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Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are recognized by psychologists and psychiatrists around the world and can result in severe co-morbidities and even death if left untreated. With the continued social stigma attached to eating disorders and in general, mental health disorders; often times it can be challenging to discern the truth from fiction. New innovations in treatment are continuously being published however the mainstream media often does not shed light on these important findings. Below are three published articles that had eating disorders professionals talking this week.

4/14/17
Concerns About Your Child's Eating Habits? Is a Disorder Developing?
Childhood obesity is not the only epidemic associated with weight and eating in children and teenagers, eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa are becoming more common in the younger population due to peer pressure and the stress and influence of social media. This interview conducted by an expert physician in adolescent medicine at Akron Children's Hospital explores commonly asked questions about eating disorders and their prevalence among young individuals including the pediatric and adolescent population.

"WHBC: What is the average age of onset of an eating disorder?
Dr. Sondike: There are 2 peaks we see a lot - around 12 to 13, and another peak at 18 to 19 years old. That 12-13-age peak is during puberty when people's body shape is naturally changing and leading to some discomfort. When you talk about that older group ? they may be out on their own for the first time with a lot of pressures. However, when I see someone around 18 to 19, I ask them when did they first become concerned about their size and shape. They tell me that was a very long time ? back to 13 or 14 but they weren?t able to act on it until they went away to college or went out in their own."

Embrace Body Neutrality, Give Women a Realistic Standard
Many eating disorder experts often mention the importance of "self love" and why it is essential to learn to love your body however others argue if this is actually a realistic concept. Even individuals without a history of eating disorders may not necessarily love everything about their body. We always think about that stretch mark, or how one part of our body hugs our jeans in the wrong way or that scar or tiny defect that is visible to others. Many experts are beginning to wonder if changing this concept of "self love" to "self acceptance" is healthier for individuals who are in recovery or who are currently struggling with an eating disorder. Is self-love connected with high standards and perfectionism? Is the concept of body neutrality a healthier way to approach our body image and shape?

"Body neutrality is looking at yourself in the mirror and maybe not liking how your thighs look in the shorts you are wearing, but allowing that to be a passing thought. It is going through the day wearing those shorts, pushing that idea to the back of your mind and realizing that it doesn't matter. It's much easier to lessen negative thoughts about your body or your self-image by focusing on acceptance, rather than a feeling of obligation. And according to the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center, self-acceptance is one of the first steps to getting to self-love."

First, Do No Harm-How To Help When You See Signs of An Eating Disorder
Dancers and gymnasts are two common populations that are associated with the eating disorder stigma. Whether through binging and purging or extreme dieting, dancers often feel obligated to maintain a thin figure in order to perform their best and look beautiful while dancing on stage. These dangerous behaviors can cost them their life and a recent article by Dance Informa, an online dance magazine, sheds light on how to recognize eating disorders in dancers and ways to help them before it is too late.

3/17/17
Children Are Still Deeply Misinformed About Eating Disorders
Although awareness about eating disorders has increased tremendously over the years, there is still so much misinformation construed to society through news, social media, word of mouth and the Internet in general, which causes many individuals to adapt very unhealthy lifestyles when they actually ?think? they are eating healthy. From fixations with high intensity training, to eating ?clean? and sticking to diet plans; these behaviors are triggered by the obsession to stay thin and as a means of self-control people engage in these over the top behaviors; potentially leading them to develop an eating disorder. Even if you do not have an eating disorder per say, today?s youth are inundated with false information misconstruing the importance to be thin as having a thin body type does not necessarily equate to having a healthy lifestyle.

"As a youth instructor for Mental Health First Aid England, I still hear the most myths perpetuated by delegates when delivering the eating disorder section of the course. When working with children as young as 12, I worry about the amount of misinformation they have managed to glean on the topic."

3/17/17
Five Inspirational Changes That Will Actually Make You Feel Good About Yourself
Individuals with eating disorder often self-blame and self-insult if they make one little "mistake" of slip with their diet and this viscous cycle of insults results in self-hate and low-self esteem making their eating disorder worse. So here are five things to do instead of bashing yourself: 1) Take one selfie a day for a week. 2) Allow yourself to be vulnerable with someone. 3) Wear something you have been dying to wear but have been too self-conscious about what others will think. 4) Make time for yourself to do something that you enjoy 5) Every time you think bad thoughts about yourself, say something nice to yourself.

3/17/17
University Removes Weight Scales From the Gym Because They Are "Triggering" Students
Scales can be the biggest triggers leading to low-self esteem and the desire for weight. Many individuals often measure their success by a number on a scale. You weight has nothing to do with being healthy and most of us know that muscle ways more than fat. Many professionals in the eating disorder believe that scales can cause more harm than good in individuals who are struggling with weight loss and eating disorders. As a result, institutions are starting to remove scales from gyms and public places.

"Carleton University removed the scales, claiming that weight on its own ?does not provide a good indication of health and, here at Athletics, we have chosen to move away from focusing solely on body weight," according to the Ottawa Citizen.

Bruce Marshall, the manager of the university's wellness programs, told the publication in an email that the decision was "in keeping with current fitness and social trends."

3/17/17
How a Woman Healing From an Eating Disorder Is Dealing With Pregnancy Weight Gain
Pregnancy can be the most exciting time in your life but if you are in recovery for an eating disorder, it can be the most stressful and miserable time of your life because you will gain weight and you need to gain weight to support the growth and development of your baby. Eating disorders and pregnancy are not talked about as much on social media and in society but they are major battles among individuals in recovery.

"Getting used to the fact that your body is changing - whether you like it or not, since there?s not a lot of control over it - that part is really hard, particularly for someone who has been anorexic," Allison K. Chase, executive director of the Eating Recovery Center in Austin, tells Yahoo Beauty. She advises any woman who has been previously diagnosed with an eating disorder - which includes more than 20 million people in the U.S. - and who is pregnant to speak with a counselor. "Even if you're not experiencing anything in the moment, I think it can never hurt to check in with a professional just to get a sense of how you're feeling - not only about how your body is changing, but how your life is changing," she says. "The one thing we're clear about is that it never hurts to be more prepared, so it's essential to make sure you have any necessary skills you may need should you get stirred up again in some way."

3/10/17
Eating Disorders Group Wraps Up Successful Awareness Week
Eating disorder awareness week kicked off on February 26, 2017 and ended March 4, 2017. This National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) kicks off this annual awareness week every year in order to raise awareness and reduce the stigma on eating disorders. This year they held a social media campaign where eating disorder survivors were encouraged to take photos of themselves with their personal heroes who supported them through their journey and posted these photos on Instagram with the #NEDAwareness hashtag.

"Recovery from an eating disorder doesn't happen in a vacuum - friends, family members, treatment professionals, activists, and inspirational figures all play important roles. The #RecoveryHeroes campaign is an opportunity to celebrate all of the people who make recovery possible," according to the NEDA website.

3/10/17
Living with the "sissy issue" of men's eating disorders
Eating disorders are often misconstrued by the media as being disorders only affecting women however statistics show that 10 million men will be diagnosed with an eating disorder at some point in their life. Eating disorders, like all other mental health disorders do not discriminate against gender. Unfortunately the stigma associated with eating disorders is greater for men then it is for women and as a result not enough awareness is spread on men in relation to this issue. The causes for eating disorders are the same form men as they are for women; past trauma, abuse and low self-esteem. After all, we are all susceptible to the same advertisements, fashion magazines and media images of the "perfect body type."

"I've seen it with so many families, where they've said 'my son suffers from depression', or 'I couldn't accept that my son has a sissy issue'," she says. "A lack of understanding causes stigma. Eating disorders in men have always been there, we just didn't see them."

3/10/17
The Healing of Therapy Animals in Eating Disorder Recovery
To many people, pets are long time companions who bring joy, purpose and responsibility to their human companions. Studies have shown that dogs and cats have been known to reduce depression, lower blood pressure and increase overall well being in their human counterparts. Equine therapy and other forms of animal therapy have been quintessential in the mental health world and it is no surprise that dogs and other loving animals are considered to help individuals overcome their personal battle with eating disorders. The human-animal bond is one of the purest and loving bonds found in life and animals have the potential to teach us love, patience, kindness and loyalty; common characteristics many people who are battling with an eating disorder struggle to find.

"That love - love the most desperate dogs showed me at my most desperate times - is the reason I'm alive today. It is also the reason I've partnered with Dr. Annie Petersen to create SoulPaws Recovery Project, offering free animal-assisted therapy to those affected by eating disorders. By creating a free and easily accessible therapeutic community, SoulPaws animal-assisted therapy helps to combat the shame and secrecy so inherent in eating disorders. Our aim is to create a pack of recovery and love that can remind us, particularly on the days when we want to isolate, that we are never alone."

Center For Discovery Press Releases

2/20/17
New Outpatient Eating Disorder Treatment Center opens in Woodland Hills, California

2/15/17
New Residential Eating Disorder Treatment Center for Adolescents Opens in Atlanta, Georgia

1/11/17
Center For Discovery Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Behavioral Health

1/10/17
Center For Discovery Expert co-authors research on adolescent anorexia nervosa

1/2/17
Aaron Flores, RDN, Joins the Center For Discovery Woodland Hills Eating Disorder Treatment Team


Center For Discovery Center For Discovery has been providing residential treatment for women and teens for over years. At Center For Discovery, we provide residential treatment for women with eating disorders, teens with eating disorders, teens with mental health disorders, and teens with substance abuse issues.

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