58 public relations firm for authors - exploring drunkorexia - erica ives - shapiro pr - empower her - 2013
Exploring Drunkorexia: Starving For AlcoholBy Rheyanne Weaver HERWriter April 10, 2013 - 11:05pmMonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpinDuring April’s Alcohol Awareness Month, and with National Alcohol Screening Day onApril 11, experts are looking to increase awareness of a dangerous fad calleddrunkorexia.Drunkorexia is an unofficial eating/alcohol abuse disorder that involves excessiveexercise and dieting during the day in order to compensate for binge-drinking at night.Dr. Harris Stratyner, the vice president of New York Clinical Regional Services at CaronNew Yorks Recovery Center, said in an email that although women are more likely tohide this type of disorder, you can still notice the basic symptoms described above.
“I think it’s time ... we recognize this combination of disorders, as it’s become all toocommon,” he said. “Anorexia and alcoholism on their own are incredibly destructive toyour body and can also have deadly consequences.”He added that the disorder generally affects more women than men.“Young adult women tend to be a common age group to be self-conscious, and evenobsessive about weight and appearance,” Stratyner said.He said one of the first steps to getting out of this vicious cycle is to consider thedamage you’re doing to your body.“It’s important to know that there is never a safe way to binge drink,” he stated.“When you starve yourself in order to drink at the end of the day, you rob your body ofnecessary calories and much needed vitamins, which then results in extremely lowenergy levels.”“Anorexia and binge drinking are a deadly combination and can lead to low fertility andultimately decrease your chances of having children,” Stratyner added.Drinking is popular in the media, and women are constantly pressured to lose weight,which adds to this growing disorder.“The fad of low calorie cocktails doesnt help the case either, as women with thisdisorder feel they can drink more of these cocktails, since they don’t contain as manycalories,” he said.Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and psychology professor, said in anemail that “drunkorexia” could be considered an “eating disorder not otherwisespecified.”Also, depending on specific individual behaviors, a person could be diagnosed with bothanorexia nervosa or "eating disorder not otherwise specified", and a substance abuse oralcohol use disorder.She said the unofficial disorder has been around for a while, but to her knowledge,received its new catchy name only recently.“Basically, it is the deliberate control/restriction of calories by undereating, starvation andexcessive exercise, followed by significant alcohol consumption, with the goal beingrestriction of calories during the day so the person can drink at days end withoutincurring weight gain,” Durvasula said.
The side effects of drunkorexia can be endless. Durvasula provided a list of some of thepossible side effects:1) Physiological dependence2) Medical side effects of anorexia3) Amenorrhea (cessation of menstruation)4) Cardiac side effects5) Weakness from malnutrition6) Difficulties with concentration7) Fatigue8) Depression9) Anxiety10) Inability to maintain responsibilities including school, work, and family“In addition, because these folks are drinking heavily on an empty stomach, they willlikely ramp up to intoxication more quickly, be more likely to engage in bad judgment ofall kinds, which can make them more vulnerable to accidents, assault, and STIs,”Durvasula added.Erica Ives, a marriage and family therapist and author of “Eating Disorders:Decode The Controlled Chaos,” said in an email that “drunkorexia” might beappealing because binge-drinking on an empty stomach leads to quickintoxication.People who have this disorder might also try to drink so much that they vomit.This way, they may feel further justified in drinking more since they will just losethe calories again through vomiting.She added that the disorder seems to be more prevalent in college students andpeople in their 20s, but anyone can suffer from it.“I believe that when one has lower self-esteem, lacks a strong sense of self,struggles with body image issues as well as interpersonal relationships, are awayfrom home for the first time and trying to find a way to navigate this vulnerable lifetransition, the risk for this condition increases greatly,” Ives said.Would you like to be able to locate a screening site or take a screening online?Screening for Mental Health has provided a website where its all free and anonymousat http://www.howdoyouscore.org/
Sources:Stratyner, Harris. Email interview. April 10, 2013.Durvasula, Ramani. Email interview. April 8, 2013.Ives, Erica. Email interview. April 9, 2013.National Alcohol Screening Day®http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/events/national-alcohol-screening-d...Alcohol Awareness Monthhttp://www.ncadd.org/index.php/programs-a-services/alcohol-awareness-monthReviewed April 11, 2013by Michele Blacksberg RNEdited by Jody Smithhttp://www.empowher.com/mental-health/content/exploring-drunkorexia-starving-alcohol###