The Mental Cost of Eating Disorders

The Mental Cost of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can express in a variety of ways: anorexia, bulimia, overeating, just to name a few of the expressions that this condition can take on.  The manifestation of eating disorders will typically involve obsessions about food, about the body and being able to become free from these obsessions.

Culturally, it can be easy to minimize eating disorders as less serious addictions than those struggling with substance abuse addictions.  However, the deeper truth is that individuals struggling with eating disorders are living with the same loss of authentic self as those struggling with other addictions.  The vacillation between obsession and compulsion is a loss of choice which can lead to profound health consequences, even including the loss of the physical life.  At its heart, the loss of the spirit is present in this loss of choice, regardless of what substance or behavior the choice is related to.  

The natural rhythm of providing our bodies with food is an opportunity to discern at each interval what nutrients will provide us with the stamina needed to live our life purpose.  When these intervals become cycles of feeding an obsession, we have lost our authentic selves to an eating disorder.  Whether it is focused on consuming specific foods, performing ritual practices around foods, or a focus on how to mitigate the harmful choices through exercise or purging, the intervals have become about checking out rather than checking in.  

Commonly, individuals struggling with eating disorders are aware that these behaviors are considered ‘not normal’ and hide these patterns.  The result is that they become isolated from their social communities to conceal their behaviors. Becoming a divided person, they , show only parts of themselves to the people who love them while hiding the most vulnerable parts of themselves, the parts that most need to be seen and accepted.  

We can all look at our relationship to food to discover where it is serving the life that we were born to live and where it has taken over our life to block our spiritual purpose. The more that we can become transparent about our journey, moving our relationship to one of positivity and contribution, the more we can support others in doing the same.  

Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a harmonious approach to holistic treatment, bringing together the best of evidence-based, alternative, and 12-step therapies. Call us today for information on our transformation programs of treatment for addiction and alcoholism: 833-801-5483.

substance abuse addiction treatment new jersey

An Eating Disorder at the Dinner Table

Eating disorders are not always obvious. On the other hand, eating disorders are not always hidden as well. Many wrongly assume that an eating disorder is most strongly evidenced by how thin someone is. Mostly that is because people wrongly assume eating disorders are about eating. Just like alcohol and drugs are really symptoms of the mental illness that is addiction and alcoholism, food, weight, and eating, are just symptoms of eating disorders.

Having an unhealthy obsession over food consumption, weight, body image, and body mass index is indication of a problematic way of thinking. That unhealthy obsession can be displayed in numerous ways. Similar to the way an addict or alcoholic goes to great lengths of dishonesty to protect their addiction, someone with an eating disorder will protect their illness. Binging and purging are easily hidden. When weight loss, or weight gain, or not noticeable, these harmful and potentially fatal practices can carry on under the radar.

“Weight loss,” chief executive of the National Eating Disorders Association Claire Mysko explains, “is not necessarily associated with a lot of eating disorders. Certainly with some- and with anorexia- that is a sign. But for most people who struggle with eating disorders, you wouldn’t necessarily know it from looking at them.”

Anorexia is a prevailing eating disorder that can affect men and women of all demographics, cultures, and appearances. Since anorexia mostly involves restricting a diet, commonly to the point of starvation, weight loss is a regular symptom. However, not all eating disorders are about restriction. In fact, most eating disorders include the practice of binging and purging. Binging is eating a copious amount of food to the point of feeling sick. Purging means using a method like vomiting, abusing laxatives, or excessive exercise, to get rid of that feeling. These practices can cause subtle fluctuations in weight, but no drastic weight loss.

The pervasive stereotype of what an eating disorder “should” look like prevents thousands from seeking treatment for their harmful habits. Eating disorders can cause heart failure, stroke, intestinal problems, and weight problems.

If you are concerned you or a loved one might be experiencing an unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, or body image, call Enlightened Solutions today. We offer care for dual-diagnosis issues. Eating disorders are commonly accompanied by substance abuse of drugs and alcohol. For more information call 833-801-5483.