Laxative abuse as a variant of bulimia

J Nerv Ment Dis. 1986 Mar;174(3):174-6. doi: 10.1097/00005053-198603000-00009.


Two groups of bulimic patients, one group characterized by a pattern of laxative abuse for purposes of weight control and the other group characterized by no history of laxative abuse, were compared on several behavioral variables associated with bulimia. Relative to the nonabusers, the laxative abusers were more likely to abuse diuretics; to use diet pills; to chew and spit out food; and to report a history of suicide attempts, self-injurious behavior, and prior inpatient treatment for depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Cathartics*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / complications*
  • Hyperphagia / psychology
  • Self Mutilation / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology


  • Cathartics