By Megan Samuels, MSW, LMSW, Outreach Coordinator
Content Warning: This blog post discusses trauma. Please take care of yourself, in whatever way that looks like for you.
There is often a high prevalence of people who struggle with an eating disorder and symptoms of trauma. There are some overlapping symptoms, such as changes in eating habits and changes in mood, just to name a few.
I define trauma as any experience that overwhelms one’s self or nervous system to the point where they are unable to cope effectively. There are so many examples of trauma, as every human responds to situations differently. When we think of trauma, we tend to think of abuse, neglect, natural disasters, adoption, etc.
However, I think it’s important to expand our definition of trauma, to include diet culture, racism, colonialism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, the COVD-19 pandemic, bullying, and not having a secure attachment style with a primary caregiver. These are just a few of the many examples of trauma that people experience.
I also believe that having an eating disorder can be seen as a trauma. When we think about eating disorder symptoms, such as restricting, purging, or binge eating - those can have health impacts on our bodies that can be seen as a trauma to our bodies. Part of eating disorder recovery can include healing our relationship with our bodies in a way that our bodies can trust ourselves to work with, instead of against, our bodies.
As eating disorder therapists and coaches, there is a high likelihood that our clients have experienced trauma. Here are some reasons why having trauma-informed care in eating disorder recovery is important:
The bottom line: Trauma-informed care in eating disorder recovery is something that I am very passionate about, and that I think it critical in the treatment of eating disorders.
Here are some questions to ask your providers to assess if they are trauma-informed:
Looking for more? The therapists and coaches at The Eating Disorder Center are trauma-informed providers for the treatment of eating disorders. Our center acknowledges that trauma is a wide spectrum and we are continuously receiving further training and supervision on how to support our clients in a trauma-informed way.
Schedule a free 15 min consult for eating disorder therapy in MD, DC, VA, NY, FL, or recovery coaching worldwide.
The Eating Disorder Center is a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center founded by Jennifer Rollin. We specialize in helping teens and adults struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, OSFED, and body image issues. We provide eating disorder therapy in Rockville, MD, easily accessible to individuals in Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Olney, Silver Spring, Germantown, and Washington D.C. We also provide eating disorder therapy in Arlington, Virginia and virtually throughout Virginia. Additionally, we offer eating disorder therapy virtually in New York (NYC), Washington DC, Florida, and California. We provide eating disorder recovery coaching via Zoom to people worldwide. Connect with us through our website at www.theeatingdisordercenter.com
The Eating Disorder Center
We are a premier outpatient eating disorder therapy center in Rockville, Maryland.