Eating Disorders Treatment

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Pathways eating disorder treatment centre

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder may often include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders in general are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences if left untreated. Pathways eating disorder treatment centre staff have decades of experience with treating eating disorders and co-morbidity disorders that include depression, substance abuse and an eating disorder combined. It is important that where there is a co-existing eating disorder in a person who is chemically dependent that the sufferer is treated within a personalised programme of individual therapy, group therapy and family therapy for both conditions. Eating disorders and substance abuse are both long-term illnesses which require intensive therapy to treat. Both involve an obsessive craving and a preoccupation with a substance (food or drugs), both have mood-altering effects, both are compulsive, often secretive and the sufferer will be in denial that there is a problem and continue with the compulsive behaviour despite the negative consequences on their health and in their lives.

Abstinence from compulsive eating, starving and purging is only the first step and not the goal in itself. What is also true is that many people come into Twelve Step recovery after years, or even a lifetime of disordered eating patterns.The whole purpose of recovery from addictive disease is to be able to rid ourselves of emotional obsessions and their damaging physical consequences. Simply changing an obsession for doing something into an obsession for not doing something (bingeing into starving for example) is no improvement. The correct treatment for both is to follow the proven and tested eating disorder guidelines we incorporate for abstinence, taken from the American Psychiatric Association. 

Some people have substance abuse issues alone, or eating disorder issues alone. However, many people have both of these problems at the same time. In fact, recent data shows that nearly half of all people who have an eating disorder also abuse drugs and, or alcohol. Food for thought? Eating disorders may be far closer to addictions than most people may at first think. They affect the pleasure centres of the brain much like cocaine or heroin, and can be even more dangerous. Eating disorders are often viewed today as biologically based brain disorders.


At Pathways eating disorder treatment centre, we know that often there is a deeply underlying conflict with one’s personal value or self-worth system. Emotions are almost always underlying our compulsive behaviours, which is a good place to start in terms of a lasting recovery. In fact all the common and uncommon eating disorders today include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food that need to be dealt with. This is all part of the eating disorder treatment centre programme that we offer at Pathways. 

We will help clients get in touch with these emotional issues, deal with the pain and trauma’s that so often distort our thinking in terms of coping and pain and pleasure. 

eating disorder treatment centre



Anorexia is an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. Anorexia itself can be seen as an addiction or a physical dependence on starvation from an emotional source. It is characterised by inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is often markedly too low to observers, although the sufferer remains relatively or completely unaware of the effects. Weight will often fall under the recommended minimum on the BMI or body mass index scale. There is an intense fear of weight gain, an obsession with weight in general and persistent behavior to prevent weight gain. At Pathways eating disorder treatment centre we see this primarily as an emotional disorder. This behaviour can almost always be directly related back to self esteem, trauma, out of control feelings, obsession and compulsion. The severity and health risks regarding the situation are often ignored.

Binge-Eating has a purging and restrictive side to it that involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors for the former and for the restricting type we can see that it does not involve binge eating or purging.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  • eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
  • feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterwards

 eating disorder treatment centre

Binge eating Disorder, must be diagnosed by a psychologist or psychiatrist and is characterised by out of control and frequent episodes of consuming very large amounts of food but without behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting. Binge eaters, eat when not hungry and to the point of pain and discomfort.


Frequent episodes of out of control consumption of a very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting. These are spcifically managed at our eating disorder treatment centre. Again it is an emotional disorder characterized by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, or control weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging.

Other types of less common eating disorders.

Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal)

Bulimia nervosa (with less frequent behaviors)

Binge-eating disorder (with less frequent occurrences)

Purging disorder (purging without binge eating)

Night eating syndrome (excessive night time food consumption)

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Pica (eating dirt, paint and other materials)

Rumination Disorder

Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder


The good news is that eating disorders can most definitely be treated for good, at our eating disorder treatment centre. Often people get overwhelmed by the mere mention of the word eating disorder, anorexia or body dysmorphia. We shouldn’t. Again, these behaviours can be treated. Don’t think that addiction and these eating disorders are completely separate issues. Often the addiction and the eating disorder are wrestling for control at the same time. Living with two major problems like this can be quite difficult, but with the proper help, people can put both of these conditions in the past. Eating disorders are often linked to impulsivity, a common characteristic of drug addiction for example. This lack of control can also translate into drug abuse styled symptoms.

Call Pathways eating disorder treatment centre today and speak to a counsellor about you or your loved ones. Eating disorders are treatable, and quite frankly the sooner they are dealt with, the better.