Eating Disorders

Many people worry about what they look like, how much they weigh, what others think of them .

This is especially important to adolescents and young adults as they move from high school to branching out into college and beyond.  Sometimes, these worries become more of a problem. People usually become aware that it is a problem when other people start noticing or commenting on changes they see. 

Have other people been asking you about your eating habits?

Is one of your parents or maybe your partner worries you are losing or gaining too much weight?

Do you avoid going to places where there might be a lot of eating? 

Are the holidays difficult times for you because you know that people will expect you to eat a lot?

Do you ever eat so much at one time that if anyone saw you they would be shocked?

Have you ever made yourself throw up food you just ate because you think you ate too much or that the food was too high in calories?

Do you take laxatives frequently?

Do you eat looking for comfort and then wish you hadn't?

Do you exercise a lot in order to keep your weight down?

For women, has your menstrual cycle stopped (or perhaps, you have never gotten a period)?

All of these are areas that many people struggle with.  Even if you only said "yes" to one or two of these, they might be bothering you enough that you might want to seek help.  Counseling and Wellness Services provides individual and group therapy for persons with problems with body image, worries about weight, eating disorders, and health and wellness related issues. 

Some important facts about eating disorders

  •  More women are diagnosed with eating disorders than men (Attie & Brooke-Gunn, 1995).

  •  In a study which was based on a community sample of Hispanic, Asian, Black, and White women who came to a clinic for problems with eating, the four groups were found to be equally likely to have symptoms of bulimia, anorexia, or binge-eating disorder (Cachelin, F., Veisel, C., Barzegarnazari, E., Striegel-Moore, R., 2000)

  • Depression can also be present when someone has an eating disorder (Attie & Brooke-Gunn, 1995; American Psychiatric Association, 1994)

  • When men have eating disorders they tend to be more concerned with maintaining a "masculine physique" rather concern with weight gain (Attie & Brooke-Gunn, 1995)

  • Boys and girls begin to think about being thin and can develop problems with eating very early in life -- as young as in grade school and possibly younger (Harrison, 2000)

  • Change in eating and exercise can disrupt normal reproductive functioning and can also result in the delay of puberty and can lead to skeletal problems leading to early osteoporosis (Attie & Brooke-Gunn, 1995)

If you think you might want more information and you're not quite ready to call us, how about checking the following websites out:

www.health.org/gpower/girlarea/bodywise/eatingdisorders/define.htm This site is oriented toward girls but has some useful information about eating disorders. 

www.eating-disorders.com
This site has some good information on it about eating disorders in general

www.eating-disorders.com/doyouqz.htm
This site also has a survey to help you to think about whether you might have an eating disorder 

www.eating-disorders.com/doessome.htm
This is another page on the same site that might help if you are worried about a friends of yours. 

eatingdisorders.about.com/health/eatingdisorders/cs/bodyimage/index.htm This site provides information about healthy body image and other related topics including eating disorders.

Overeaters Anonymous
456 Woodman Drive
Dayton, Ohio
(937) 252-6766

www.region5OA.org/dayton
This site provides information about the local chapter of Overeaters Anonymous, their meetings, their newsletter, etc.

 

References

          American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

      Attie, I., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1995). In D. Ciccetti and D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology, Volume 2:  Risk, disorder, and adaptation (pp. 332-368). New York:  John Wiley & Sons.

     Cachelin, F., Veisel, C., Barzegarnazari, E., & Striegel-Moore, R., (2000). Disordered eating, acculturation, and treatment-seeking in a community sample of Hispanic, Asian, Black, and White women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24, 244-233.

     Harrison, K. (2000). Television viewing, fat stereotyping, body shape standards, and eating disorder symptomatology in grade school children. Communication Research, 27, 617-640.

These materials were compiled and prepared by Cindy Weisbart, Psy.D.