Although an eating disorder causes great deterioration to physical health, it is in fact a mental health condition.
Commonly influenced by low levels of self-esteem, pressures regarding appearance, body dysmorphia and obsessive comparison disorders, the likes of anorexia and bulimia can easily develop in today’s society. This is very concerning to hear, with the potential of resulting in severe physical and psychological damage, taking years to recover from.
A further concern lies with the high correlation between eating disorders and additional mental health conditions. Not to mention the common association between poor eating habits and alcohol or drug abuse.
With this in mind, if you’re currently struggling to form a healthy relationship with food, have lost a significant amount of weight down to excessive exercise or starvation, or believe that a loved one is suffering from bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, please be aware that help is available. Specific eating disorder treatment is accessible, ready to help you recover both physically and mentally.
Here at Addiction Advocates, we can help you find a suitable eating disorder rehab programme, aiming to improve your relationship with food for the future.
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The rise of eating disorders
As touched on above, there’s now significant pressures placed on achieving the perfect body image. Mainly down to the likes of social media platforms and influencer style content, idealism and perfectionism are unfortunately fuelling many mental health conditions, focusing on eating disorders.
Likewise, as more and more individuals suffer from body dysmorphia and obsessive-compulsive disorders, poor eating habits and neglect are experienced, soon advancing into bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.
Yet, a further factor linked to the rise of eating disorder diagnoses is the development of drug and alcohol addictions. As negligence to physical health is likely when consuming hazardous substances, eating habits will usually be affected.
Unknowingly, addicts can develop an eating disorder, making recovery even harder. Here both physical and psychological health will be damaged, resulting in a dual diagnosis.
With this in mind, eating habits must be controlled and monitoring the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. By delaying acknowledgement, severe side effects can be experienced, including infertility, anaemia, kidney and liver damage, poor dental health, along chronic mental health illnesses. Please be reassured that eating disorder treatment options are available, helping to work towards long-term recovery.
The signs and symptoms of an eating disorder
As body image is now a priority, it can be difficult to differentiate health conscious and health obsessive individuals. Yet, there are clear signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, sharing the negative relationship health-obsessed individuals have with food and exercise.
- Do you spend a lot of time worrying about your body image and weight?
- Do you exercise excessively to burn calories?
- Are you constantly checking your body shape in the mirror?
- Do you have very strict eating habits?
- Do you eat very little?
- Do you deliberately make yourself sick after consuming food?
- Do you avoid any form of socialising which includes food?
- Have your friends or family shared concerns regarding your weight?
- Are you obsessed with achieving the perfect body image?
- Do you constantly compare your body to others?
- Would you consider drastic physical changes to your body?
If you’ve answered yes to a large majority of the above questions, it’s likely that you already suffer from an eating disorder. As many individuals now live with a minute case of body dysmorphia, some symptoms have been normalised. However, if your physical health is suffering, surrounding a negative relationship with food, eating disorder treatment options should be prioritised.
Eating disorder treatment
As anorexia or bulimia are psychological conditions, it is imperative that specific treatment for eating disorders is offered. Although a complex disorder to initially work through, especially as both physical and mental health have deteriorated, with an eating disorder treatment plan, small progress can be made.
To ensure that suitable treatment is encouraged, a specialist mental health treatment team will assess your eating disorder and symptoms, with the aim to make realistic and safe recommendations.
Common treatment options through an eating disorder rehab programme include:
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Working through previous negative thoughts, with the aim to turn them into positive is a must when treating an eating disorder. Many mental health issues are influenced by distress or pressure. CBT will work to realign the mind, with the aim to change outlooks.
Body image is a big part of living with an eating disorder. In order to overcome these negative feelings towards personal image, along with ensuring that self-love can be achieved, self-image therapy will be recommended.
Many individuals suffering from an eating disorder will believe that all foods are bad. Through this outlook, they will develop a negative relationship with food. Nutritional support will showcase the importance of food, in order to remain healthy and active.
Many family members, especially older generations will struggle to understand the pressures in today’s society, fuelling eating disorders. Family therapy is an effective eating disorder treatment option, helping to improve understanding and support.
Support groups are another effective treatment option, helping to share experiences and build accountability while testing whether treatment for obsessive comparison disorders is working.
Please be aware that treatment will differ within each singular eating disorder rehab programme. Yet, a large focus will be placed on healing the body, while changing cognitive outlooks.
Treated conditions through an eating disorder rehab programme
Here at Addiction Advocates, we offer rehab referrals, providing access to leading treatments for eating disorders. Through our referring treatment centres, the following eating disorders can be treated. Please also be aware that additional mental health conditions and behavioural problems can also be worked through.
- Bulimia nervosa
- Anorexia nervosa
- Binge eating disorder
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Atypical eating disorder
If you are suffering from any of the above disorders, please feel comfortable reaching out to our team. We can run through all available eating disorder treatment options while discussing your current mental health.
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