Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse in Women

Willow Place on January 14, 2016
Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse in Women

Eating disorders and addiction frequently occur simultaneously – especially in women. This is likely due to a wide range of contributing factors, including certain personality traits that tend to lend themselves towards addictive disorders – such as impulsivity, issues with control, and perfectionism. The addictive nature of both disorders is somewhat similar, thus the underlying causes as well as the treatment methods of both disorders tend to overlap quite a bit. In many cases, women who struggle with eating disorders will have experienced some sort of significant past trauma, usually physical, sexual, or emotional in nature. The same is true for women who grapple with substance dependency disorders. Women will turn to numerous forms of self-medication in order to deal with common side effects of abuse and trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. While this self-medication frequently includes drinking and drugging, it can also include resorting to detrimental behavioral patterns such as promiscuity, self-harm, and disordered eating.

Many Women Who Suffer From One Disorder Will Suffer From the Other

It essential that those suffering from dual diagnosis disorders such as addiction and eating disorders take the time to treat both issues concurrently. Those who fail to seek comprehensive treatment will likely slip back into one disorder, which will cause an eventual relapse into the other. For example – women who are in recovery for substance dependency but do not receive help for their eating disorders will often become so overwhelmed by disordered thinking that they will eventual resort back to drinking or using to silence the voices in their heads that tell them they are fat, or shouldn’t be eating, or aren’t good enough. Women who get help for their eating disorders but do not take care of their substance abuse issues will likely slip back into restricting or overeating tendencies while intoxicated, lacking the mental alertness and awareness needed to maintain recovery.

Treatment Is Available

Fortunately, this type of co-occurring disorder is frequently focused upon in gender-specific inpatient treatment facilities. Our facility focuses equally on eating disorders and substance dependency, and has developed a specialized and unique program of recovery in order to effectively tackle both diseases. We use proven therapeutic methods along with intensive nutritional counseling to help women overcome all obstructions that may stand in the way to living happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. We teach women to truly love and cherish themselves from the inside out, setting a solid and lasting foundation for long-term sobriety and recovery of the mind, body, and soul.

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling a severe chemical dependency, an eating disorder, or both, please feel free to contact one of our trained cognitive behavioral therapy Asheville addiction specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance dependency can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

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