We’ve talked about eating disorders openly for decades, from the days of the “afterschool special” on television, but still, it is unclear to many people what constitutes an eating disorder and how this is different from overeating or dieting, which may not be healthy, but does not constitute a disorder.
There are four main types of eating disorders. Let’s consider each one:
Anorexia Nervosa is the inability to maintain a normal, healthy body weight. It is characterized by fear of eating or becoming fat, even though underweight. Most with anorexia do not recognize that they are underweight and see themselves as obese.
Bulimia (Nervosa) is characterized by the regular intake of enormous quantities of food and the prompt purging of that food – through self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, and/or compulsive exercise. Bulimics have an extreme, excessive concern with body weight and shape and are concerned by their lack of control over their eating and calorie intake.
Binge Eating Disorder is similar to Bulimia Nervosa, only the binge eater does not purge. Binge eaters frequently eat abnormally large amounts of food in a short period of time. They feel out of control during the binge episode and are frequently depressed or disgusted by their behavior.
Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) generally include those who exhibit characteristics of both Anorexia and Bulimia, but do not meet all the requirements for one or the other disorder.
All eating disorders can be immediately life threatening. Eating disorder treatment is needed for recovery.
Eating Disorders and Addiction
It is not uncommon for an individual to have an eating disorder and a drug or alcohol problem. Those with Bulimia Nervosa, for example, may use methamphetamines or cocaine to help maintain the body weight they desire. Those with Binge Eating Disorder can often develop problems with alcohol or prescription pain medication to help deal with the pain of their eating disorder. Co-occurring disorders such as depression or anxiety are also common.
Eating Disorder Treatment
Eating disorders, like drug or alcohol addictions, are a coping mechanism. They help you to release difficult feelings that you don’t know how to deal with. Overcoming your eating disorder and your addiction begins with facing the underlying issues that are causing the disorder. At Cliffside Malibu, we help you to do this in a safe, secure environment, providing resources specifically designed for you as an individual. With us, you will receive the support you need to recover your health and happiness. You are not your eating disorder. You are a vibrant, worthwhile person who needs help seeing your own value. We can help.
It is difficult for people to admit that they have an eating disorder. It is very important that you understand that you are not alone! There is help available so that you do not have to live this way anymore. Quality, highly individualized treatment is the best gift you can give yourself. You deserve to live a better life.
Conquering Eating Disorders
If you are silently suffering from an eating disorder, you must get help immediately! You can recover if you seek help now. Psychological counseling and psychotherapy will address both the eating disorder and the forces that contribute to it. We are waiting for your call, to help you live the life you were always meant to lead.
For immediate assistance call Cliffside Malibu anytime at 1-800-501-1988.