Dispelling Myths Around Eating Disorders

Millions of people across the globe suffer from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are common co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis, along side of substance abuse and addiction, and thousands of Florida citizens struggle everyday with the heartbreaking disorder and the way it contributes to their propensity toward addiction. Eating disorders thrive on personal shame and a feeling of an inability to control one or many aspects of the patient’s life. Addiction  Modern day society has long had quite the stigma attached to eating disorders, often believing wildly inaccurate information regarding the disorder. The following are explorations into a few of the myths believed about eating disorders, and the true facts dispelling the myths.


Eating Disorders are A Choice

Eating disorders are not a choice or a phase or a fad that someone will grow out of. They are not a way of life someone has embraced. When someone has an eating disorder it is not because they have chosen to lose weight. On the contrary, eating disorders are very serious and sometimes even fatal illnesses that affects the way people experience and approach food and their eating habits. Most of all to dispel this particular myth it is vital to state, a person can’t “just stop” having an eating disorder. In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, otherwise known as the DSM, categorizes eating disorders as a type of mental health disorder. Like any other type of mental illness, someone who struggles with an eating disorder must receive treatment. If someone in Florida is suffering with an eating disorder as well as substance abuse and addiction, treatment may be best sought at a Florida detox and wellness center. All of the best drug rehab in South Florida will know how to treat this type of dual diagnosis and will shape the addict’s treatment program to accommodate concurrent treatment of their eating disorder as well as their addiction.

I’m too Smart to Have an Eating Disorder

It’s disturbing to say it, but this is a commonly held sentiment in some parts of society. As stated above, in fact, eating disorders are a medical illness and they have nothing at all to do with the intelligence of the individual suffering from the disorder. The source of the disorder may come from a number of different sources. Like drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders have a more complicated origin story than one might think. Scientific research finds that a person may develop an eating disorder due to a genetic or biological propensity as well as a social influence. It likely surprises people to realize that eating disorders are hereditary. Through continuing studies, scientists are studying how certain genes leave people with a higher likelihood of developing an eating disorder – much like genetics play a role, but not a solo role, in the reason a person may develop an addiction.


Loving a Child or Partner with an Eating Disorder Means Telling Them to Pull Themselves Together – They’re Just Trying to Get Attention.

Supporting someone with an eating disorder does not mean being hard on them. Afterall, eating disorders are a medical illness. No one would ever tell someone that they love to snap out of kidney disease, or to pull themselves together and stop having cancer, not only would that be cruel, it simply isn’t a possibility, otherwise there would be no illness at all in the world because no one chooses to be sick. Eating disorders are a medical condition that the sick person doesn’t choose to engage in or choose to walk away from. They cannot quit being sick without treatment.


Instead the best way to support someone suffering through the very difficult experience of having an eating disorder is to encourage them to seek treatment for the disorder. When someone has an eating disorder it is often true that they become disconnected from themselves in a way that makes it hard for them to be self aware enough to see the concerning symptoms of their disorder. If you know someone suffering from what appears to be an eating disorder one of the best way so you can help them is by approaching them with sincere love and compassion and, while being clear that eating disorders are an illness that require treatment, talk about your concerns with them honestly. Do not accuse them, do not tell them they are being selfish if they refuse treatment in that moment. Simply encourage them through a clear concern for their wellbeing, and an open effort to be supportive, to seek the help they need to be healthy.


The Only Eating Disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

Some people think that calling anything besides anorexia or bulimia an eating disorder can be chalked up to pure histrionics. In fact there are many different types of eating disorders,,and each one of them are a complicated mental illness that can turn fatal and that should be treated immediately upon diagnosis. The following is a limited list of eating disorders that someone may struggle with:


  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Avoidant or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • Specified Feeding Disorder
  • Unspecified Feeding Disorder
  • Pica
  • Rumination Disorder


Treating an Eating Disorder Simultaneously with Substance Use Disorder

Eating disorders, like substance use disorder have suffered under the weight of heavy societal disparagement. Eating disorders and substance abuse show up, not infrequently, in some of the same patients, and so the best drug and alcohol treatment facilities will have programs and forms of treatment that will effectively treat the two disorders simultaneously in order to assure the best likelihood of success. Unfortunately this kind of quality treatment isn’t available at all Florida addiction treatment centers. FHE Health however has a qualified staff who are more than ready to help addicts take on not only their chemical dependency, but also their eating disorders through individuated medical and neuro treatment. Call FHE now to learn more about how we can mold our treatment programs to fit your specific medical and mental health needs.


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