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Eating Disorders

ED Awareness Week: February 25th - March 4th

Eating Disorder Myths
Signs You May Have an Eating Problem
My Friend Has an Eating Disorder...What can I do?

EATING DISORDERS CAN BE DEADLY!


Eating Disorders - no matter what form or shape they may have taken - are serious and potentially life-threatening.

Up to ten percent of sufferers from an eating disorder die as a result of their illness either from starvation, cardiac arrest, medical complications, heart problems, malnutrition, or suicide from depression caused by the eating disorder.

Dieting Teens: More than half of teenaged girls are, or think they should be, on diets. They want to lose all or some of the forty pounds that females naturally gain between 8 and 14. About three percent of these teens go too far, becoming anorexic or bulimic. Remember, boys suffer from Eating Disorders as well.

Remember that losing weight isn't going to make you a "better" person - and it won't magically change your life.

It's a good idea to maintain a healthy weight because it's just that: HEALTHY.

Eating disorders are dangerous and can harm your body in many ways - now and in the future. Health problems include:

Dark circles under the eyes, dry skin, dry hair, loss of hair, constant feeling of cold, dizziness, callused and bruised fingers (caused by using the fingers to induce vomiting), tooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomiting, loss of tooth enamel, fainting, fatigue, weakness, having problems falling and/or staying asleep (insomnia), cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, irregular or no menstruation, damage to immune system, dehydration (can result in kidney failure), problems during pregnancy, malnutrition, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, liver damage, reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), heart damage, and heart failure.

Eating Disorders: Avoiding Guilt and Self-Blame for Family Members

If someone in your family has an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder, do not blame yourself for his or her condition. Blame only distracts you from what you can do to help the person who has the disorder.

Friends and family members cannot cause a person to develop an eating disorder. Many people who have an eating disorder come from families in which other members have eating disorders or have other conditions such as depression. This does not mean that a family member caused the disorder; it simply means these conditions seem more likely to happen in that family.

You can avoid guilt and self-blame by using the following tips.

Show support for your family member who has an eating disorder. Say things such as, "I know this is hard for you. You are doing a good job."

Don't focus attention only on the family member who is in treatment. Spend time with other members of your family and your friends.

Remind yourself that this is a long-lasting disorder. It will take time for changes to happen.

Forgive yourself if you think you said something that was not appropriate, and forgive your family member if he or she reverts to unhealthy eating behaviors.
Do not look for the reason for the disorder. Work toward changing things for the better.

Look at your own eating behaviors and change the ones that seem unhealthy.

Everything you need to know about Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorders Association
This Video is Heartbreaking!
Go to the Website above to see more.


What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating Disorders include a range of conditions that involve an obsession with food, weight and appearance to the degree that a person's health, relationships and daily activities are adversely affected.

While commonly affecting young women, eating disorders are widespread and can impact people of all ages and sexes. It is estimated that several million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, and the statistics are growing. The number of men with an eating disorder has more than doubled in the last ten years.

Whether a person restricts food intake, binge-eats, binges and purges, abuses laxatives, compulsively overeats, or excessively exercises these behaviors often are symptoms and not the problem. They often develop as a way of coping with emotional pain, conflicts related to separation, low self esteem, depression, stress or trauma.

What Causes Eating Disorders?

The interplay of several factors can place a person at risk for developing an eating disorder:

Stressful life situations accompanied by a lack of adequate coping skills, sensitivity to changes in life, sensitivity to separation from family, socio-cultural factors, messages about weight and appearance from the media, possible biological predisposition, genetics, family dynamics, and trauma

Links

Read this interview of a girl who struggled
with Anorexia and died because of it.

Eating Disorders and Society   
   Anorexia
Bulimia
Dangerous Methods of Weight Control
Brief Over-View of Signs, Symptoms and Physiological Complications