TACKLING DISORDERED EATING

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and strokes are some of the outcomes that can result from disordered eating. More prevalent are unhealthy relationships with food that can take over people’s lives. Typically fuelled by fatty, sugary, salty ‘junk’ foods, food dependency is a behavioural addiction driven by a person’s compulsion to ‘reward’ themselves with the sensation of pleasure these foods trigger in the brain, even when they are not hungry, or are even nauseous. The pressure to conform with idealistic body images especially targeted at LGBTQ people only compounds the issue.

For some, this powerful addiction takes the form of bulimia and its cycles of purging and bingeing, and its social and emotional consequences can include depression, guilt, shame and impaired work or school performance.

Beset more than most with media and societal messaging about how they should look and live, LGBTQ people are especially vulnerable to disordered eating. According to the US’ National Eating Disorders Association, gay men are three times as likely as their straight counterparts to have a food-related disorder, while the Shaw Mind Foundation reports that lesbians and bisexual women are twice as likely as heterosexual women. Apart from the damaging health consequences they cause, unhealthy eating patterns also stop sufferers from devoting their energies to the most important things in their lives, such as relationships, work and self-care.

Alongside the LGBTQ-specific therapies that we offer our clients on both group and one-on-one bases, we invite those experiencing problems with their relationship with food to join The Cabin’s specialised disordered eating groups. These have given our clients outstanding success over nearly a decade of exceptional rehab performance.