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Addiction and Common Eating Disorders


Eating disorders are psychiatric conditions related to body image, eating, and one’s relationship to food. People with eating disorders often have extremely distorted perceptions of body shape and size, and exhibit extreme eating patterns that range from eating far too much to eating too little to survive.

Individuals often simultaneously struggle with an eating disorder and alcohol or drug addiction. When an eating disorder and an alcohol or drug addiction occur together, a person is considered to have a dual diagnosis.

In order to avoid complications of both disorders as well as their combination, these individuals are encouraged to seek treatment at a drug rehab or alcohol rehab with a dual diagnosis program.  

Eating Disorders and Addiction
All eating disorders involve a distorted perception of body shape or size, but there are different categories of disorder. Eating disorders are closely related to other types of addictions, such as alcohol and drug addiction. An overview of the different types of eating disorders is presented here.

Addiction and Anorexia Nervosa
The main characteristic of anorexia nervosa is self starvation. Individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa are obsessed with their weight and often fixated upon an ideal weight that is improbable or impossible. Whether it’s using diet pills or alcohol in order to lose weight, anorexia nervosa sufferers are more likely to also have an addiction.

Addiction and Bulimia Nervosa
Sufferers of bulimia engage in a cycle of binging (overeating in a short time span) followed by purging (forcibly getting rid of the food, usually by vomiting or taking laxatives). Read more about how bulimia sufferers can develop serious medical problems as consequences of their illness, and its relationship to alcoholism and drug addiction.

Compulsive Overeating, Binge Eating and Food Addiction
Compulsive overeaters, food addicts, and binge eaters all suffer from uncontrollable impulses to eat or obsession with food. These are often caused by or accompanied by low self esteem, anxiety, depression, or trauma. Learn more about how these disorders are related to addiction.

Drunkorexia
Drunkorexia is a slang term referring to a pattern involving starving oneself early in the day, then binge drinking, followed by binge eating. It is a combination of eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Learn about how drunkorexics eat less food at various times in order to “balance” the calories they consume from drinking alcohol.

Looking For Treatment?
If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder and addiction, call Recovery Connection to find out how you can get help today. Call 800-993-3869 now. All calls are confidential and our services are free.
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