Those struggling with eating disorders and addiction have more similarities than you might think. While one battles with self-image and nutrition, the other deals with covering emotions with a false sense of elation. On the surface, the two seem like distant cousins when in reality they walk hand in hand. Many that are faced with addiction also battle eating disorders and vice versa. Combating both hurdles is quite challenging, but it is possible when both ailments are confronted together by treatment for eating disorders and addiction.
Statistics on the Link
It is quite possible and common that an individual will have either an eating disorder or an addiction alone, but it is just as common that an individual will deal with both. It is seen that half of the women with an eating disorder concurrently struggle with addiction. Based on these numbers, that means that a woman with an eating disorder is five times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than the average individual.
The cause for this high number of women struggling with both conditions is not proven, but there are similarities between those with addiction and eating disorders simultaneously. The connections often portrayed are:
Trauma: Those who have dealt with loss or traumatic events and possess little to no coping ability or strategy are more likely to rely on the release of drugs, alcohol, or eating disorders. Combining an eating disorder and addiction may provide these individuals with added relief and send them down a spiraling hole difficult to escape from.
Impulse: This characteristic is seen in both individuals with addiction and eating disorders. High impulsivity allows a woman to make choices without thinking about the consequences, and in turn, be affected by addiction or eating disorders. Lacking control of the mind so that the body takes part in hazardous activities can lead a woman down a path of destruction, especially if both ailments are combined.
Playing on One Another
There are many cases in which women will use drugs to help with their eating disorder or an addict will develop an eating disorder because of the consequences of a drug. Scenarios like these perpetuate the addiction and eating disorder.
Meth: This drug minimizes the sensation of appetite and is used by women with anorexia to decrease food intake.
Alcohol: This drug is used by bulimic women to induce vomiting after binging.
Marijuana: This drug can be used in women with eating disorders to manage stress that connects to the disorder.
Alcoholism: Women that gain weight by excessive drinking may turn to purging to keep from digesting further alcohol calories. This can form a habit and eventual disorder.
Treatment for Eating Disorders and Addiction
Willow Place for Women understands that each individual that seeks treatment has a different addiction or eating disorder story and will also have a different recovery story. We work with each client to come up with a comprehensive treatment program tailored specifically for that individual. Fortunately, treatment for eating disorders and addiction can help an individual take their life back and gain quality of life. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, eating disorders, or a combination of both we would like to talk to you about the programs that we offer. Please call us today at 1-888-651-4212 or contact us through our website.