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Bulimic teens also likely to suffer from depression

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.


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Contact: Ryan Garcia
rag@univrel.tamu.edu
979-845-4680
Texas A&M University
7-Dec-2004


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