Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis
Eating disorders are treated as a mental health issue, but it’s seldom recognized that they very rarely occur independently of other mental challenges. Recognizing this is an important factor not only in diagnosis, but also in treatment. It goes without saying that recovering from an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia is a complex process that has to be individualized to each patient, but it’s important to note that other aspects of mental health, including depression and drug addiction can occur hand-in-hand with eating disorders and binge eating.
Addictive behaviors like drug abuse and binge eating can both be traced back to chemical imbalances, which is why it’s so important to seek help with drug or addiction issues if and when they are paired with eating disorders like compulsive overeating and binging. Drug users who are addicted to substances can often share the same chemical patterns as those suffering from episodes of binge eating. Addiction counseling, which is an imperative step in the recovery of drug abuse, has been extremely effective in the treatment of eating disorders as well, because of the similarities that the disorders share.
Treating anorexia or bulimia alone can often lead to frustration and extreme challenges when the individual is also suffering from a disease like obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s difficult enough to handle one mental issue but when coupled with another disorder (which is not uncommon), it can be doubly challenging. Neither treatment program can succeed without dual diagnosis, which requires an experienced team of experts. It’s important to get a personalized recovery plan to treat any and all challenges you’re facing.
Like all other mental health disorders, eating disorders can relapse and can often be difficult not only for the individual, but also for friends and family. Outpatient counseling and ongoing care is something that many people find helpful after treatment, whether they’re facing an eating disorder or any mental health challenge. If a treatment is marked by temporary effectiveness or relapses, it’s not going to have a lasting effect, so be sure that your treatment is addressing every aspect of your disorders.
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