Finding Eating Disorder Treatment
When you or someone you love is battling an eating disorder such as bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, or binge eating disorder, you know it's something that impacts the whole family. And contrary to popular misconception, eating disorders aren't simply a problem affecting teenage girls. They affect both genders and people of every age. Most eating disorders carry with them other serious physiological and psychological risks—including depression, trauma, or medical complications—with many of these risks being potentially life-threatening. This is why it's critical to take advantage of early intervention.
What is a Dual Diagnosis?
Besides the devastating emotional and physical toll eating disorders can take, they are often connected to mental health, substance use, or trauma issues as well. When these coexist with an eating disorder, it is known as a dual diagnosis. Someone with an eating disorder may use other coping mechanisms to combat a low self-image or to diminish their appetite, further eroding their health and causing their eating disorder to become more serious. People with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa may turn to substance use as a coping mechanism. This carries a real danger of dependency and abuse for anyone, but this is even more pronounced for those who may have an eating disorder.
Recovering from Bulimia or Anorexia
It is imperative to seek treatment for your or your family member's eating disorder as soon as possible. As damaging as bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa can be to the family, it is impacting many parts of the body, from internal organs to bones to hair, skin, teeth, and gums, and can contribute to a variety of cardiovascular problems. Depending on the particular eating disorder and whether the person suffering also has co-occurring disorders or substance abuse issues, an outpatient program may be sufficient, or a longer residential stay for eating disorder treatment may be recommended.