If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder and addiction, call Northbound today. We specialize in treating dual diagnosis individuals.
Eating disorders are serious and potentially damaging psychological disorders revolving around food—eating, fasting, binging, etc. Though they are often associated with concerns about body shape, weight and thinness, it would be a mistake to think that this is anything other than a surface feature of the disorder. In fact, eating disorders are real and treatable mental illnesses that are often accompanied by co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa may be the most well-known eating disorder, though it is by no means the most common. It is characterized by: a refusal to eat, extreme weight loss and thinness, a preoccupation with food and dieting, ritualized eating behaviors and a fear of gaining weight. Bulimia nervosa, which is similar to anorexia in many ways, is defined by binge/purge cycles wherein the afflicted individual consumes large (even uncomfortable) amounts of food in a short amount of time, and then “purges” the consumed calories via self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics or through excessive exercise. Bulimia is easily hidden and can go undetected for years, in part because bulimics are usually of average weight (or even slightly overweight).
Binge-eating disorder is a newly-recognized disorder that affects as much as 1-5% of the population, making it the most common of all eating disorders. Victims of binge-eating disorder engage in similar binging behaviors as bulimics (consuming large quantities of food in short periods of time), but without the compensatory purging efforts. Often associated with depression, binge-eating disorder carries many of the same health risks as obesity, though those who struggle with this disorder can vary in weight from normal to morbidly obese. Binge eating episodes generally result in feelings of shame, guilt and general distress.
Returning to Healthy Eating Habits
Though they may be very different in practice, eating disorders share some important similarities: they represent a serious psychological disorder, and they can be immensely damaging to the sufferer’s physical health (and may be fatal). Treatment for eating disorders—especially a disorder that is accompanied by a chemical dependency—begins with a clinical assessment and an emphasis on restoring the patient to health.
Northbound Treatment Services is experienced in treating dual diagnoses such as addiction co-occurring with an eating disorder, and our professional staff will create a customized treatment plan that will respond to the specific needs of the client. Because eating disorders are often accompanied by other disorders, such as anxiety or depression, it is important to utilize the full spectrum of treatment that is available at Northbound. Our continuum of care includes single-gender CORE programs, the Northbound Academy (for students hoping to achieve their academic goals), the Christian LINKS program and an aftercare network that helps those in recovery achieve long-term health and sobriety.
Get Eating Disorder Treatment at Northbound
Counseling and therapies—especially cognitive behavioral therapy—have been demonstrated to be the most effective way to help those struggling with eating disorders, and Northbound’s clinical staff excels in helping clients break through damaging thought patterns and behaviors. We help our clients learn the coping strategies they need to deal with their old triggers and reintegrate into everyday life, giving them the new, healthy and sober start they’re longing to find.