by Laura Deneen, Refuge Center Intern
Eating disorders are life-threatening mental illnesses that do not discriminate based on age, race, socio-economic status, or gender. According to the American Psychiatric Association (2013), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, and EDNOS are among the prominent diagnosable eating disorders. Additionally, eating disorders not only deprive their victims of joy, peace, and the opportunity to enjoy life’s pleasures, but may also cause significant health problems including, but not limited to, irregular heart rhythms, electrolyte imbalances, muscle loss, anemia, kidney failure, hair loss, and a reduction in bone density.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (2014), diets, the drive for thinness, social media sources, and unrealistic celebrity images may lead to dissatisfaction with one’s body, irregular nutrition patterns, or even to the development of an eating disorder. Furthermore, a significant number of patients who are diagnosed with an eating disorder also meet the criteria for a co-occurring disorder, such as depression or anxiety (National Eating Disorders Association, 2014). Despite these statistics, there is hope for those suffering from eating disorders. Furthermore, full recovery from an eating disorder is possible, in terms of freedom from eating disordered thoughts and behaviors (National Eating Disorders Association, 2014). At The Refuge Center for Counseling, we are committed to working with clients (as part of their comprehensive treatment team) who present with a wide array of eating disorder symptoms and we strive to create treatment plans specific to each client. The Refuge Center for Counseling is a safe place for clients to express their difficulties, and an environment that encourages health and individual growth. We welcome the opportunity to walk alongside eating disorder clients in their journey to recovery.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, V.A.: American Psychiatric Publishing.
National Eating Disorders Association. (2014). Get the facts on eating disorders. Available Online: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders.