The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

Twelve women with bulimia participated in a study in which they binged and vomited on the day after hospital admission. Caloric intake, time spent bingeing and vomiting, and self-reported mood ratings demonstrated much variation from subject to subject. Both subjective and objective ratings of mood indicated that anxiety decreased more frequently and to a greater extent than depression, both during and after bingeing and vomiting. The present data, obtained in a controlled setting, tend to confirm previous information on binge episodes obtained by self-report from bulimic patients. Bingeing and vomiting episodes may provide bulimic patients with a physiological mechanism for temporarily relieving a dysphoric mood state.