an impact. The patient might also be suffering with another psychiatric diagnosis as well, this could be triggering or be an under lying cause for the Anorexia/Bulimia. Many Facilities use a reward system with the patients. Allowing them use of their personal devices or time outside of their room for weight gain.


According to Nursing Times (Sept 2007) Some of the complications from these disorders can be life threatening. Patient can also experience physical changes as well as in their appearance with skin breakdown and poor healing. Excessive vomiting can lead to tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. Muscle loss and weakness are also common. Women who suffer from these disorders can also suffer infertility and other fetal complications.


Success for treating these disorders does not happen overnight, it can take months or even years and is an ongoing process. The patient is going to need support from family and friends during this time, as well as all the nursing and medical staff.


Anorexia Nervosa Highest Mortality Rate of Any Mental Disorder: Why? (n.d.). Retrieved from

September, 2. 1. (n.d.). Caring for patients who have eating disorders. Retrieved from

Williamsom, N., PhD. (2018, May 8). Understanding Eating Disorders and How to Best Serve these Patients during Inpatient Admission. Lecture presented in TGH, Tampa.

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Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. (2020, Jan 29). Retrieved from