7 Eating Disorder Facts
Eating disorders can develop before treatment and often during treatment as a “replacement” addiction. Understanding eating disorder facts are essential to combat negative myths and help yourself or a loved one receive the care they need as quickly as possible.
1. Eating Disorders Are Not A Choice: If eating disorders were a choice, those who get lost in them would choose to just stop their harmful behaviors and change. Like addiction and other mental health disorders, eating disorders are not a choice. An eating disorder is a mental illness which changes the way someone relates to food, eating, body image, weight, and themselves.
2. Eating Disorders Are Not Extreme Dieting Trends: Most people who go on a rigorous diet adopt eating disorder-like behaviors. Restriction, limiting food intake, counting calories, exercising, and paying exceptionally critical attention to every single detail is common. What differentiates an eating disorder from a dieting trend is that an eating disorder becomes obsessive to the point of causing harm. Restriction becomes extreme, exercise can become excessive; most significantly, there is a sudden impairment in mental health, which can lead someone to severe emotional pain.
3. Not All Eating Disorders Are The Same: Anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder, binge eating disorder, and eating disorders not defined are different from one another. Though they share similarities, they are remarkably different in their behaviors. Each eating disorder has a different, though similarly damaging, effect on the body.
4. Not Everyone With An Eating Disorder Looks Like A Skeleton: Unfortunately, there is a pervasive image about those who suffer from eating disorders that are caused not just by the media but by the medical and psychological treatment industries as well. Problematically, many are under the impression that an eating disorder is only severe when someone has either gained an unhealthy amount of weight or lost so much weight you can see their bones. Eating disorders like bulimia don’t cause a lot of weight loss. Like many mental illnesses, an eating disorder can be well hidden.
5. Eating Disorders Can’t Just Be Fixed With Food: Alcohol is a symptom of alcoholism. Drugs are a symptom of drug addiction. Likewise, food, body image, weight, and obsession are merely symptoms of an eating disorder. There is often a myriad of deeper, underlying issues with eating disorders which lead to obsessive and compulsive behaviors.
6. Eating Disorders Are Deadly: Without intervention and treatment, eating disorders can be deadly. Even without severe weight loss or weight gain, extreme eating and exercising behaviors damage the body. Heart failure is common even in those who have recovered from an eating disorder. Organ shut down can occur as the body becomes increasingly malnourished.
7. Eating Disorders Are Often Co-Occurring With Substance Use Disorders: Addiction and eating disorders frequently accompany one another. In an effort to maintain an illusion of control, it is common for an individual to exert such manipulation in many areas of their lives. Alcoholism and amphetamine abuse are most popular as co-occurring substance use disorders in addition to heroin and methamphetamine.
Conquering an eating disorder is challenging recovery. Food is a natural part of life, important to the world. So are you. If you are struggling with addiction and a co-occurring eating disorder, there is help. Call Get Real Recovery today for information on our residential treatment programs, available to treat eating disorders. 866-983-3651.