One addiction is not even considered an addiction by many people yet it is quite lethal for those who struggle. Eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and others, can cause premature death due to complications related to the eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems. Considered a mental illness, eating disorders have a high mortality rate due to the health problems it creates. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for information: 1-800-273-8255
Dealing with Pain
Choices of whether or not to eat or eat certain types of foods and even overeating are deliberate ways of coping with pain. When it comes to eating disorders, that choice gets taken away because it becomes extremely difficult to decide when to eat, how much to eat or even if to eat at all. Addiction takes hold and it becomes uncontrollable even if it started with controlling the intake or output of food. Food as a coping mechanism for deeper pain is just one layer of the addiction food can cause some people to struggle with and it is important to understand what it is and how to support a loved one struggling.
Why it Starts
Addictions to anything-alcohol, food, work, substance use, exercise, gambling, pornography-all begin as attractive opportunities at first. The promise of exactly what is desired seems so attainable but the thorns are just waiting to poke the person until it becomes unbearable and unmanageable. Some of the issues include:
- Deception that something can be attained which is not possible
- Stealing intimacy from others as addiction draws the person away from family and friends inward
- Production of shame, psychological changes and increased anxiety about coping with normal, everyday life
The dangers of eating disorders may not alter the mind or ability to drive a car. Fasting is not considered a dangerous activity, nor is turning to some foods for comfort or distraction. With drugs, promiscuity and material consumption is frowned upon in society where food is the safe addiction of choice. The ‘safeness’ is a false promise that it will not affect the person mentally, physically or even spiritually. The delusional thinking that happens as addiction takes hold makes the person believe he or she can accomplish the goal of being very fit, really skinny or at a certain weight if enough food is controlled to achieve that end goal. Addiction is not beyond a person’s power to control it when the person is aware of the problem. Until then, addiction can spiral a person’s life so far down he or she is not able to know how to cope and needs help from others to see what has happened.
Making the choice to seek help may come from outside, but the decision to seek help really must come from the person. He or she must decide today is the day and help is on the way. When that person admits help is needed, it is then that he or she can start the healing journey of recovery from an eating disorder.
Hired Power helps people achieve their goals of seeking help for addiction and getting on the path to recovery. Call us at 714-559-3919 to speak with our professional staff who are ready to help you.