Food is a basic need for survival and we need the nutrients in our food so we can stay healthy. When a person suffers with an eating disorder, food consumes his or her life. Sometimes people turn to food for comfort due to stress, depression, or anxiety. Eating disorders come in many forms such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. All eating disorders can cause physical disfiguration, impairment, obesity, and death.
A person who has an eating disorder develops an addictive relationship with self-destructive eating patterns. An individual suffering from anorexia will starve due to his or her distorted perception of how they look. A person with anorexia can starve to death. The lack of food causes extreme weight loss, hair loss, and impairs the body’s organs.
An individual with bulimia can eat normally or binges, then immediately and intentionally vomits the food consumed. He or she might like the taste of the food but throws up to avoid gaining weight. Bulimia can cause tooth decay because the stomach’s acid comes up with the food. A person who has bulimia is at risk of developing severe physical impairments and possibly an early death.
A person who has an eating disorder shows similar characteristics of a person who struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. These addictive behaviors are self-destructive, harmful, and deadly. When a person has an eating disorder, he or she loses the ability to stop. Karin Jasper, Ph.D. wrote an article about eating disorders and addiction for the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, which states, “Some professionals have linked the behavior patterns seen in eating disorders to those commonly identified with substance abuse or addiction.” Common patterns include loss of control, preoccupation with the abused substance, use of the substance to cope with stress and negative feelings, and secrecy about the behavior despite harmful consequences.
The causes for developing an eating disorder or drug addiction are very similar. Social pressure, impulsivity, stress, and emotional trauma are reasons a person turns to addictive behavior. Eating disorders and addiction can develop as a way to cope with stress and emotions. Addictive behavior manifests itself in preoccupation with food and eating, withdrawal symptoms, and continuation of disturbed eating behavior in spite of negative consequences.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder or addiction, get help now. Save a life and call today.
Cypress Lakes Lodge offers treatment for addiction in a peaceful, remote, oxygen-rich environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204