Are laxatives a form of purging?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Are laxatives a form of purging? I don’t think I have bulimia, but my therapist says he does. Could he be right? I used to throw up, but that got too hard. I binge eat very fast, then take laxatives to help keep the weight down. I am very confused right now. I don’t know what I have, but I want help for it as soon as possible. It’s consuming my ENTIRE life.

A: Yes, laxatives are a way of purging. Trust your therapist and, please, stop avoiding the issue by doing research instead of dealing. As a psych student and over 30, I know you know better. I hope you and your therapist can find a way to build your confidence so that you can face your issues and take better care of yourself. You’re worth it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie




Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Feb 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Are laxatives a form of purging?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 30, 2015, from