The Highlands Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Category Archives: Emotional Wellness


Showing Love to Someone with an Eating Disorder

We’re in the month of Valentine’s Day—a holiday that is, at its core, all about showing love to the special people in our lives, and especially to our spouse, partner, or significant other. Loving anyone comes with its challenges, of course, and eating disorders can especially complicate things. When your loved one has an eating disorder, you may not know quite what to do to show them that you care. Fundamentally, it’s all about listening to them, respecting their needs, and being there for them. Anything you can do to encourage them in their recovery—to let them know that they…

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How to Help Someone with Anxiety

All of us feel anxious from time to time—but for some, anxiety is much more than a feeling. Anxiety can be a true disorder, a mental health problem with debilitating effects. Those who struggle with clinical anxiety may sometimes feel isolated from those around them, as if their anxiety leaves them utterly alone. Of course, this is not true, yet it’s a feeling that can be profound and despairing. As the loved one of someone with anxiety, then, one of the best things you can do is reach out to show them that they are not alone—that they have your…

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What’s Your Holiday Stress Strategy?

When you’re in recovery, you’ve got to be vigilant—ready to protect yourself against any external factors that might prove triggering, even if that simply means avoiding those factors altogether. Something that can often be triggering to those in eating disorder recovery is stress. Unfortunately, the holiday season tends to bring much stress along with it. Though it may be impossible to cancel the holidays, there are ways to develop a stress management plan, and to prepare yourself to stay strong in your recovery all season long. We’ll share some of our favorite stress management tips below. How to Beat Stress…

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If Not Now… When? by Paul Beuttenmuller Castlewood Alumnus

“Somewhere in the archives of crudest instinct is recorded the truth that it is better to be endangered and free than captive and comfortable” – Tom Robbins For the longest time, I thought I was comfortable with where I was in life. I gave off the impression that I was happy and satisfied. But after some time, I came to realize that I was really just settling because I did not believe (and I was too afraid) that life could get any better. I was too set in my beliefs and my comfort zone to really open up and admit that…

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Bullying and Binge Eating

Last month, we unveiled a new social media campaign that we’re all excited about: The #1LifeAtATime campaign. The role of this campaign is to build awareness and foster a more open and honest dialogue about the ravages of eating disorders, the efficacy of treatment, and the hope of recovery. The basic premise is simple: We believe that empowering even one person with knowledge about eating disorder recovery can make a big difference, and create a ripple effect that touches countless other lives. This month, the #1LifeAtATime campaign has a particular focus: Bullying. Bullying and eating disorders are often talked about…

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Summer Blues Sad Woman.HighBlog1

How to Beat the Summer Blues

You may have big plans to spend the summer soaking up sunshine, spending time with friends, travelling the world, or simply enjoying a break from school. While you may be on summer vacation, though, there’s no guarantee that your depression will be likewise. Indeed, for mental health disorders such as depression, there is no such thing as a break. The symptoms of depression can rear their head at any time, and it is imperative to be proactive in your recovery every day and in every season. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep the effects…

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National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week

Millions of Americans are impacted by depression and anxiety disorders. Even so, these topics remain mired in stigma. They are uncomfortable to talk about and as such myths and misconceptions persist. The week of May 2 through May 8 presents us all with a unique opportunity to right this wrong, however: It is National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week, a great time to speak boldly and candidly about mental health and related issues. Perhaps you have never struggled with depression and anxiety; then again, perhaps you are in recovery right now, receiving ongoing treatment for these conditions. Either way, there…

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Overcoming Shame Through Vulnerability

Eating disorders carry with them many intense symptoms—but few can be as debilitating as the experience of shame. Shame, as we define it in eating disorder recovery, is an exceedingly painful and pervasive feeling that you are deeply flawed—and therefore, unworthy of being loved. Breaking through this shame is necessary for true recovery, and for experiencing not only the love of others, but even self-love. The question is, how can shame be overcome? There is no easy answer to this, but there is one ingredient that we want to emphasize—and that is the quality of vulnerability. Vulnerability essentially means putting…

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College and Stress Eating

People eat for different reasons. Ideally, you eat because you’re hungry—but from time to time, we all eat not out of hunger, but out of emotion. Stress, in particular, can cause overeating; and in fast-paced, high-tension environments, such as a college campus, stress eating can be all too common. Why does stress cause us to eat? When stress becomes chronic, it triggers high levels of hormone production—and in particular, a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, triggers cravings for foods that are salty, sweet, and/or high in fat. These foods provide a quick burst of energy and pleasure, helping mitigate…

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16 Stress Busting Activities for 2016

2016 is here, and one of the most common resolutions is finding ways to deal with your stress. While this task is often easier said than done, there are a few tried-and-true methods you can employ to reduce your own stress and feel better for the New Year. In celebration of the 2016 year, we’ve outlined 16 great activities you can enjoy to help reduce your stress – and have a bit of fun while doing it. Remember to Breathe: Taking even a few moments to relax yourself with deep, calming breaths can help to deescalate stressful situations. Listen to…

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