Few things feel as isolating as an eating disorder. Despite the fact that about 30 million people in the United States alone struggle with some form of disordered eating, it’s not uncommon to feel totally alone on your journey. Facing the reality of life with an eating disorder and working to heal those wounds is hard work, but it is necessary work and the stakes couldn’t be higher: information from Johns Hopkins shows that eating disorders have the highest risk of death of any mental illness.
What is an Eating Disorder?
You may have heard the terms “disordered eating” and “eating disorders” used interchangeably; the truth is, there are important differences between these very similar phrases.
“Disordered eating” is a descriptive phrase compassing a collection of behaviors and attitudes surrounding food and body image, usually with a focus on weight loss or a perceived healthier lifestyle. These behaviors and attitudes don’t add up to an eating disorder, though they are considered high risk behaviors.
People who exhibit disordered eating habits may not even realize what they’re doing is unhealthy, as there is a dieting industry in the US that both promotes and normalizes disordered eating.
People who exhibit signs of disordered eating may:
- Curate social media feeds and personal social media preference with an extreme focus on food or body shape/size
- Be more likely to dedicate themselves to fad diets and “cleanses”
- Rely on diet pills
- Have an extreme focus on appearance
- Misuse supplements
- Skip meals
Eating disorders are brain-based illnesses that are incredibly serious and can be highly life-threatening. Unlike the purely descriptive phrase “disordered eating,” an eating disorder is a diagnosis. People living with eating disorders exhibit changes across the spectrum of human experience, from disturbance in thought patterns, emotions and behavior to a compulsion for extreme isolation. They are more likely to experience potentially devastating medical complications, and urgently need specialized treatment.
Eating Disorder Recovery on Your Terms
At Earth’s Edge Wellness, we believe it’s vital for you to be in control of your treatment. We act as guides, facilitating a custom approach to healing that works for you, helping you take control of your condition so it can stop controlling you. With long-term support on a schedule you choose, Earth’s Edge Wellness is here to help. Call or contact us today to learn more about our approach to eating disorder treatment on your terms.