Eating Disorders

About far more than food, these dangerous disorders are on the rise and can happen to anyone

Eating Disorders Overview

According to research compiled by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), approximately 30 million people in the United States will struggle with eating disorders at some point in their lifetime. Normally a health concern associated primarily with women, a study conducted in 2011 indicated that eating disorders on college campuses had increased from 7.9 percent to 25 percent for men over a 13-year period, while the rate for women was up by nine percent.

Considering how the average person spends more than two hours a day on social media, where the comparison game and judgmental comments about people’s appearance run rampant, not to mention the $66.3 billion diet industry that’s constantly peddling the message that you’re not good enough unless you’re doing [insert trendy eating plan or fancy new workout here], it’s not surprising that eating disorders are on the rise.

A study conducted in 2011 indicated that eating disorders on college campuses had increased from 7.9 percent to 25 percent for men over a 13-year period, while the rate for women was up by nine percent.

What Causes Eating Disorders?

Of course, this constant striving for physical perfection isn’t limited to the younger generation. Eating disorders are no respecter of age, class, educational level, occupational success, or relationship status.

The American Psychological Association (APA) cites numerous factors that often play into disordered eating including past abuse or trauma, bullying, low self-esteem, relationship struggles (particularly with parents), substance abuse, difficulty with resolving conflicts, and even genetics.

What many of these factors have in common is someone attempting to gain a sense of control through food and/or exercise. For someone dealing with sexual abuse, physical abuse, or growing up in an unstable home environment, for example, starving, binging, purging, and other behaviors, are a way to take control back, numb the pain, and distract from the trauma

Eating Disorder Warning Signs

If someone you care about has an eating disorder, you’d think it would be easy to spot. But no two situations look the same, which are why some EDs can go undetected for years.

Not everyone who has an eating disorder is skeletally thin. Some people can seem self-confident about their bodies and appearance to mask a deeper issue. And meeting people who are preoccupied with dieting, obsessively track everything they eat, exercise non-stop, and forgo anything with carbs isn’t that uncommon in our looks-obsessed world. While these behaviors might make you question whether someone has a problem, there are some reliable markers that are symptoms of eating disorders.

Be on the lookout for these eating disorder warning signs:

  • A discernable change in behavior, thinking, mood, or interpersonal relationships
  • Chapped lips, graying skin
  • Fainting spells from malnutrition and dehydration
  • Hair loss
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Dental erosion from self-induced vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low energy and a lack of overall health

Help for Eating Disorders

Brighten Bay has a proven track record of helping women and young girls struggling with anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other eating disorders including avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, body image disorders, and food phobias — all with the aim of achieving long-lasting recovery.

Brighten Bay not only focuses on treatment of eating disorders but their underlying causes and related trauma. Through our bio-psycho-social-spiritual eating disorder treatment approach and clinical excellence, patients find the strength to confront their problems and learn what tools are necessary to overcome their disorder.

Before they return home, a tailor-made aftercare plan is developed that includes a support team to help them successfully continue their recovery. Based on feedback from patients, families, and professionals, the vast majority of our patients remain committed to a life of health, balance, and purpose.

For more information on treatment for eating disorders at Brighten Bay, don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Talk to Us About Eating Disorder Treatment

At Brighten Bay, we have the experience, expertise, and understanding to treat individuals with EDs and any other co-occurring conditions. Our research-backed program is focused on giving individuals ownership of their recovery as we equip them to thrive, both now and in the future. We also provide resources for families to heal and support their loved ones on the journey to healing. If you or a loved one are suffering from binge eating disorder, get in touch with us today to learn more about how to get started.