Eating Disorders in the LGBTQ+ Community
Eating disorders can affect anyone and can cross any demographic, cultural, gender, or financial lines. Unfortunately, research shows that the LGBTQ+ community is at a higher risk for developing an eating disorder which is often associated with past trauma and difficulties of coming out. It’s important for those in the LGBTQ+ community who are struggling with an eating disorder to receive specialized treatment in a supportive community. We’re here to help – contact our team to start your journey to recovery.
At Eating Disorder Solutions, we understand the unique nuances of eating disorders in the LGBTQ+ community and are proud to offer individualized eating disorder treatment in a safe environment to help individuals reclaim control of their lives and future. Our caring and compassionate staff will address each client’s unique needs throughout the process. Learn more about our inclusive eating disorder treatment programs in Dallas, TX.
Higher Risk of LGBTQ+ Eating Disorders
Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder often stem from a specific event or series of events. In the LGBTQ+ community, there are various reasons that individuals develop eating disorders. LGBTQ+ individuals have unique stressors and experiences such as coming out, bullying, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, which can manifest in an unhealthy way. In many cases, an eating disorder will occur as an unhealthy coping mechanism.
There are many contributing factors and negative messages that individuals can have about oneself related to their sexuality. Perhaps the individual is worried about coming out and being rejected by their family, friends, and coworkers, or perhaps they have internalized negative messages and beliefs about their own sexuality. Many individuals may feel confusion or shame regarding their sexual orientation and gender identity.
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Unfortunately, the LGBTQ+ community is more susceptible to bullying, which can put them at an increased risk of violence and trauma, and oppression from the community can take a serious psychological toll. The LGBTQ+ community also experience increased risks of homelessness or unsafe home environments. In fact, up to 42% of homeless youth are LGBTQ+ identified. For many in the LGTBQ community, engaging in eating disorders and self-harm behaviors are ways to suppress their emotions and control aspects of life they feel are controllable such as food, exercise, and appearance.
Eating Disorders in People Who Are Transgender
Transgendered people represent an under-recognized group that experience eating disorders at higher rates. Body dissatisfaction – the negative evaluation and thoughts of one’s appearance – is considered a risk factor for mental health issues and can lead to eating disorders. Gender dyspohia and body dissatisfaction can often lead to transgender eating disorders. Transgender individuals are best served by a comprehensive team that includes mental health professionals and a specialized transgender eating disorder treatment program, as well as gender-affirming care.
Statistics Eating Disorders in the LGBTQ+ Community
Because of external factors and trauma, LGBTQ+ people have a higher risk of binge eating and purging than their heterosexual peers, however, research remains limited on eating disorders among the LGBTQ+ commuinty.
Gay and bisexual boys are more likely to engage in food restrictive behaviors such as vomiting and laxative abuse in order to control their weight. Gay adult men are seven times more likely to report binging and 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual adult men. While gay males represent about 5% of the total male population, among males who have eating disorders, 42% identify as gay.
Ressearch shows that lesbian women experience less body dissatisfaction overall and shows that as early as age 12. Females who identify as lesbian or bisexual were about twice as likely to report binge-eating at least once per month in the last year.
Treatment for LGTBQ Eating Disorders
Overcoming an eating disorder is a personal and transformative journey, regardless of sexual orientation. At Eating Disorder Solutions, we create an individualized treatment program that is based on personality, personal history, and other factors that are unique to the client.
Identifying the underlying triggers for an LGTBQ individual is essential during treatment for an eating disorder. By addressing the underlying trauma and issues, clients will have a better opportunity for lasting recovery. Our proven methods address the underlying causes of the eating disorder while treating physical symptoms to help the client nurture a new, healthier relationship with food.
Contact Us for Eating Disorders in the LGBTQ+ Community Treatment
At Eating Disorder Solutions in Dallas, TX, we embrace everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity, and understand the unique stressors and challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces. Our team is professional, compassionate, and has experience treating the LGBTQ+ community with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. We have a warm and welcoming all-inclusive environment that is supportive and non-judgemental. Our program addresses the underlying trauma and triggers of individuals and helps individuals replace negative thoughts with a positive outlook.
We provide a safe, welcoming space for individuals in the LGBTQ community who are struggling with an eating disorder. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder and is part of the LGBTQ community, get in touch with us today.