Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Category Archives: Eating Disorder Treatment

National Women’s Health Week

May 8 through May 14 has been designated as 2016’s National Women’s Health Week—a great opportunity to elevate the dialogue regarding the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of all the ladies out there. This dialogue must include a frank discussion of eating disorders, which continue to pose a lethal threat to women of all ages and backgrounds. Eating disorders are all too common among women. In fact, it is estimated that some 20 million American women struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their life. There are many different types of eating disorders that impact women—anorexia, bulimia, binge…

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National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week

The first week in May—technically May 2 through May 8—is this year’s National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week. This is a real blessing for those who may struggle with these mental health conditions—a blessing, and an opportunity. Anxiety and depression disorders are common, yet they also remain mired in stigma. Simply put, most of us are afraid to talk about them. Awareness Week, though, provides an invaluable opportunity to speak up, to tell your story, to break the stigma, and to start the conversation. The question is, what could you do for National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week? What should…

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The Importance of the Anna Westin Act

Some 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders—yet in many ways, there remains a big deficit in treatment and care opportunities. While we certainly try to do our part here at Castlewood, the truth is that many healthcare providers and school officials are unsure of what to do when they encounter someone with an eating disorder. A pending piece of legislation is seeking to change that, though. The bill in question is called the Anna Westin Act of 2015, and its mission is simple: The Anna Westin Act seeks to provide healthcare providers and school officials with training, instructing them…

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A Cookbook for People with Eating Disorders?

Eating disorder recovery is about regaining a normalized, balanced relationship with food—but not just food. It is also important to develop healthy attitudes toward the more social aspects of food preparation and eating. That is something that Francesca Baker understands well. Baker, a writer who lives in the UK, is in eating disorder recovery herself. She knows first-hand how tough it is to develop a healthy relationship with the act of eating, and she has authored her very own cookbook, Eating & Living: Recipes for Recovery, that tackles these challenges head-on. The idea of this book came from Baker’s own…

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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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