Anxiety Disorder and Eating Disorder

Food should not cause pain. Eating is a way of nourishing our minds and bodies, and creates an environment to share and connect with loved ones.

When someone fixates on their food consumption, it may be a symptom of an eating disorder. Through the treatment of such disorders, it is often found that the problem is an attempt to control stress, deal with fear, and lessen pain. Control is at the center of eating disorder thinking and behaving. For some, life becomes so unmanageable that food is the only thing they feel they can control. Many do not realize that this is just an illusion of control and really the disorder rules their lives. Eating disorders are complex to treat, and they may be complicated by the presence of other disorders.

Anxiety disorders often involve constant worrying and restlessness. Even sleep becomes an issue, with recurrent nightmares and insomnia. The causes behind anxiety disorders vary, many stemming from childhood experiences or aggravated by a genetic predisposition to such issues. However, the environment in which we live plays a large part in the existence of anxiety disorders.

Mood disorders make up a large part of the diagnosed mental illnesses in the United States. They are usually associated with depression or bipolar illness, although sometimes the term is used to describe a less severe form of depression. However, quite often anxiety and a mood disorder coexist, complicating the sufferer’s illness. Co-occuring disorder treatment takes into account all aspects of anxiety and mood disorder. Both mood/anxiety disorders and eating disorders have a few things in common: they are aggravated by stressful life situations. And, to a certain degree, they are about control, or the inability to control situations and stress.

The Big Three of Eating Disorders

Eating disorder rehab, to be successful, must properly identify the type of eating disorder involved:

  1. Anorexia Nervosa, where the sufferer severely restrict their food intake. Most who have anorexia nervosa are at least fifteen percent below their normal body weight.
  2. Bulimia Nervosa sufferers typically engage in binge eating followed by some form of purging.
  3. Binge Eating/Compulsive Overeating is marked by an excessive food intake over a short time period. This condition often leads to obesity, and is differentiated from bulimia by the lack of purging after excessive eating.

Treating a Dual Diagnosis Disorder

Many people seeking help for their eating disorders also have an anxiety or mood problem. Quite often, programs for eating disorders fall short of success. The reason why? The treatment is only addressing the eating disorder behaviors and not processing underlying emotional/mood disturbances.

At Casa Palmera behavioral health facility, we understand the importance of treating all aspects of our clients’ afflictions. We know that effective dual diagnosis treatment means identifying and addressing all disorders, from bipolar disorder to depression, to bulimia. Rehab centers abound throughout the country, but Casa Palmera’s residential treatment center near San Diego has knowledge and experience in handling dual diagnoses. Life is not all about black and white distinctions. We recognize the grey areas that exist and the only way to address the black, white and grey issues is to take a holistic approach that focuses on the complete person.

The Casa Palmera Difference

While many treatment facilities identify one major disorder for treatment, Casa Palmera recognizes that complete healing cannot occur without comprehensive evaluation and treatment of all issues facing a client. Our holistic approach to mood disorders and eating disorder treatment means that we look at all the factors in diagnosing an individual, providing a safe and nurturing environment for healing and growth to heal the mind, body, and spirit.