Negative body image can be one of the initial triggers for an eating disorder and one of the most difficult symptoms to overcome in recovery. Body image encompasses how we see ourselves both in the mirror and in our minds. A distorted body image makes us see things that aren’t actually there, and also cause feelings of depression and isolation….and this can be one of the major catalysts that perpetuates eating disordered behavior. In recovery we work on overcoming behaviors, trauma, depression, anxiety, and try to normalize eating patterns. But body image tends to be the one thing that hangs on long after recovery has begun. It takes continual effort to arrive at body acceptance but it is possible! Here are some tips for overcoming negative body image and thriving in your new, recovered life.
Traveling with an eating disorder can be a monumental undertaking. The beauty about vacations is that they are meant to be fun and they also provide an opportunity to explore new cultures, people, and foods. The isolating, rigid nature of an eating disorder casts a shadow on what can be a life-changing experience. It is possible to travel with your eating disorder and still get the most from your vacation. The key is to know your limits and plan ahead so you feel supported and secure. Read on to learn about traveling with an eating disorder planning ahead is the best course of action.
We think of eating disorders as an adolescent’s illness, something that develops during the turbulent transitions of young lives. Unfortunately, instances of young children with eating disorders are on the rise. According to CNN, research by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that eating disorders in children under age 12 rose by 119% between 1999 and 2006.
Holidays are a time for family gatherings and cheer. Unfortunately, those same family gatherings can also be a catalyst for stress and drama. Dealing with this is uncomfortable for anyone, but when you struggle with a mental illness it can be even more unbearable. How can you make it though the holidays unscathed?
Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse Finding the Connection Treating the Pain
According to statistics from the National Eating Disorders Association, close to 50% of people with eating disorders are also abusing substances at a rate 5 times greater than the general population. In males with Binge Eating Disorder, 57% will suffer lifelong addiction issues. Like eating disorders, substance abuse creates severe physical and psychological complications, include cardiac issues, lung disease, stroke, liver problems, and cognitive disruptions.
Eating Disorders in Midlife: Not Just a Young Person’s Illness
What does the face of an eating disorder look like? Is it a young teenage girl struggling with body image? A college athlete trying to lose weight for a meet? The truth is, an eating disorder can strike anyone at any age. Midlife eating disorders are on the rise in both women and men, and the triggers are not just related to appearance and weight.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association , 43 million adult women in the United States are dieting to lose weight. Even among women aged 61 to 92, weight was identified as their most significant concern about their bodies. One-third of inpatient eating disorder admissions in 2003 were over 30 years old. These are alarming statistics that lay to rest any misconception that eating disorders are an adolescent illness.
The ratio of female to male eating disorders suggest that women and girls are more affected than men: according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the female to male ratio for anorexia is 10:1; for bulimia, 10:1; and 2:1 for binge eating disorder. Although eating disorders in females and males are clinically similar, it is feared that the true statistics related to males are not fully known due to underreporting of symptoms and stigma.
What is Causing the Growing Epidemic of Disordered Eating
Clinical eating disorders have clear indications and criteria for diagnosis. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorder not otherwise specified (ED-NOS) are all represented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V (DSM-V) and have strict parameters for diagnosis. Not so easy to spot are those eating habits that, although they may not fit the definition of an eating disorder, have troubling consequences for a person’s physical and emotional health. These eating behaviors fall into a category termed disordered eating, and they are far more prevalent than we may have realized.
What Does Healthy Look Like?
I think it is fair to say that those who struggle with some type of eating disorder have a really hard time with knowing what a healthy lifestyle and diet is. I know this because I once lived a life with anorexia and bulimia for ten years and knew what I was doing to my body was wrong and hurting it, but at moments I didn’t really care. I didn’t know a life without restricting, binging, and purging, so healthy is a word that I never thought I would live nor understand.
Eating Disorders and Dental Exams
Did you know that an eating disorder can be diagnosed from the dental chair? According to the Institute of Dental Research, 28% of bulimia cases are first diagnosed during a visit to the dentist. Our mouths reveal a tremendous amount of information about our overall health. Dentists may be among the first professionals to notice something that is indicative of a more serious issue.