Eating Disorders and Alcoholism in Women

Eating Disorders and Alcoholism in WomenEating disorders have a direct relationship with substance abuse and alcoholism. It is common for the two conditions to co-occur in women. The relationship between the two problems involves the similar factors that lead to the illnesses. For women eating disorders and alcoholism are often caused by some underlying psychological issue. The need to feel good about one’s self both physically and psychologically can encourage a woman to go to great lengths, especially when there are outside influences telling her she doesn’t measure up to social standards. An eating disorder is an attempt to feel good about one’s self physically, and alcohol abuse is the attempt to feel better emotionally.

How Eating Disorders May Cause Alcoholism in Women

Women with eating disorders experience low self-esteem, body image distortion and negative body image. It is likely that their disorders were brought on by any of the following emotional or psychological conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • The inability to deal with stress or feelings of inadequacy

If an eating disorder stems from one of these issues, it is a coping mechanism for dealing with emotional and physical pain. However, the pain will still exist and can even worsen. This is why many women then turn to alcohol, which distracts them from their real issues. Eating disorders are self-destructive behaviors of addiction, just like alcoholism.

Eating Disorders and Alcoholism in Young Women

A new trend has emerged that has been deemed ‘drunkorexia.’ The term refers to someone who controls her food intake in order to support her large binge-drinking habit. This trend is especially widespread among the female college population. In order to get drunk quickly, a female may limit her food intake to one small meal a day, work out and possibly purge before heading an evening of drinking. These young women desire to stay skinny while maintaining their drinking habit. These issues may seem harmless at the time, and many women feel like they have control over both issues. But, this is not the case. These illnesses are progressive, and over time will no longer be controllable. If left untreated, women with drunkorexia face many physical and psychological dangers.

Specialized Treatment for Women with Eating Disorders and Alcoholism

Complex, life-threatening issues such as eating disorders and alcoholism require specialized treatment. Sadly, these illnesses are quite common among women, which is why there are many programs available for healing. If you or your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder and alcohol abuse, please know that there is help available designed for women just like you. Please call our toll-free helpline to speak with one of our highly-trained rehab counselors. We are here to talk you 24 hours a day and can help you find the best program that will meet your exact recovery needs.