As Sandy Mullen, RN, and Cathy Napier began comparing notes and observations about patients they were caring for in the eating disorders unit at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, a surprising discovery surfaced: the seemingly successful treatment of a patient’s primary addiction often fed the growth of another, hidden addiction.
After reviewing hundreds of cases, Mullen, an eating disorders specialist at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, and Napier, former director of Presbyterian’s chemical dependency program, have authored a new book about their findings, “Swinging Door of Addiction: A Spiritual Guide to Recovery.” The book gives readers an inside glimpse into the world of dual addictions, substance abuse and eating disorders. The book is featured in this year’s Gurze catalogue, the preeminent scientific catalogue in the field of eating disorders.
“Swinging Door of Addiction” is an invitation for people with these problems to start looking at their lives and journaling about their recovery, Mullen said. “The problem is that many treatment programs regard eating disorders and chemical dependencies as separate and distinct problems,” Mullen said. “The issues are then dealt with separately and with different methods. But we’ve found that the best way to treat these patients is through combined therapy for both problems at the same time.”