The Highlands Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Category Archives: Eating Disorder Treatment

traumatic events

Traumatic Events can Lead to Eating Disorders

While the term “post traumatic stress disorder” often is associated with military personnel who have experienced the ordeal of combat, the condition can affect anyone who has experienced a terrifying event. Eating disorders can have roots in many different life experiences, but traumatic incidents, especially sexual assault, have a particularly strong connection. Coping mechanism Studies have shown a definite correlation between child sexual abuse and eating disorders. Researchers have concluded that the feeling of shame associated with sexual abuse plays a significant role in eating choices. Because victims are ashamed of what has happened to their bodies, they may self-medicate…

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Photoshop video model

Photoshop Video Model: Four Women Try It & Don’t Like It

An interesting video is making the rounds. Four average women volunteered for a professional photo shoot. Many women do this, take glamor shots. There is a kind of a queen-for-a-day feeling about it, festive and fun. But this experimental photo shoot took an unexpected turn for these women, going from glamor shot to photoshop video model. And the women walked away more disturbed than pleased. Here were two of their reactions:              “Once someone else has done your makeup and someone else has done your hair and someone’s directed the way your body looks and then taken away your imperfections,…

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Summer Intensive Program at Castlewood at the Highlands

Have you been struggling with an eating disorder, mood disorder or PTSD and been waiting for the right time to seek treatment? The summer holidays can often provide a great opportunity to get the help you need, with time off available from school or work. Having a long summer break can be challenging to someone struggling with an eating disorder or related issues. Because we understand what a great opportunity the summer months can provide for much needed treatment, Castlewood at the Highlands is pleased to offer a specially designed Summer Intensive Program. If you feel you need extra support…

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What does Barbie have to do with Body Image anyway?

Barbie has once again found herself at the center of discussions about the negative effect she can have on girls’ body image; putting her right up there with unhealthy looking models and overly glamorized, Photo-shopped celebrity images. Since her debut at “Toy Fair” in 1959, parents have become more aware of increasingly unrealistic standards placed on young women to focus on appearance, and have been interested in exposing girls to role models who represent more diversity and reality. Artist Nickolay Lamm is one of the most recent to take up the challenge of determining what Barbie would look like with…

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We Want to Balance our Services with the Life They’re Creating

“We Want to Balance our Services with the Life They’re Creating”

Our goal at The Highlands is to keep the needs of our clients at the center of everything that we do. In an effort to make our intensive outpatient program fit the needs of our clients, we have developed a unique flexible intensive outpatient program that was featured in Addiction Professional, a national clinical magazine. We greatly appreciate being able to share our philosophy and reasoning behind our flexible service approach. Addiction Professional is highly regarded by substance abuse and eating disorder specialists as a go-to source for important news and trends. Traditionally, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) have been designed…

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The Risk of Reaching Out During the Holidays

The Risk of Reaching Out During the Holidays

Human beings are wired for connection. Our first experiences with family members and caregivers are based on establishing this connection. Connection is a basic human need. A famous quote goes something like this: The loneliest of times can be when you are with the most people. This can be very true for someone with an eating disorder, because of lack of belongingness that is often present. One of the things that we know happens in eating disorders, is that the eating disorder actually becomes the primary relationship for the individual. The reasons behind this are very different for each person.…

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“Eat, It’s Just a Christmas Cookie”

One of the first and most essential ideas for family members to understand is that food and weight aren’t at the core of an eating disorder, they are merely symptoms. Family members often relate “I  don’t understand, it’s just a Christmas Cookie”, or “I don’t get why it is so hard, just eat!” But it isn’t as simple as that. Eating disorders are complex disorders with unique developmental tracks. Food must be addressed as part of treatment and recovery.  However, if only the food and calories that a person is eating is addressed, without also addressing the associated underlying and…

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Gratitude Lists: One Small Thought, One Giant Leap for Recovery

One Small Thought, One Giant Leap for Recovery

Research shows that gratitude is one of the only ways to boost positive emotions. In fact, gratitude is one of the few therapeutic or self-interventions that can immediately result in improved mood. This method of boosting positive emotions works for anyone, not just for people with eating disorders or other mental illnesses. Someone with an eating disorder who learns to tap into the power of gratitude not only feels better, but also broadens their range of the focus, so that they are able to see more possibilities of coping skills, and more opportunities for recovery. This is a key feature…

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The Narrow Lens of Burdensomeness

Feelings of burdensomeness can often escalate around the holidays, especially for individuals with addictions and mental illness. Individuals with eating disorders may be especially at risk for feelings of burdensomeness due to the demands and obligations associated with the holidays. Depressive symptoms, such as burdensomeness, often create a restricted lens of perception in which individuals make assumptions that a larger lens of reality would prove to be untrue. Common assumptions associated with this restricted lens of perception include: “I’m more trouble than I’m worth.” “My family is better off without me.” Other ways that someone with an eating disorder may…

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The Connection between Eating Disorders and Suicide

The Connection between Eating Disorders and Suicide

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Many sufferers of eating disorders die because of medical issues related to their disorder, but the majority of individuals die by suicide. Three main factors converge to make someone with an eating disorder high risk for suicide. The first two are feelings of disconnectedness and burdensomeness. These individuals may feel a lack of belongingness with peers or family, and they often feel that they are a burden to those around them, either because of their eating disorder or because of other factors in their life. The third factor that…

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