For people who struggle with an eating disorder, sitting with your closest friends and family around a table spread with food is a terrifying prospect. It’s what makes this time of year, with a bevy of social holidays centered around eating and drinking, so tricky.
Interestingly enough, it’s also a tough time of year for those of us recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. So, we decided to take a closer look at the relationship between eating disorders and substance abuse.
Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse Share the Same Stigma
There is a considerable stigma associated with people who have an eating disorder. When you think of someone who is struggling with an ED, you might think of female celebrities that appear on the covers of gossip magazine with the words “deathly thin” or “disappearing.”
However, eating disorders don’t only affect women. Ten percent of cases detected are in males. Typically, the onset of eating disorders will start at a young age (12-25 years). According to Medical News Today, someone with anorexia has 5-8 times greater risk of dying early in life while bulimia doubles that risk. Furthermore, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder.
Somebody with anorexia has a 5.8-times greater risk of dying early, compared to healthy individuals with no eating disorders. Bulimia doubles the risk of premature death.
Spotting someone with an eating disorder an be more difficult than you think. Not everyone shows the same physical or psychological signs of disordered eating. While it might be physically apparent for some people (excessively thin), it’s also common to maintain a healthy body weight or sometimes even overweight.
So, What is the Actual Definition of an Eating Disorder?
any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa).
Typically someone with an eating disorder seeks to control their food intake and their weight. A skewed body image is one of the most common symptoms. For example, they will see themselves as “too fat” even if they are in fact, dangerously thin. They may participate in dangerous behaviors such as excessive exercise, binge eating (eating large amounts of food), purging behaviors (self-induced vomiting), use of laxatives or diuretics, and substance abuse.
There are different types of eating disorders which include anorexia nervosa, bulimia, EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified).
Substance abuse like eating disorders, are influenced by genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Scientists estimate that genetic factors account for between 40 to 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to addiction, including the effects of environment on gene expression and function. Multiple shared neurotransmitters are thought to be involved in both eating and substance use disorders. – National Eating Disorders Association
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I'm from the suburbs of Chicago and have been in quite a few treatment centers. Circle of Hope is hands down the best and most comfortable rehab I have ever been in. Not to mention how caring and helpful all the staff are. The door to my counselors office was always open when ever you needed to talk. Everyone genuinely cares there and that’s what made it a special place for me. My four boys are going to get back their Sober and clean Dad back thanks to the help from Circle of Hope.
Circle of hope changed my life!! Great food, great staff, wonderful place! Awesome to get to know the amazing clients and see that i was not alone in my recovery. I made friends for life in the short time i got to spend there. Not a better facility anywhere in my opinion!!The team of employees, from the Technicians all the way up to the Owner, all have a patient first mentality.
Going to treatment at circle of hope was one of the best programs Ive participated in, they helped me get my life back. They have amazing staff and over all good natured people. They focus on all aspects of counseling , case management, meetings, different types of therapy, including trauma, one on one counseling. This is coming from someone who has been traumatized and neglected. They helped me get to the root of the problem. Which most times can feel very uncomfortable but they provide groups that you participate in and communicate to other addicts and hear their life stories. They really are an organization of team working to help heal the conflicted minds of us addicts that we faced everyday. I would highly recommend this treatment program to anyone suffering from substance abuse or mental health.
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