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Are Eating Disorders More Common in Los Angeles?

Are Eating Disorders More Common in Los AngelesAre Eating Disorders More Common in Los Angeles? It’s True for Boys

While it may come as no surprise that young women growing up in the land of ‘the beautiful people’ would feel more pressure to be thin, a survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Los Angeles Unified School District suggests that high school aged boys in the Los Angeles area may share this burden equally. According to the report, young males in LA are twice as likely to resort to disordered eating to control their weight than the national average. Could more movies and advertisements that portray male stars with muscular physiques cause an increase in the number of teen boys suffering from eating disorders? Some experts think so.

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How to Avoid a Relapse in Recovery From a Mental Health Disorder

How to Avoid a Relapse in Recovery From a Mental Health DisorderHow to Avoid a Relapse in Recovery From a Mental Health Disorder

“Is relapse a normal part of recovery? What can I do to get back on track?” One of the biggest fears for anyone that has gone through treatment for a mental health disorder is having a relapse. It can be extremely depressing, discouraging, or demoralizing when you realize that you are slipping back into the old patterns of behavior you worked so hard to change. Old habits die hard, and your disorder will fight to keep to keep on controlling your life. But even if you lose a battle, you don’t have to surrender. You can still make peace with the disorder that has waged a war against you. Here are some steps to help someone stay on track.

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How to Get Through the Holidays Without Stressing Out?

How to Get Through the Holidays Without Stressing OutWorried About How to Get Through the Holidays Without Stressing Out?

The last thing a person struggling with the symptoms of an eating disorder usually wants is to draw attention to themselves or their disorder. But once again, it’s that time of the year. The holiday season is upon us. While many people may seem to be absolutely carefree and happy to focus on the food-centered celebrations of the season, if you, or someone in your family, has an eating disorder, this period could be an extra challenge to recovery from an eating disorder or a serious mental health issue. Here are some suggestions to help people cope, in a private and personal way.

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What is Art Therapy and How It Can Help Me?

What is Art Therapy and How Can It Help MeArt Therapy: Is it Art, Therapy, or Both? Survivors and Experts Describe the Process

“I was suffering from an eating disorder, and when I ended up in a hospital, at a dangerously low weight and with a heart rate to match, I struggled to comprehend what was happening. Why was I doing this? Why was I so intent on destroying myself?” a young woman writes. When words failed her, her interest in art opened a door: “A coherent explanation evaded me, and so in desperation I proceeded to draw, write, paint and take photos. Recovery is a complicated business, and sometimes images, objects and abstract verse were the only way I could make sense of what was going on inside my head. Art was a central part of my recovery from an eating disorder, and has enabled me to better understand myself.”

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Can Celiac Disease Cause Eating Disorders Among Teens?

Can Celiac Disease Cause Eating Disorders Among TeensCan Celiac Disease Cause Eating Disorders Among Teens? Find Out

If your teen or adolescent is diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s entirely normal for them to be very concerned about what they eat. Consuming the wrong foods can make them ill. But having to focus so intensely on diet issues could also contribute to unhealthy attitudes about their meals and food intake. “I felt deprived on the gluten-free diet,” a teenager with celiac disease reveals. “Had I been able to eat a bite of something when I wanted it, like a gluten-filled doughnut or cookie, I think I could have escaped the starve-binge cycles more easily.”

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Mental Health Advice From Teens: “How Would You Describe Your Recovery?”

Mental Health Advice From TeensMental Health Advice from Teens

Ever wish you knew then what you know now? What would you say to someone like yourself, when they are just starting out, as a miserable teenager or adolescent suffering from an eating disorder? In a creative exercise, as part of their path to long-lasting recovery, eating disorder survivors sometimes write anonymous letters to their younger selves or other people that are just beginning the journey. The results can be quite revealing, and also, very encouraging. As one young woman writes, “I was stuck in a pile of hopelessness and didn’t even want to recover. But that’s because I didn’t know what I was missing.” While these may seem like notes from hell or heaven, they demonstrate to anyone just beginning the process that they are not alone.

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5 Steps to Health At Every Size for Parents and Teens

5 Steps to Health At Every Size for Parents and TeensWhat Are the 5 Steps to Health At Every Size for Parents and Teens?

“’Health at Every Size’ is about taking care of your body without worrying about whether you’re ‘too’ big or small,” writes Dr. Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. “People might think they can tell who’s fit and who’s not by looking at them, but in fact, it’s trickier than that.” Lots of people are large and in great physical shape, she adds, saying, “Many avid dancers, runners, lifters, and sports team members are big to start with and stay that way. They tend to be far healthier than thin people who don’t move around much or eat a nutritious mix of foods.” Recognizing the need to encourage teens and adolescents to focus on healthy habits rather than weight loss, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers 5 steps for families to follow.

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Should Teachers Go Back to School for Training in Mental Health?

Should Teachers Go Back to School for Training in Mental Health DisordersTeachers and Ed Professionals Say They Are Unprepared to Deal with Mental Health Issues

At his administration’s National Conference on Mental Health, President Barack Obama challenged schools to help identify mental health disorders among their students. But surveys reveal that most teachers feel they lack the necessary skills to support the mental health needs of adolescents and teens. And budgets differ dramatically from school to school. Calling it a “crying need,” David Kopperud, a consultant to California’s State Department of Education says, “This is something school administrators and teachers run into frequently – depression, eating disorders, and other mental health issues – and yet they are not trained to handle situations like these.”

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Mothers Against Eating Disorders Share Personal Stories to Help Others

Mothers Against Eating Disorders Share Personal StoriesWhat Do Eating Disorder Treatment Professionals Need to Know? The Warrior Moms of MAED Reveal ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’

“No parent should ever outlive their children. When a child dies, you, the parent, have two choices: to survive or to die,” says Debra Schlesinger. “I chose to live to help others —and in return it helped me.”  To raise awareness about the eating disorder that claimed her only child, Ms. Schlesinger’s support group, Mothers Against Eating Disorders, has marched in Washington, DC, rallied for improved healthcare coverage, and advocated for more research. Now these ‘Warrior Moms’ are meeting with leading mental health professionals to help them understand what works -and what doesn’t- so that families can get the most effective treatment for eating disorders.

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Does Dieting Cause Eating Disorders?

Does Dieting Cause Eating DisordersIs Weight Cycling the Enemy?

You see them all the time- ads that promise you can “Lose 20 pounds in just 3 days!” If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Yet in our weight-obsessed culture, more than 61 billion dollars are spent on these fad diet products every year.  While it may be tempting to follow a popular diet scam, many of these trendy diets simply don’t work. The results are often a ‘yo-yo’ or Weight Cycling effect. 97% of most dieters gain back all of their weight, and often, more pounds. This form of weight cycling may ultimately harm the physical health of our teens and adolescents more than a little extra weight ever will. Can popular fads like diet pills, juice cleanses, metabolism-boosting supplements, and diets that only focus on “good foods” also be a gateway to eating disorders?

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