Multi-Impulsive Bulimia

The term 'Multi Impulsive Bulimia' proposes a distinct subgroup of individuals, with multiple self-harming behaviours in addition to their bulimic behaviour. It suggests that the combined behaviours be treated as a single 'impulse control' issue. It was first used by J. H. Lacey and C. Evans in their article 'The Impulsivist: A multi-impulsive personality disorder', published in The British Journal of Addiction in 1986.

Multi-impulsive bulimia is not a formal diagnosis and has been challenged, but is recognised by some agencies and clinics. It may also be worth noting that it is not unknown for additional self-harming behaviours to be used by individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa as a way of coping with the distress of their bulimic condition. It should be observed that both DSM-IV and ICD-10 consider eating disorders to be a category in their own right and not impulse control disorders

Multi-impulsive bulimia is a complex area and much information can be found on the Internet, both positive and negative. As always, this should be regarded with care.


“I saw a SWEDA support worker on campus at university. I had been struggling with binge eating disorder and compulsive exercise for about ten years. The SWEDA support worker was able to help me look at my relationship with food and my body in a different way. I have learned to be kinder to myself and they taught me techniques which helped me to slow down my thinking. Now I can go out and have fun without worrying all the time.”

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