Drunkorexia: Health Risks & Recovery Tips

Drunkorexia: Health Risks & Recovery Tips

“Drunkorexia” – it’s not a medical term, but literally, this term implies a combination of excessive alcohol consumption (“drunk”) with desire or appetite (“-orexia”). On college campuses, this term means much more than “an appetite to be drunk.” It’s used to describe the behavior of deliberately avoiding food intake and/or exercising excessively before drinking. Drunkorexia is also used to describe the behavior of self-induced vomiting after eating (to empty the stomach of food before drinking alcohol), or purging in the midst of an evening of heavy drinking (to allow for continued alcohol consumption). This is a very dangerous behavior, which can result in severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and sudden heart attack – or, an accidental overdose of alcohol, coma and sudden death. A recent article cited research by the University of Houston, which studied 1200 students who reported at least one episode of heavy drinking in the past month. 80% of students disclosed drunkorexia behaviors – including meal-skipping, self-induced vomiting, and/or laxative abuse prior to drinking. The study revealed that males are just as likely as females to engage in this behavior. (Source: Yahoo News) It’s speculated that drunkerorexia behaviors are motivated by the individual’s interest to prevent weight gain from the calories in excessive alcohol consumption, by avoiding calories from food itself. Another possibility is that the lack of food in the gut will result in a “quicker buzz,” and an overall intensified effect from alcohol consumption. Is drunkorexia a type of Eating Disorder? In part, yes. One of the diagnostic criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, a type of eating disorder, is “intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain, even...
Eating Disorders Therapy: How Is Therapy Like Doing Laundry?

Eating Disorders Therapy: How Is Therapy Like Doing Laundry?

Eating disorders therapy can be very beneficial, and in fact necessary – and yet, eating disorders therapy can also seem like a lot of work, so it might be tempting to let issues pile up until they absolutely have to be dealt with. And then, by facing these issues a little bit at a time with lots of guidance and support, the work in eating disorders therapy isn’t so hard. The outcome of fresh perspectives and a sense of freedom from past pain is worth it! Isn’t eating disorders therapy a little bit like doing laundry? Introduction to Erica Faulhaber’s blog post written by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey, MSEd, PhD, LPC, CEDS, Owner & Clinical Director at Positive Pathways ***** Laundry – the necessary evil to get out dirt, grime, stains and unwanted stench.   A task resulting in revitalized, fresh and clean garments to go forth into the world. Doing laundry for most involves time, sorting, detergent, water and folding skills. Manufacturers provide labels that suggest hot or cold water, low or high heat and “lay flat to dry” or the fan favorite “dry clean only.” Who really likes doing laundry? There may be a few folks out there that enjoy this task, but for the most part it is just something that needs to get done. Like laundry, therapy is an option to get out the gunk – it may take longer than the standard seventy-minute wash cycle, but it will be well worth it! I think of coming to therapy (including eating disorders therapy) like coming into a laundromat. You bring a bag or two or three, and we will start to work...
Anorexia Blog Recovery Tip #1

Anorexia Blog Recovery Tip #1

RECOVERY TIP:  It’s often said that Anorexia is a “control issue” – an attempt to control food intake as a means of coping with life situations which feel out of control. See if you can shift your “need for control” to taking control of your recovery today – choose one small step to change one of your Anorexic behaviors. Although Anorexia Nervosa is a complex issue which has many contributing factors, one of the main causes for the development of Anorexic behaviors is as a coping mechanism for traumatic events or challenging life issues. When the events of life feel out of one’s control, the attempts to control eating, exercise and weight can bring great relief initially. However, as these behaviors are used more intensively and frequently, the negative consequences of  Anorexia Nervosa begin to take their toll. What may have given a sense of being in control has now spiraled out of control – and the medical risks of Anorexia are very serious, including malnutrition, heart attacks, cognitive malfunctions due to loss of brain tissue, and sudden death. If you or someone you know is dealing with Anorexia, it’s important to get the right help right away. Hospitalization or inpatient treatment may be necessary for medical stabilization. Outpatient treatment is an option for cases of Anorexia which are less severe, or as aftercare for residential treatment. One of the keys of recovery from Anorexia is to shift the control of Anorexic behaviors to the control of recovery. Sometimes it can feel like therapists, dietitians and doctors are trying to control you, which can trigger a need for control through your Anorexic behaviors. See if you can...