Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bulimic Teens Also Likely To Suffer From Depression

Date:
December 10, 2004
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
Teen-agers suffering from bulimia may in fact be fighting a two-front war, coping with the effects of a devastating eating disorder while struggling with a chronic form of depression, reveals research by Texas A&M University psychologist Marisol Perez, who says the finding has critical implications for the way the disorder is treated.

COLLEGE STATION, Dec. 7, 2004 - Teen-agers suffering from bulimia may in fact be fighting a two-front war, coping with the effects of a devastating eating disorder while struggling with a chronic form of depression, reveals research by Texas A&M University psychologist Marisol Perez, who says the finding has critical implications for the way the disorder is treated.

Often masked by the bulimia itself, dysthymia - a lower-level, chronic form of depression - is often present in bulimics and may even predispose them to the eating disorder, shows the research by Perez and her colleagues Thomas E. Joiner Jr. of Florida State University and Peter M. Lewinsohn of the Oregon Research Institute.

Dysthymia, Perez explains, is different from the more familiar major depression in terms of its duration, severity and persistence of mood disturbance, all factors that can impact the course and treatment of eating disorders.

"As pernicious as major depression can be, it tends to remit, even if untreated," she notes. "By contrast, dysthymia is unrelenting, often lasting decades, with the average episode length lasting more than 10 years."

It's this long-lasting nature, Perez says, that makes dysthymia, rather than major depression, more likely to be associated with bulimia, which is characterized by unrelenting negative feelings about one's self.

Bulimics, she says, tend to have chronic low self-esteem. Previous models, she notes, have proposed that high perfectionism when dashed by low self-worth is predictive of bulimia. Because of this, the chronic and pervasive self-esteem problems associated with dysthymia may make dysthymic people vulnerable to bulimia, she says.

The relationship between bulimia and dysthymia might be the struggle to regulate unrelenting negative moods stemming from the depression and the feelings of low self-esteem associated with the eating disorder, Perez speculates.

Individuals who suffer from simultaneously existing disorders, such as bulimia and dysthymia, usually have a worse course and prognosis in treatment than those who only suffer from one disorder, Perez says. She believes that her findings can provide additional information to create more focused and effective treatments for teens with bulimia. Knowledge of the co-existence of bulimia and dysthymia in teens can help therapists assess specifically for dysthymia in bulimic patients and choose a treatment that will combat both disorders, she says.

Perez says that it is possible for adults to suffer from both disorders, but she notes that the patterns between bulimia and dysthymia may change from adolescence to adulthood, making major depression more likely to co-exist in adults than dysthymia.

She reasons that as the course of bulimia progresses, the social support network and resources of a bulimic person may start to diminish, making negative life events harder to overcome. The binges and purges that serve as a type of coping mechanism in the beginning of the disorder may, over time, lose their comforting aspects while their harmful ones continue to be amplified. This, in turn, may cause the intensity of the depression to increase, making the occurrence of major depression and bulimia more common in adults, she says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Bulimic Teens Also Likely To Suffer From Depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041208083130.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2004, December 10). Bulimic Teens Also Likely To Suffer From Depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041208083130.htm
Texas A&M University. "Bulimic Teens Also Likely To Suffer From Depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041208083130.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins