The Link Between Trauma, Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse

The Link Between Trauma, Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse

The Link Between Trauma, Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse

Many people with substance use disorder (SUD) have co-occurring eating disorders (EDs). The combination often causes more severe symptoms and must be treated carefully to avoid relapse of either condition. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), "When SUDs and EDs co-occur, the consequences, assessment, treatment, and recovery are more complicated for both disorders than for either disorder alone."

Samarpan Recovery in Mumbai can help clients find healthy ways to navigate recovery after being diagnosed with and treated eating disorders and substance abuse.

What Are Secondary Eating Disorders?

Secondary disorders are not the primary condition requiring treatment. In most cases, the eating disorder must be in remission or successfully managed before a client can begin treatment for SUD.

EDs may have overlapping risk factors with SUD making it more challenging to diagnose and treat both conditions. Samarpan Recovery, one of the top rehabilitation centres in India, does not treat active eating disorders. However, the clinical team can provide the necessary support and guidance to help clients navigate rehabilitation while managing intrusive thoughts or compulsions related to disordered eating.

Some of the most common secondary EDs reported by individuals with SUD include the following:

  • Anorexia nervosa

  • Bulimia nervosa

  • Binge eating disorder

  • Other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED)

  • Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)

  • Rumination disorder

  • Unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED)

EDs can be dangerous even during remission due to the high rate of relapse. According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, “Eating disorders have high morbidity and the highest mortality of all mental disorders, yet they can be difficult to diagnose.” Co-occurring disorders can cause symptoms to fluctuate and increase the risk of relapse. Samarpan Recovery assists clients in maintaining a positive relationship with food during detox and rehabilitation.

The Effects Of Trauma Or Abuse On Nutritional Health

Trauma, neglect, and abuse, especially in childhood, can directly impact a person's relationship with food. In some cases, nutritional food may not have been available, or food could have been used as a form of manipulation.

Trauma is a common cause of EDs and may contribute to the development of co-occurring mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or SUD. According to the Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, researchers "found that individuals who were subject to physical neglect during childhood were more vulnerable to experiencing various types of problems related to eating and weight."

Some people raised in neglectful or abusive environments may have never learned the importance of proper nutrition. Samarpan Recovery, one of the best rehab centres in Mumbai, educates clients about the importance of nutritional meals and how to prepare them. Clients are given the skills and knowledge they need to establish and maintain healthy eating patterns outside of treatment.

How Do Eating Disorders Affect Mental Health Treatment?

Disordered eating can affect a person's ability to cope with everyday situations. Secondary EDs may cause cravings, intrusive thoughts, or compulsions during moments of high stress. Developing consistent emotion regulation is essential to treatment for eating disorders and substance abuse. In addition to reducing overall stress, emotion regulation can help clients avoid relapse.

EDs have been known to affect mental health in the following ways:

  • Mood, behaviour, and temperament fluctuation caused by changes in brain chemistry

  • Malnutrition and other health issues increase the risk of anxiety, depression, or mood disorders

  • Disordered eating can increase chronic pain and symptoms of long-term physical health issues

EDs that are in remission and not active may still cause some clients to experience unwanted thoughts and feelings. The clinical team encourages clients to develop a healthy relationship with food and eating while participating in rehabilitation.

Referrals To Outside Resources

In some cases, treatment for substance abuse may trigger a return to disordered eating. Clients may need to be referred to outside resources to ensure they get the treatment they need to manage their condition. Sometimes clients need to temporarily transition to an external program that addresses active eating disorders before returning to Samarpan Recovery to complete their rehabilitation.

How Samarpan Recovery Addresses Secondary Eating Disorders

Samarpan Recovery helps clients maintain healthy eating habits by providing daily nutritional meals. Meal adjustments can be made to accommodate the unique needs of clients with secondary eating disorders.

The rehabilitation programs focus on establishing a healthy lifestyle that includes:

  • Restful sleep

  • Structured daily routines

  • Regular nutritional meals

  • Proper hydration

  • Physical exercises

  • Mindfulness-based relaxation techniques

The clinical team guides clients through learning skills like food preparation and grocery shopping to facilitate healthier eating routines after treatment. Clients should be able to independently maintain healthy eating patterns after transitioning into continuing care. Samarpan Recovery makes that possible through individual coaching and skill development. Clients are given the tools and resources to maintain sobriety and develop a healthy relationship with food.

Eating disorders and substance abuse often co-occur. Individuals who experience childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma are more likely to be diagnosed with both conditions. The symptoms can also overlap, making it difficult for some people to get an accurate diagnosis and the help they need. Samarpan Recovery uses comprehensive assessments to diagnose clients during the admissions process. During rehabilitation, the clinical team can address lingering issues related to secondary, non-active eating disorders. Clients have access to a range of services and treatments that will help them maintain healthy eating patterns during recovery from SUD. Samarpan Recovery is the best treatment centre in India. Learn more by calling our office today at +91 81809 19090.

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