Causes of Eating Disorders: It Can Affect All Areas Of Your Life
What are the causes of eating disorders? This can vary from person to person. I was surprised to learn of the similarity between treating people suffering with eating disorders as treating people suffering with addictions. I saw people going into behaviorally managed rehabilitation centers, be weighed and have the caloric intake counted. Meals were supervised. My clients all said they did well until they got out. They were back to their eating disorder within a week of discharge, which is exactly what I hear when I take history on alcoholic and drug addicted individuals. Actually, it is a fact that the first week post rehab has a 90% relapse rate, regardless of how expensive the rehabs may have been. I had a young woman with severe bulimia who had spent her late teens and early twenties in 25 different eating disorder institutions across the nation. She presented as I said, with severe bulimia.
Addiction and Eating Disorders
Treating symptoms has urgency attached to both addiction and eating disorders. If one wants to be successful however, one must look beyond the presenting symptoms and explore the reasons why someone must avoid with food, drugs sex, food avoidance or purging.
Food becomes currency in families where love is conditional. If you are fat, you are unlovable. That would make any caloric food a source of intolerable anxiety. Such often results in seeing one’s body distorted (body dysmorphia). If love is expressed through food rather than hugs and kisses or if love is routinely denied but we are fed when sick, food becomes love. Food can mean I’m fat, I’m unlovable or food can be mistaken as love and thus I cannot get enough.
Eating Disorder Treatment
Treating eating disorders can be tricky as there can be a delicate dance of avoiding feelings while putting one’s life at risk. People need to be stable enough for outpatient work. For people who purge or restrict, I advise working adjunctively with a nutritionist and a primary doctor. Low potassium levels can cause permanent damage to the heart. I recommend those who purge, increase potassium intake and try to wait one hour before purging.
The reason for this is cortisol is running and we metabolize food rapidly (within one hour). Please note, this is a pre-treatment harm reduction recommendation, not a suggestion for treatment. Effective treatment is to learn the meaning of food through a thorough history and after adequate preparation targeting those offensive meanings with EMDR or Brain Spotting. I have applied an addiction protocol to treating binge eating disorder and have used bilateral stimulation to desensitize food avoidance. I have witnessed individuals losing their body dysmorphia in front of me. Preparation includes learning effective coping strategies and developing skills. It may also involve raising one’s frequency and utilizing higher consciousness to manifest healing. With energy, I have witnessed some amazing things occur and I have found this work to be as profoundly effective as clinical methods.
I hope if you are reading this and you suffer from an eating disorder or an addiction, you begin to develop hope. The causes of eating disorders are not the same for everyone, but it can be treated and you can overcome. It is a horrible place to be alone with this terrible secret and not have hope. I have watched so many leave my practice (graduate) initially never believing their eating disorder would ever stop.