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An Eating Disorder: Bulimia Nervosa


In discussing the objective of this study research, it is imperative to note that the progression of bulimia nervosa which is defined as an eating disorder is often coupled with other symptoms which tend to overlap with those of other conditions. Furthermore, medical experts are usually not in an outright position to predict who may be the next victim of bulimia nervosa (Herzog et al. 1996). On a similar note, the converse medical influence of bulimia nervosa has not been put under study thereby leaving clinicians at crossroads when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of the condition. The main objective of this research study is to investigate the crossover effects which both bulimia nervosa and its converse are capable of causing to an individual.

Literature Review

The methodology involved participants from the International Price Foundation Genetic study (Tozzi, Thornton, Klump, et al. 2005). In this research, two separate categories of participants were put under study. To begin with, the first group of participants entailed a total of eighty-eight people who had earlier been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. In the next group, there were three hundred and fifty participants who were already under bulimia nervosa. Among the second group, there were equally other participants less than one hundred in the number who were victims of the converse condition of bulimia nervosa.

In order to come up with the predictive and more reliable result in the methodology, there were some variables that were used (Swift 86). For example, both axes I and axis II of DSM-IV in a poorly ordered behavioral pattern were virtually evaluated as reliable hypotheses of crossover properties which usually involved their overlapping symptoms between the two types of disorders.

Rational and purpose of the study

The outcome of the study was unanimous to the earlier hypothesis made. The fifth-year of infection marked the overlapping period between the two disorders among people who had been positively diagnosed earlier. A lower degree of personal involvement was linked with the symptom overlap in both conditions (Ben-Tovim et al. 2001). On the other hand, there are those factors that significantly had a difference with the earlier diagnosis made on bulimia nervosa. For patients who had been associated with the abuse of alcohol, the crossover of symptoms was easily visualized as being transferred from bulimia nervosa to its converse.

From these results, it is possible to conclude that stable results on the diagnosis of bulimia nervosa may be inferred with the phenomenon called individual self-directedness. Moreover, these outcomes exhibit that eating disorders may greatly be influenced or affected by individual traits as well as family characteristics where the victim is coming from. This source of information can be used in engaging planning measures which are necessary for both affected families and the healthcare sector at large (Tozzi, Thornton, Klump, et al. 2005).


The study of bulimia nervosa and its converse are usually entangled with medical characteristics as well as other features which are specifically unique to the condition itself. The clinical advancement of Bulimia nervosa and the way in which it is passed on from one family member to another is not purely dependant or only identified as a crossover pattern. This disorder is mainly experienced among related family members who are deemed to be already suffering from the eating disorder. Since both bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa can be very dominant within a certain family tree, it is possible that these conditions may be having common causative agents.

The progress and result of an eating disorder are usually coupled with significant overlapping effects between the two extreme levels of the disease. Anorexia nervosa is often identified with sessions of relapse and possible transfer to bulimia nervosa. It is usually not easy to diagnose the crossover patterns involving the transfer of bulimia nervosa to anorexia nervosa. For instance, there are other medical conditions among children which are usually associated with the self-transfer of bulimia nervosa to its converse. One of the symptomatic child abuse aspects which might lead to this transfer is when a minor is sexually abused (Pryor 1996). Additionally, any recovery attempt from the converse of bulimia nervosa may also be used as a diagnostic tool in this study.

The clinical assessments involving the study of the symptoms of these cross-over characteristics of bulimia nervosa are not numerous and therefore there is not sufficient data on the ground which can be used for tests and assessments of this eating disorder. The significance of such studies cannot be overstated due to the fact that the results can be used to qualitatively predict the characteristics which are common in both of these conditions (Tozzi, Thornton, Klump, et al. 2005).

Meanwhile, there are several distinguishing features in behavioral patterns that can be used to differentiate bulimia nervosa in a wide array of victims. For example, there is a strong tendency towards being inflexible as well as a lack of self-control in people who have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (Eckert et al. 1995). On the other hand, those victims with bulimia nervosa are more likely to be less rigid and therefore it may end up affecting their overall ability to control themselves. They are often labeled as weak or perhaps quite submissive in their actions. The power to assert is far fetched among the bulimia nervosa patients than their opposite counterparts (Gidwani & Rome1997). This study was devoted to carrying out quantitative research among selected participants from different regions.

Participants in the study

The International Peace Foundation Genetic Study center provided the required number of participants in this study. There were a total of thirty-five participants. Both personality traits, as well as the mental features of the participating groups, were examined. The most important feature which was to be investigated was the eating disorder usually associated with the condition called bulimia nervosa. Also incorporated in this study were the family relatives of the participants who had already been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. They were drawn from different locations so that the right hypothesis could be made even before the final results were out. Both the clinical institutions and the concerned parties consented to the research procedures which were to be carried out on them.

The procedure of screening through a critical examination of the participants which was followed by the interpretation of the results of the tests was carried out on both groups. The initial stages of the clinical examination could reveal whether a participant was under bulimia nervosa or not. Probands were very crucial in these research procedures. After the screening, it was found that the probands had their DSM-IV altered therefore drawing closer attention to the fact that bulimia nervosa was highly likely.

This was identified through certain forms of cleaning up like vomiting. The second most important finding was that participants ranging from early adolescence to about sixty-five years recorded a positive outcome of likely psychological retardation and inability to process information at a faster rate. There were quite a number of mental instabilities which were associated with this group. In fact, their Intelligence Quotient was found to be less than seventy thereby depicting a gradual process of retardation. Moreover, all these medical and mental complications which were deemed to interfere with one’s ability to like and enjoy food were considered to be earlier development stages of bulimia nervosa.

The relatives who were used in the study process met all the requirements for the research. One such condition was that they must have suffered from anorexia nervosa at some point in their lives alongside being within the required age group of between thirteen and sixty-five years. These were taken as precautionary measures towards achieving a real-time, reliable and predictive result for the research studies.

Special characteristics

The study involved only the female participants because their numbers were sufficient enough to work within the research compared to the number of male participants. Besides, it was not possible to make observations on other parameters during the research such as the overlapping features which had to do with weight gain or loss in bulimia nervosa or its converse condition.

In order to achieve the best results, some imperative measurements were taken. For example, body mass index which accounted for the mass of an individual relative to height was put into some computation.

The bulimia nervosa, as well as its converse, was used as the main parameters for measuring the DSM-IV among other important features in this study. These features were used to evaluate and diagnose the historical context of the participants in regard to any extreme eating disorder experienced with time. This was carried out in both the probands and their relations. In the case of the psychological assessment and outcome, the medical examination of DSM-IV and both of its axes were put into application.

In addition, the art and desire to remain perfect among those who participated was equally measured. In this assessment, several other subcategories were developed in order to assist in breaking down the huge quantities of information for easy understanding. Moreover, the research only underpinned the most relevant parameters which were significant to the type of eating disorder under question.

The other classification of this research study was tagged on the temperament of the participants. This is one aspect closely intertwined with an eating disorder and is clinically hypothesized to have a biological etiology rather than an extrinsic cause. It is believed to take different contrasting dimensions.

For instance, temperament might compel an individual to seek honor in order for one to remain noble (Kendler et al.1991). On the same note, it may be driven towards keeping away from any kind of detriment while at the same time ready to be dependant on a system of returns. Personal traits, as well as temperament, are perceived to be attained through practice; a habitual act that gradually matures into the experience. This entire revolution is furthermore modeled into self-examination and inquiry, the ability to collaborate with others as well as attaining personal transformation.

Those participants who initially demonstrated the converse trait of bulimia nervosa experienced the actual overlap time at five years. Those who were initially diagnosed with bulimia nervosa ended up acquiring the anorexia nervosa condition. This similarly occurred within a span of five years. It should be noted that the statistical analysis package here is very important in producing the right and expected hypotheses.

Those participants who opted to maintain a submissive character profile as well as directing inquiries to themselves among the other dominant categories considered here were able to transform themselves from the bulimia nervosa condition to the converse preference although this change was considered temporal. There was more to do with masking of the real character as part of personality adjustments to fit different situations which might sometimes prove to be a real challenge.

Another optional omission undertaken in this part of the research study was the exclusion of the body mass index which aimed at comparing the body mass of participants in relation to their heights and obtaining a statistical ratio. This procedure was instead included in the overall data analysis of the research study. Nevertheless, there are variables that were considered important in the stepwise computation of certain values. A case in point was the need to seek novelty.

Exclusion/inclusion criteria

The study mainly targeted the crossover of bulimia nervosa to its converse, this being an area of study which has not received so much attention as it deserves. In concurrence with previously conducted research studies, it is evident that the overlap period of bulimia nervosa does take place at the fifth year after the onset of the sickness. The rate of this overlap was relatively lower when the conversion of bulimia nervosa is taking place.

Nonetheless, the percentage of people who suffer bulimia nervosa and later the condition turning into anorexia nervosa seems to be on the rise as concluded from the research studies carried out among the thirty-five participants drawn from different locations. The previous research data reveals a lower figure than the one reported in this research (27%). It is therefore evident that more patients are more likely to be diagnosed with bulimia nervosa in the future than it is today.

The tendency towards low self-directedness was found to be dominant in both extremes of the eating disorder. This is a proposition that low self-directedness is generally a personality that has a direct impact on bulimia nervosa. The symptoms of low self-directedness may not be clinically examined to the point of approval but instead, it is deeply entrenched in an individual’s character trait. Individuals who exhibit low self-directedness may find it challenging to have a fair platform in regulating their manners sufficiently. This inadequacy can be a real constraint and a key factor that influences bulimia nervosa. This character attribute has been a key concern when positive results are required. It is a trait that delivers poor results.

Although low self-directedness seemed to be a dominating factor according to the analyses of the research findings, there were other equally moving factors that could be linked to both extremes of bulimia nervosa (Bulik et al. 1997). Other factors, although not boldly deliberated upon during this research study, are still worth noting. A case in point is the influence posed by unilateral parental control. A family unit plays an irrevocable role in shaping certain traits in individuals. Of particular importance is the positive or negative criticism to children as they grow within a household. In this regard, a family unit is like a cornerstone through which most values are passed on.

There is a myriad of cases where parental excesses have culminated into unprecedented eating disorders among children even as they mature up. It is also approved from previous research findings that mothers who run their homes with an iron fist alongside being too ambitious for their children are more likely to host more bulimia nervosa case victims in their homes than those mothers who act in a flexible manner when running the affairs of their homes. In addition, it has also been found that females who suffer from bulimia nervosa often complain of material insufficiency.

Recruitment and selection

The research study did not consider certain parameters to be significant in the changing phases of bulimia nervosa. These parameters were then considered as exclusions. For example, anxiety did not play any role in precipitating the eating disorder discussed so far. Besides, behavioral patterns which are mainly a consequence of brain functioning was equally a non-issue in the overall discussion of bulimia nervosa. Another exclusion in this study was depression.

The latter has a negligible influence on the eating disorder which has been discussed. It is however imperative to assert that the exclusion of these factors was only in the interest of crossover models. Nonetheless, a contradiction to the previous findings is evident in this assertion. This deviation is inevitable and was indeed expected bearing in mind that different research methods and instrumentation techniques were used to carry out this research compared to the previous researches.

From the onset, this study had several unique strengths like putting several variables into consideration and cortically analyzing them. This does not however overrule the possibility of many flaws in the research conducted. To begin with, it was not within the reach of the quantitative methods used to conduct this research to establish all the possible crossovers required to assess the symptoms of the eating disorder, bulimia nervosa. The main impediment was the unavailability of certain components in the study. Moreover, for those components which were available, some were extremely rare that they could not provide a sustainable density in performing the research.

An example of a rare element that was not used in the research applications was the male participants. Perhaps, the inclusion of both gender could have generated different outcomes altogether (Levine1994). It is highly recommended that future research studies on the same area should give an emphatic address to some of the elements which were excluded in this research.


Another plain assumption made during the research was the fact all the participants who were interviewed had attained the threshold period of five years after the onset of the illness. In fact, only 57 percent and 38 percent of anorexia and bulimia nervosa participants respectively had been questioned before five years of illnesses elapsed. On the other hand, there are extra crossovers within this time duration which could have altered the final results.

Additionally, there were limited data on the intensity of the disease. Such information would have given a thorough overview of the progression of the eating disorder besides laying a stable platform for creating a reliable hypothesis. Moreover, the study dwelt on a single member of the family who was suffering from bulimia nervosa. Previous results revealed higher values compared to this research. The inclusion of more than one family member in the research studies may have shed more light through quantitative data and hence deliver a more reliable result.

Finally, this research study is important in enhancing our understanding of this type of eating disorder by addressing important features like self-directedness and diagnosis procedures and therefore its treatment.

Reference List

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