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Certain disordered eating and eating disorder behaviors are more common among teens who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. As early as age 12, these teens are at higher risk for binge-eating and purging. Males who identify as gay “are seven times more likely to report bingeing and 12 times more likely to report purging than straight men”, Bustle cites.

Eating disorders, like most mental health or behavioral health disorders, are often coupled with tremendous shame. Any single individual who has lived with an eating disorder is likely to live with some form of shame in their lives. Most often, shame is manifested from two sources. First, there is the shame which comes from how mental illness is highly stigmatized. Second, there might have been a significant trauma in someone’s life which created a cycle of shame, leading to the development of an eating disorder. For many people in the LGBTQ+ community, coming out, identifying themselves on “the rainbow”, and living in a largely cisgender heteronormative world of binary gender identities, often includes experiences of shame.

Shame is a negative reinforcer which drives behavioral addictions and damaging processes like eating disorders. Shame often presents itself as a brand on who someone is as a person. People are shamed for being loud, for being quiet, for their shape, size, and appearance, for the color of their skin. For people of LGBTQ+ identification, they experience shame for who they are in addition to who they love, who the people they love are. With religious punishments, there is more to shame for these individuals. They aren’t just shamed, they are told traumatizing, damaging things about the value of their life. Shame and trauma are intricately connected, creating a complex situation which requires specified treatment.

When food becomes an attachment for coping with shame, an eating disorder can quickly develop. Eating disorders and complex trauma necessitate specialized treatment. The Guest House Ocala offers residential treatment programs for everyone who needs recovery from trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues, like eating disorders. Everyone’s story starts before treatment. Everyone’s story can change. We see you. We love you. We invite you to heal mind, body, and spirit. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800