Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can negatively affect your physical health, emotional well-being, and ability to function in daily life.
Mayo Clinic notes that many people who have an eating disorder become preoccupied with their weight, body, or the foods they eat, leading to the development of unhealthy eating behaviors and exercise habits.
When a person is struggling with an addiction that co-occurs with an eating disorder, it can be overwhelming to try to manage the symptoms associated with both conditions. Getting holistic treatment that addresses all the concerns you are facing ensures that you will build a foundation for recovery that lasts.
There are many different eating disorders, and each comes with its own specific set of symptoms. People’s experiences with eating disorders are just as diverse as they are, but there may still be warning signs or symptoms that a person you care about might be struggling with an eating disorder and need professional support.
Here are examples of eating disorder symptoms and warning signs:
- Overly concerned with dieting, weight loss, or body size
- Constantly checking appearance in mirror
- Self-esteem centers around body image
- Uncomfortable eating around others
- Reduces food intake or skips meals
- Specific food rituals (only eats certain foods or chews a certain number of times)
- Avoids going out to eat with friends and family
- Exercises despite bad weather, illness, or injury
- Feelings of disgust or self-loathing after overeating
- Frequent bathroom breaks after meals
- Large amounts of food keep suddenly disappearing
- Around half of people who have an eating disorder also struggle with substance abuse.
- Up to 36.8% of adults in the U.S. who have an eating disorder also have a substance use disorder.
- The rate is similar for those who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse: up to 35% also have an eating disorder.
- A study of more than 2,400 people who sought inpatient treatment for eating disorders found that 22% had co-occurring substance use disorders.
When you’re facing an eating disorder, a variety of factors can influence your experience, starting with which eating disorder you are struggling with. The way an eating disorder impacts you also depends on how long you’ve been living with an eating disorder, whether you’ve sought treatment in the past, and your unique life experiences.
Examples of the potential effects of an eating disorder include:
- Strained relationships with loved ones
- Trouble maintaining a job
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Serious dental problems
- Menstrual irregularities
- Chronic stomach problems
- Lowered immune functioning
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Dizziness and fainting
- Constant low energy
- Higher risk of other mental health concerns
- Higher risk of addiction
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
If you’ve developed an addiction while struggling with an eating disorder, the impact of living with multiple conditions can be overwhelming. But when you get professional treatment that addresses all of the concerns you are grappling with, you can learn to manage the symptoms that have been so disruptive to your life.
At Wellness Resource Center, we tailor your treatment for an addiction and co-occurring eating disorder based on your individual needs and recovery goals. When you seek treatment for addiction and a co-occurring eating disorder, you may experience elements of:
- 12-Step approach to recovery
- Motivational interviewing
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Individual and group therapy
- Family and experiential therapy
- Medication management services
Our multidisciplinary team collaborates with you to identify the therapies and services that best meet your challenges and strengths. You will work with your treatment team to build healthier coping skills, learn relapse prevention tools, and set goals throughout the healing process.
Before transitioning out of our care for an addiction that co-occurs with an eating disorder, you will receive a detailed discharge plan that we customize based on where you are in your recovery journey. You will have the resources, referrals, and supports you need to continue the progress you’ve made during your time at Wellness Resource Center.
When you’re ready to get treatment for an eating disorder that co-occurs with addiction, it’s essential to find a center that provides the care and environment that best fits your needs.
Wellness Resource Center specializes in providing care for people who are struggling with dual diagnosis concerns. We understand that there’s no set schedule to recovery for an addiction and co-occurring eating disorder, which is why we offer flexible and extended stays at our treatment center.
We also offer multiple levels of care, including a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP) with supportive housing. These both provide you with an ideal environment to focus on your recovery so that you achieve wellness that lasts long into the future.