Depression in bulimia at 2- to 5-year followup

Psychiatry Research
W J SwiftM Ritholz

Abstract

Previous research has indicated a strong association between bulimia and affective disorder at the time of initial clinical assessment. To investigate this relationship from a long-term perspective, 30 normal weight female bulimics were evaluated 2 to 5 years posthospital admission with psychometric measures and clinical interviews. Contrary to previous reports, the depression scores of the bulimics were surprisingly low, even though 26 of the 30 continued to fulfill DSM-III criteria for bulimia. Higher depression scores were associated with more intense bulimic symptomatology and attitudes, and greater psychiatric disturbance at followup. Although these data demonstrate a relationship between bulimic symptomatology and depression at long-term followup, they do not support recent assertions that bulimia is a variant of an underlying affective disorder.

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