Understanding disordered eating
For many, disordered eating can be akin to an addiction, such as an addiction to sugar processed carbs or white flour. Recovery can be especially challenging because, unlike alcohol or drug use, abstinence from food or mealtimes is not possible.
Multiple times a day, those of us with eating disorders and food addiction are confronted with what can feel like regular temptation or torture.
At South Pacific Private, we understand that disordered eating is often not about food at all.
People suffering from food addiction or disordered eating are often using food to cope with uncomfortable and painful feelings stemming from low self-worth, childhood trauma, unhealthy relationship dynamics, or are attempting to control the only thing they feel they can control – the food they put in their body.
It is not uncommon for people seeking treatment for other addictions to realise that their substance use, process addiction and/or mental health is very much intertwined with their relationship to food and their body image. This can be a huge trigger for people to relapse into problematic behaviours and requires a holistic approach to treatment.
That's why at South Pacific Private, we go beyond just treating the symptoms of disordered eating and seek to identify and resolve the underlying causes.
We also offer a dedicated Mindful Eating Program as an element of our general program. This is designed to deliver practical skills and guidance, including nutrition and mindfulness workshops, to equip clients with the tools and strategies, supporting the development of a healthy relationship with food.
*A note on anorexia and bulimia.
For some who are experiencing disordered eating, a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder such as binge eating disorder, anorexia or bulimia nervosa may be applicable. We recognise that clients with these diagnoses, who are actively purging, or have a Body Mass Index of less than 18, require specialist medical care and 24-hour supervision. Because the South Pacific Private operates as a therapeutic recovery community, we recommend individuals first gain stability with their disordered eating through a specially targeted program or through working with a specialist.
Anorexia and bulimia carry very serious health concerns. If you feel your symptoms are severe, you are actively purging or have a Body Mass Index of less than 18, please seek medical advice as soon as possible.