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Eating Disorders Addiction Treatment

Eating Disorders

Most of us are aware of eating disorders, but don’t understand what they are, how they develop and treatment options. Some of us might even believe dieting is a normal part of life, that eating disorders are a choice or a cry for help and that only women or girls experience eating disorders. But those are myths that make it harder for individuals suffering from this serious and extremely dangerous medical condition from getting treatment. 

Types of eating disorders:

There are numerous types of eating disorders. The most common are:

  • Bulimia nervosa. Individuals with bulimia may secretly binge, eating large amounts of food with loss of control over the eating and then purge to get rid of the extra calories. 
  • Anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. Regardless of how much weight an individual loses, they fear weight gain. 
  • Binge eating disorder. In this eating disorder, an individual frequently consumes large amounts of food and feels unable to stop eating.

Symptoms of eating disorders:

Symptoms vary and depend on the type of eating disorder, but an individual with an eating disorder may: 

  • Skip meals or snacks or make excuses for not eating.
  • Follow a very restricted diet that hasn’t been prescribed by a trained medical professional.
  • Prepare their own meals instead of eating what others are eating.
  • Complain frequently about being unhealthy or overweight and talk of losing weight.
  • Check the mirror frequently for self-perceived flaws.
  • Repeatedly eat large amounts of foods.
  • Use dietary supplements, laxatives or herbal products for weight loss.
  • Exercise considerably more than the average person.
  • Have calluses on their knuckles from self-induced vomiting.
  • Leave during or immediately following meals to use the washroom.
  • Eat in secret.

Risk factors for children and adults:

A combination of biological and social influences trigger eating disorders, which often start in the teen and young adult years but can occur at any age. The Mayo Clinic lists the following as among the factors that may increase the risk of developing an eating disorder:

  • Family history. Eating disorders are more likely to develop in individuals whose parents or siblings have experienced an eating disorder.
  • Other mental health issues, such as trauma, anxiety, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Frequent dieting, especially when an individual’s weight goes up and down because of yo-yo dieting. 
  • Being teased or bullied about their weight.
  • Changes that cause stress, such as starting university, moving, landing a new job or family issues.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID):

This disorder is characterized by extremely limited eating or not eating certain foods. Individuals with this disorder aren’t worried about gaining weight or body size, but may avoid food with a certain colour, texture, smell or taste.

Complications associated with eating disorders:

Eating disorders can lead to dangerous eating behaviour that can seriously impact the body’s ability to get the nutrition it needs. They can harm the heart, digestive system, bones, teeth and mouth, and lead to other diseases. Eating disorders are also linked with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts and behaviours.

Eating disorder recovery:

Fortunately, full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important. Effective binge eating disorder treatment and other eating disorder treatments address motivational issues and offer skills that support behaviour change, such as weight gain and cessation of bingeing and purging. Seeking out an eating disorder therapist who can provide cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and family-based therapy is very important. 

While it’s difficult find an eating disorder clinic, you are not alone. At Aurora Recovery Centre, we help you learn the skills you need to make healthy adjustments to your relationship with food.

Because every eating disorder journey is unique, our knowledgeable professionals will tailor your recovery using an evidence-based treatment plan that meets your needs. We’re committed to helping you recover completely so you can enjoy a healthy, balanced and fulfilling life.


Everything shared with us is kept strictly confidential and we’re happy to make recommendations if you need a different level of care than we provide. Feel free to reach out, we’re here for you.

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