Residential Bulimia Treatment in Beautiful Malaysia

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is one of the most common eating disorders, affecting an estimated 1-2% of the population, making it more common than anorexia nervosa. Individuals with bulimia nervosa often experience feelings of shame and embarrassment, leading them to hide their symptoms and delay seeking help.

At The Wave, we recognise the seriousness of bulimia nervosa and offer a range of specialised treatments designed to help young people overcome their condition. Our clinical treatment programs are tailored to meet each individual’s specific needs. We also provide opportunities to learn new coping skills, engage in healthy activities, and build supportive relationships with others who understand what they are going through. 

We believe that the right level of care at the time young people with bulimia can overcome their condition and go on to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

We are here to help

The Wave Eating Disorder Admissions Team can be contacted on:

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Wave Clinic: Specialists in Teen Eating Disorders
+60 327 271 799 (General Enquiries)
+60 125 227 734 (Admissions)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Wave International Group LLC
+971 438 354 01

What Is It and How Does It Work?

Treatment for Bulimia

Through an effective treatment program and a supportive, empathetic atmosphere, young people who have bulimia can achieve full recovery.

At The Wave, our team of professionals who have received specialised training in the management of bulimia. Our program is designed to cater to each individual’s unique circumstances, recognising that every young person, teen, and child will experience bulimia differently.

While bulimia treatment plans can differ significantly from person to person, therapy is essential for most people on their path to recovery. This is because the underlying causes of bulimia often have a psychological or emotional basis. 

We take a personalised approach in developing tailored treatment plans and interventions to address each individual’s specific challenges. We use a range of treatment methods, including:

  • DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy)
  • CBTe (Cognitive behavioural therapy)
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing)
  • Eating Disorder Dietician led sessions
  • Group therapy dedicated to food and body challenges
  • Creative arts therapy
  • Dance and movement therapy
  • Psychodrama
  • Supported skills building sessions

Our program has successfully treated numerous young people with bulimia, enabling them to manage their symptoms and overcome unhelpful coping strategies.

Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia in Teens

Signs and symptoms of bulimia in teens may include:

  • Consuming an excessive amount of food within a short period of time on a regular basis (binge eating)

  • Participating in purging behaviours (vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, excessive exercise) to compensate for overeating 

  • Feeling a loss of control over eating during binge episodes 

  • Having an obsession with body weight and shape

  • Avoiding certain types of food or entire meals

  • Feeling uncomfortable being around others who are eating

  • Experiencing a lack of appetite, missing meals, or losing interest in food 

  • Experiencing fatigue and frequently needing to take naps

  • Fluctuating weight or struggling to maintain a healthy weight

  • Displaying obsessive or inflexible behaviour around food and eating habits 

  • Being sensitive to aspects of food service, such as temperature or texture 

  • Feeling guilt or shame after binge eating 

  • Avoiding social situations where food is present

  • Using supplements or appetite suppressants as a substitute for food and nutrition.

It is important to note that not all young people with bulimia will exhibit all of these symptoms, and some may experience different or additional symptoms. It is also important to recognise that eating disorders can affect individuals of all body sizes and shapes, and weight is not always an indicator of an eating disorder.

Eating Disorders of all types can not be weighed. Severe eating disorders are often in children who do not ‘look’ unwell. 

Diagnosing Bulimia

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder involving recurrent binge eating followed by compensatory behaviours like purging, fasting, or excessive exercise. During binge episodes, the individual may feel a lack of control and experience negative emotions like guilt and shame.

Other signs used to diagnose bulimia nervosa include an obsessive focus on body weight and shape, avoiding certain types of food, and being overly sensitive to food-related cues.

Eating Disorders can sometimes have mixed presentations or appear to take a different form. When considering Bulimia Nervosa, parents and young people should also consider Anorexia Nervosa, Body Dysmophic Disorder, Binge Eating Disorder and Anxiety. 

“I came to The Wave about 2 ½ years ago, and I can’t speak highly enough about their service, support, and love I received (and still do) from the team. They have helped me build stable foundations for a life that now feels worth living. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their amazing help, and I am lucky enough to call them my family.”

Bulimia therapies and treatment options

Recovering from Bulimia

During a young person’s stay with us, they’ll experience a range of therapies and treatment options. Some of our most popular include:

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) for Eating Disorders

Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is an effective evidence-based treatment for binge eating disorder (BED), bulimia nervosa, and depression. It helps young people to manage overwhelming feelings that often result in the use of food.

Goals in IPT include identifying relationships and working towards building them, whilst focusing on exploring emotions rather than suppressing them. Residential treatment for BED and Bulimia Nervosa provides a safe space for teenagers and young adults to address the underlying mechanisms of their eating disorder. However, IPT may not be suitable for those with Cluster B personality disorders, such as Borderline Personality Disorder, due to its focus on social constructs.

IPT forms part of the specialist eating disorder treatment program for teenagers and young adults at The Wave and is delivered by Therapists trained in IPT for eating disorders. The Wave Eating Disorder programs utilise a variety of evidence based treatment models, psychiatric care and exemplary medical interventions when needed to deliver Intensive Care, Primary Care and Secondary Care treatment for eating disorders for young people age 13 and over.

One-to-One Therapy

During one-to-one therapy, each young person meets regularly with a dedicated therapist. These sessions offer a safe space for them to open up, share any worries and concerns, and get to the root of their condition. Young people are also encouraged to learn how to handle their emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms and associations with food.

Group Therapy

At The Wave, we place a strong emphasis on team spirit and building relationships. After all, having a strong support network helps many people when the time comes for them to transition back into their lives back home. That’s why so many of our activities and therapies are focused on cultivating relationships.

Although some young people find it a little daunting to open up, group therapy is a great way to learn from others on a similar journey. Our young people also find that group therapy enables them to form long-lasting friendships with other people. In addition, hearing from others who’ve battled an eating disorder shows our young people that they’re not alone and gives them the chance to hear how others cope with the condition. There’s also a greater sense of accountability, as everyone will have each other’s backs.

Eating Disorder-Informed Yoga

A special category of yoga, eating disorder-informed yoga is gentle and non-aerobic, making it ideal for those with bulimia who may have experienced malnutrition.

Eating disorder-informed yoga offers a gentle workout focused on the mental rather than the physical. During sessions, young people are guided through different movements, each designed to help them develop emotional awareness and trust in their bodies. It’s all about developing healthy habits that give young people ownership over their bodies.

Alternative Therapies

From dance and art therapy to reiki and mindfulness, we offer a range of alternative therapies to enhance wellness and promote healing from the inside out. Being exposed to natural healing treatments can relieve stress, helping many people better cope with negative emotions and those moments when they feel like slipping back into old habits.

Creative therapies like art, dance, and drama offers the chance to express emotions and let go of negative associations with food. These therapies also help many develop new skills and hobbies that they can use once they’ve left our clinic – ideal for channelling their energy into something creative.

Gardening Groups

Known as horticultural therapy, our gardening group programmes offer our young people the chance to garden and look after their own bed of flowers and plants. This ownership gives them responsibility for something, empowering them to look after the seeds they’ve sown. Not only does this show them the power of care and compassion, but these skills can also be directly translated into how they look after themselves.

Flowers take time to grow, but they flourish with the right care and support, just like young people in recovery will. We also offer young people the opportunity to plant fruits and vegetables, enabling them to be involved with food from the moment it’s planted.

Family Therapy​

Bulimia can take a toll on the whole family, and it can sometimes be difficult for loved ones to truly understand what a young person is going through and why. Our family therapy sessions are a safe space for everyone to open up, voice their feelings and concerns, and better understand one another.

Nutrition for Eating Disorders

During a young person’s stay at The Wave, they have a personalised nutritional programme tailored to their specific needs. This ensures that those in recovery from an eating disorder get all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay strong and recover. We also offer a wide range of education on nutrition, food groups, and how nutrition affects the body.

Over time, young people in our care slowly learn to develop healthy and regular eating patterns and meal planning. We take everything at our young adult’s pace, helping them adjust to the changes smoothly.

Frequently asked questions

Bulimia FAQ's

Yes, bulimia can be treated through a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and nutritional counseling. Early intervention and treatment are critical for a successful outcome.

Bulimia is a complex disorder with multiple causes, including genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Young people who experience low self-esteem, negative body image, and difficulties coping with stress or emotions may be more vulnerable to developing bulimia.

Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging behaviors such as vomiting, using laxatives, or excessive exercise. Anorexia nervosa involves restricting food intake to the point of significant weight loss. Both disorders share some similarities but have distinct differences in terms of symptoms, behaviors, and associated health risks.

Professional associations and memberships

We are here to help

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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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