Compassion Recovery Centers and Joint Commission

Eating Disorder Treatment

Looking for a Eating Disorder Treatment in Orange County? Let Compassion Mental Health help with our innovative, evidence-based and comprehensive program that allows you to recover without leaving your home!
a female client during her individual therapy with a mental health expert

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are a type of behavioral disorder that impact a person’s ability to eat in a healthy way. While refusal to eat at all is the most well-known eating disorder, it’s just one of a number of different mental health disorders relating to food. Today, an estimated 2-10% of the population struggle with eating disorders and those disorders last for a median for 3 years. Yet, for many, they cause debilitating physical and mental health problems, reducing quality of life, and sometimes causing permanent physical harm.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help

The team at Compassion Recovery is here to deliver evidence-based treatment built around your individual problems and needs. Our approach means helping you move past the most pressing problems and then to start digging into the underlying causes so we can help you recover, not just now, but for the rest of your life.

Compassionate Mental Health Expert in Laguna California

What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are an extremely common class of mental health disorders. At any given point, an estimated of 1.3% of all women under the age of 25 have anorexia nervosa, or refusing to eat food typically for body image reasons. However, eating disorders can include over 8 primary different types of disorders according to the DSM V.

Any of these disorders results in an unhealthy relationship with food. However, the motivations may be about body image, body weight, comfort, getting to binge, self-punishment, or self-soothing. A psychological assessment can help you to uncover the underlying motivations behind the eating disorder, so you can treat that, and improve your relationship with food.

a woman looking at the mirror struggling from anorexia

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is the most common eating disorder, and consists of controlling calorie intake. In most cases, it manifests in restrictive diets that may look like someone refusing to eat carbohydrates, refusing to eat anything but tomatoes, or simply refusing to eat most meals. People with anorexia nervosa typically feel they are fat or are getting fat and may have extreme body dysmorphia. However, anorexia can be about self-punishment and self-denial, getting to take control of something, and getting to be in control. And, it may also include purging (vomiting or laxatives) food, although this is commonly associated with bulimia to the public. If your BMI is under 18 and you have an eating disorder, you’ll likely receive an anorexia diagnosis. And it impacts both men and women, with about 4% of all people having it at some point in their lives.


Bulimia is commonly thought to be about purging food rather than restricting calories but that isn’t necessarily the case. Instead, the person alternates between binging and calorie restriction. The individual wants to lose weight but does not normally have extreme body dysmorphia. Therefore, they may have a healthy BMI and may even be overweight. However, they will frequently overeat, followed by using laxatives or forced vomiting to purge food, or will follow food binges by starvation.

woman with Bulimia during her treatment at mental health and substance abuse treatment center in orange county california
woman binge eating

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder means that the individual habitually overeats, after which they feel guilt, shame, or self-loathing. Normally people with binge eating disorder actively want to eat less but typically eat more for comfort or self-soothing reasons. However, binge-eating can also be about taking control of physical appearance, such as after sexual assault or after living with parents or a partner who were very strict about food and weight.

There are many other eating disorders. For example:

Symptoms of social media addiction will typically include significant usage of social media. However, social media addiction is in the DSM-5 under the category of “process addictions. Here, symptoms are listed as:
The consumption of non-nutritional and non-edible items such as soap, chalk, or hair
Avoiding food because of the sensation (common in persons with autism)
Purging food because of the sensation

Restricting food in order to drink alcohol without weight gain

Compulsive overeating when stressed

Night-eating syndrome

Muscle dysmorphia
In general, if you cannot control how much you eat, or if you constantly feel bad about yourself and your body or shame yourself for food intake, it’s a good sign to seek out mental health help.

Symptoms of Eating Disorders

The most common symptom of an eating disorder is an unhealthy relationship with food. That many manifest as an unhealthy relationship with what counts as food, an unhealthy relationship with food for your body, or an unhealthy relationship with food as a comfort object.
Sudden weight gain or loss, not explainable by a physical medical symptom
Binge eating
Binging and purging or patterns of purging
Over-exercising to the point of exhaustion or being underweight
Refusing to eat certain foods
Only eating one type of food (E.g., tomatoes)
A body image that doesn’t align with their actual body
Refusing to eat or only eating tiny amounts
Eating disorders can also result in extreme weight loss of weight gain and in malnutrition. If carried far enough, they can result in permanent physical harm and even death.

Our Treatment Services in Orange County, California

Explore our in-person and virtual mental health and substance abuse treatment services in Orange County at Compassion Recovery Centers. We offer a truly individualized experience for each client who enters our innovative Orange County treatment center. Discover how Compassion Recovery can help you on your journey to long-term, sustainable recovery.
detoxification Doctor,With,Patient,In,Medical,Office


a male client during partial hospitalization

Partial Hospitalization

a female client with his male mental health expert during an individual counseling at a mental health and substance abuse treatment center in orange county california

Intensive Outpatient

people during group therapy substance abuse treatment in orange county


Virtual IOP

Virtual IOP

Dual Diagnosis at mental health and substance abuse treatment center in orange county

Dual Diagnosis

Motivations for Eating Disorders

A mental health professional can help you to better understand yourself and how to treat your eating disorder by helping you to figure out the motivations behind it. Here, there are many reasons someone might adopt an unhealthy relationship with food:
Body dysmorphia
Wanting to maintain weight
Wanting to be in control of something
Stress relief
Learned habits
Peer pressure / social pressure

So, while the common idea of an eating disorder is a teenage girl pressured into starving herself to be thin like a fashion model – that can take many different appearances. Someone who binge eats and gains a lot of weight after sexual assault also has an eating disorder. Someone with an attention disorder who drops out of college and loses a lot of weight through calorie restriction also has an eating disorder. Someone who restricts calories and only eats “healthy” things so that they can look buff also has an eating disorder. Someone who goes running for 2 hours to make up for a plate of pancakes has an eating disorder. And, someone who doesn’t eat for two days so they can drink as much as they want without gaining weight over the weekend also has an eating disorder.

Our Program Defined

We strive to offer the best treatment experience and believe that through our proven program, that we can help you not only overcome mental illness, but achieve a fulfilling life full of gratitude and compassion beyond what seems possible at the beginning of your path to recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is widely regarded as the most effective treatment option for eating disorders. Here, you treat the most critical and pressing problems first and then use behavioral techniques to help individuals assess body dysmorphia, relationships with food, and the underlying problems behind those behaviors. CBT is both a talking therapy and a practice therapy, meaning you get homework and assignments to help you figure out yourself and what you can do instead.

You’ll also get other types of therapy built around talking to your peers, learning to tackle social aspects and expectations of appearance and behavior, working to tackle body dysmorphia, and finding motivation to stay in therapy. At Compassion Recovery, we use therapies including:

  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Counseling

The goal is that you always have the tools to asses your behavior, emotions, and feedback loops, so you can work with professional guidance to build something healthier. And, we personalize that for each patient as they stay with us, ensuring they get the most relevant care for their needs.

If you’re staying with us, treatment also includes activities, group meals, and group therapy, so you can participate with peers, get to know how others are impacted by the same disorders, and learn how much of your disorder is actually a disorder by seeing it in other people. 

photo of happy people from a support group smiling for the camera

Help with Compassion Recovery

Eating disorders are complicated, multi-faceted, and personal. They can result from parenting, bullying, relationships, personality traits, abuse, trauma, cultural pressure, and other mental health disorders. You need a full picture of the person and their motivations and mental health before you can start treatment.

The home-like treatment center at Compassion Recovery enables that approach. Our low staff to patient ratio means you’ll get one-on-one attention from staff so they can get to know you, your underlying problems, and your needs. And, we can use that to build personalized treatment programs for you – so that you can recover. That includes a full treatment program based around CBT.

Getting Help

If you’re ready to get help for an eating disorder, contact us at (877) 414-3007. Compassion Recovery is an Orange County mental health treatment center offering inpatient and outpatient treatment for eating disorders. If you come to stay with us, we offer a home like environment, where you can live with your peers, 24/7 medical care, and constant contact with mental health professionals to help you recover.

Eating disorders are dangerous, bad for your physical health, and often a symptom that something is deeply wrong with your mental health. At Compassion Recovery, we’re here to help.

a female client attending the individual treatment for substance abuse in orange county california
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