Seeking inspiration from her own life, author and showrunner Marti Noxon did not wander much while drawing the characteristics of an alcoholic journalist in her latest TV project “Sharp Objects.” With Amy Adams playing the protagonist, the story is about a reporter who comes back to her hometown following her release from a psychiatric hospital after years of self-harm to probe the mystery surrounding deaths of two girls. It is during her investigation that she comes across the past of her abusive upbringing that led her to self-destruction.
“I was actually struggling with getting sober again when I wrote this. Some of the things that I added were ripped from the pages of my own life,” admitted Noxon.
Noxon’s work ranges from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to “To the Bone.” She has been open about her struggle with alcohol addiction and bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder where the person tends to binge eat only to purge later in the fear of gaining weight. The 53-year-old author said that working on the TV project brought back painful memories of the co-occurring disorders.
Link between eating disorder and alcohol abuse
The co-occurrence of an addiction and a mental disorder is known as dual diagnosis. The co-occurrence of an eating disorder and alcohol abuse is quite prevalent. In fact, according to research, nearly 50 percent of people suffering from an eating disorder is likely to abuse alcohol or drugs. The chance of substance abuse by people with eating disorders is five times greater than what is found in the general population, according to experts.
One of the reasons for the co-occurrence could be that many people develop bulimia as a coping mechanism. By binging and purging later, such individuals often try to escape from their inner fears and complexes with the help of alcohol. Experts also suggest that people suffering from bulimia go into periods of binging on alcohol to overcome the guilt and shame of excessive eating.
Besides, people suffering from bulimia also resort to alcohol to ease throwing up overeaten food. While excessive drinking can cause alcohol poisoning, it can also make the individuals vulnerable to sexual assault and physical abuse. Also, such individuals are at higher risk of developing depression and committing suicide.
In majority of the cases, people suffering from dual diagnosis tend to seek treatment for either the addiction or the mental disorder, whichever is at the surface. However, in order to attain complete recovery from dual diagnosis, it is important to treat both the underlying disorders simultaneously. Therefore, it is essential to seek co-occurring disorders treatment from a certified center. Such treatment centers are equipped with the technology and trainers to accurately determine the presence of a dual diagnosis and offer a holistic treatment for the recovery. Remember that alcohol addiction can be life-threatening, if left untreated.