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...
Bulimia Blogs Recovery Tip #1

Bulimia Blogs Recovery Tip #1

RECOVERY TIP:  Although it can seem like bulimic behaviors are “out of your control,” become more aware of the thoughts you have which can lead up to binge eating and purging. Next, you can begin to ED-IT your thoughts to support recovery! Does it seem like your bulimic behaviors “sneak up on you,” without your conscious awareness of what is happening? As a first step in recovery, become more aware of the sequence of events leading up to binge eating and purging behaviors. For example, imagine that this situation happened to you yesterday. You went out for dinner with your friends, and at first you were enjoying yourself and the food. The next thing you know, you were in the bathroom, purging. Was this “out of your control”? Or with awareness, could there be opportunities to prevent this binge-and-purge behavior? Stop and think about what happened in between your arrival at the restaurant, and your ending up in the bathroom. You ordered beverages and appetizers. You started nibbling on the nachos, along with your friends. You wondered whether you should be eating the nachos. You realized how good the nachos tasted, and you kept eating more. You noticed something that one of your friends said, which triggered feelings of worry. Your entree arrived, and you started eating your meal, with your worry now shifting into fear. Suddenly, you felt too full. You began to plan how you could sneak away to the bathroom to “get rid of” what you just ate. You left the table, hoping no one would follow you to the bathroom. Notice how many thoughts and feelings you had in this imaginary...