A Day in the Life of a Bulimic: Mood, Behaviors Correlate

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
November/December 2004 Volume 15, Number 6
©2004 Gürze Books

Researchers at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, Fargo, ND, have devised a way to follow patterns of bulimic behaviors and moods reported by adult female bulimic patients. A group of 133 adult females who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) criteria for bulimia nervosa were given electronic diaries and asked to keep track of their behaviors and moods for 14 days. Participants were signaled randomly six times a day and asked to record all bulimic behaviors at that time (binge eating, vomiting, laxative use, or intensive exercise). The women’s moods were also rated at each recording. Binge eating, vomiting, and laxative abuse were more frequently reported between 6 pm and 10 pm, and the incidence of all three was highest on Sundays. Negative mood tended to increase during the course of the day, and positive mood was lowest and tension/anxiety highest on Sundays. Ross D. Crosby, PhD, and colleagues reported that the similarities in the diurnal patterns of bulimic behaviors and mood suggest a possible causal connection. The researchers reported their findings at the 2004 meeting of the Eating Disorders Research Society in Amsterdam in October.

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