At Divinity Recovery, Inc., we offer treatment for eating disorders. Eating disorders are a form of psychological condition that causes unhealthy eating habits. These unhealthy eating habits may include an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape, and may lead to serious health consequences and even death if not treated. Eating disorders stem from several factors including genetics, brain biology, personality traits, and cultural pressures. There are several different types of eating disorders, and we will discuss a few of them here.
The first eating disorder we will discuss, and the most well-known is anorexia. Anorexia typically affects more women than men and develops during adolescence or young adulthood. Those with anorexia typically view themselves as being overweight, even if they are severely underweight. They tend to monitor their weight, severely restrict their caloric intake, and avoid eating certain foods. Some common symptoms of anorexia include very restricted food intake, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a relentless pursuit of thinness.
The next type of eating disorder that we will discuss is bulimia. Like anorexia, bulimia is more commonly seen in women and typically develops earlier on in life. Those with bulimia binge and then purge. This means that a person with bulimia will eat a large amount of food in a specific period of time, until they become painfully full. During this binging process, the person will have a difficult time stopping the eating or controlling how much they are eating. The next phase is purging. This is where the person will try to compensate for the food they just consumed and relieve stomach discomfort. Common purging techniques include forced vomiting, fasting, using laxatives, diuretics, or enemas, and excessive exercise. Side effects of bulimia include an inflamed and sore throat, swollen salivary glands, tooth decay, acid reflux, severe dehydration, and hormonal imbalances.
Binge Eating Disorder
Another form of eating disorder is binge eating disorder. This is believed to be one of the most common eating disorders in the US. This typically begins early in life, however, may develop later. People with binge eating disorder, like with bulimia, consume large amounts of food in a short period of time. They feel as if they cannot control their binges and how much they are consuming. However, unlike bulimia, there is no purge afterwards. There can be, however, some feelings of distress associated with the binge eating, such as shame, disgust, and guilt.
Next, we will discuss orthorexia. Orthorexia is an eating disorder revolving around an unhealthy obsession to eat healthy. People with orthorexia are more concerned with the quality of food they consume, rather than the quantity. This eating disorder often begins with good intentions- to watch and be mindful of what you put in your body. However, it can quickly snowball into an eating disorder. Risk factors for orthorexia include previous eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, perfectionist traits, high anxiety, or a need for control. For a desire to eat high-quality food to become full-blown orthorexia, it needs to impair the person’s physical, social, or mental health. Basically, for something to be considered diagnosed orthorexia, the person would have to have an obsessive focus on eating healthy and have behaviors that disrupt their daily life.
Lastly, we will discuss body dysmorphia. This is a mental health disorder where the person afflicted cannot stop thinking about perceived defects or flaws in their appearance. These flaws may cause the person to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or anxious to the point where they will avoid social situations, wear ill-fitting clothing, or try to “fix” the flaws. Body dysmorphia typically starts in the early teenage years and equally affects both men and women. Risk factors include having relatives with body dysmorphia or OCD, neglect, abuse, or childhood teasing, perfectionism, or having pre-existing mental health conditions. Symptoms of body dysmorphia include having a strong belief that there is a defect in the individual’s appearance, making them ugly or deformed, a belief that others notice the defect or mock the individual, trying to fix or hide the perceived defect, avoiding social situations, seeking cosmetic procedures without satisfaction, and being incredibly preoccupied with a perceived defect in appearance that others can’t see or notice.
Divinity Recovery has licensed staff and full state of the art facilities for treatment of eating disorders. We have decades of experience between our therapists and on-staff providers. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of care for every client. We pride ourselves in providing certified, confidential, caring eating disorder treatment.
We know taking the first step of seeking help can be daunting. That is why we have made the process as easy as can be. If you or a loved one is battling an eating disorder, please call us today.