Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Author Archives: Castlewood Treatment Center

OCD and Eating Disorders

It is all too common for eating disorders to be accompanied by co-occurring conditions—and one of the most serious of all is obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. While OCD is well known, it is not necessarily well understood. Much of what passes for conventional wisdom is in fact caricature and stigma, so it is worth looking at OCD with some clear, accurate details. Essentially, in order to receive a diagnosis of OCD, you have to meet a narrow set of criteria: You have to have obsessions and compulsions; Those obsessions and compulsions must have a big impact on your day to…

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Castlewood’s Summer Refocus Program

For some, summer is a season for taking it easy; for others, summer is where the real work begins. Certainly, summer is a great time to put other aspects of your life on pause, and to really get down to the tough issues of eating disorder recovery. That’s why Castlewood offers a Summer Refocus Program, aimed both at those new to recovery and those who have been in recovery for a while. The aim of this program is simple: Come rededicate yourself to recovery—or dedicate yourself to it for the first time!—and get the support you need to make real,…

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Don’t Worry About Failure

It is only natural to fear failure. As human beings, we do not like making mistakes; we do not like messing things up; and we certainly do not like our plans to blow up in our faces. Yet it happens: Failure is just part of being a person—and when you are undertaking something as important as eating disorder recovery, failure can feel all the more pronounced. As such, those going through recovery need a change in perspective. Instead of worrying about failure, try worrying about the chances you miss when you do not even try. That is the real danger…

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What is Normalized Eating? Balancing Nourishment and Pleasure

There is a term that we often use in eating disorder recovery—normalized eating. It certainly sounds good, but what does it mean? The first thing to understand is that, for those who struggle with an eating disorder, the experience of eating is attended by intense shame and anxiety. It is a normal, everyday thing for most of us, but for those who have an eating disorder, eating a meal can be imprisoning. That is what makes it so important to provide a new relationship to food and to eating—what we call normalized. Normalized eating means you get to enjoy your…

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Why BMI Isn’t the Best Measure for Health

You’re probably familiar with the concept of the Body Mass Index (BMI). You may have been taught that BMI is a good indicator of overall health and physical fitness. What may surprise you is that BMI is not only a poor measure of health, but it was actually never intended as a measure of individual health in the first place. Actually, BMI was initially designed as a mathematical principle for population studies—not for calculating the health of individual people. Furthermore, it is only useful for describing certain types of population. If you are looking to get some general measures of…

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Men and Body Image Struggles

A common misconception is that body image is primarily a female struggle—that men do not also wrestle with perceptions about their own body and how they are supposed to look. Of course, this line of thinking is false. Men struggle with body image issues too, often tied up in cultural ideals about masculinity and muscularity. Some of the statistics about men and body image are deeply troubling. For example, a quarter of all men who are within a normal, healthy weight range believe themselves to be underweight. Meanwhile, a staggering 90 percent of teenage boys exercise for the sole purpose…

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Trauma and Eating Disorders: How to Move Forward

Many of those who struggle with eating disorders have a history of trauma that often intrudes on their present life, which results in feeling overwhelmed or anxious. This causes the need for a coping mechanism to help manage these feelings and stress. An eating disorder can provide that coping mechanism, helping the individual to deal with traumatic memories and experiences. In eating disorder recovery, a key step in the healing process is when the individual acknowledges these traumas, verbalizing painful memories and associations. Needless to say, this can be a difficult process—yet it is also a necessary one. It allows…

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What are the Benefits of a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Eating disorder recovery takes some time—and unfortunately, time is something that most of us feel like we don’t have nearly enough of. While you may realize your need for ongoing eating disorder treatment and care, you have to juggle your healthcare needs with the responsibilities of work, school, family, and social obligations—a difficult thing to do, especially if you’re participating in an inpatient recovery program. That’s why Castlewood seeks to provide different treatment approaches that accommodate different needs and schedules. Your recovery is paramount, and it is vital that you make time for it. With that said, there may be…

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Eating Disorders and Self-Harm

Eating disorders often present with co-occurring conditions—one of the most common of which is self-harm. Self-harm is characterized as the deliberate injury of the body, and may manifest as cutting, burning, hair pulling, or even overdosing on medications or elicit drugs. Contrary to popular myth, self-harm is not a “cry for attention.” Often, self-harm is secret and private. Why does self-harm so often co-occur with eating disorders? There are multiple factors. For one, those who struggle with eating disorders have increased risk for engaging in self-harm behaviors. In addition, those engaging in self-harm behaviors may also exhibit symptoms of eating…

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