Eating disorders and icebergs are more alike than one might think. Picture an iceberg floating in a vast ocean: You can only see the tip of the iceberg and have no idea of what is under the surface of the water. Most people look at an eating disorder the same way, only seeing what is on the outside. This generally represents the behavioral parts of an eating disorder – changes in weight and eating patterns, excessive exercise patterns, purging, restricting, bingeing, selective eating, and so on – the things that, for the most part, you can see, measure, and quantify.
The most dangerous parts of an eating disorder (and an iceberg) are what you cannot see. Below the surface of an eating disorder are a host of maladaptive thoughts and mental preoccupations, shame, distress, and often feelings of deep isolation. Parents sometimes say, “Well, she gained her weight back or stopped bingeing, so she must be better.” Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. Despite looking better on the outside, they may still be plagued by eating disorder thoughts and feelings.
For people with eating disorders, the holidays—the eating, the socializing, the changes in routine—are often an annual stressor.
No matter what your holiday plans may be this year, supporting your teenager with an eating disorder can be a meaningful part of them. Consider these suggestions to help your teenager navigate the holidays ahead in recovery.
For many people, college is a time of tremendous transition and change. It provides new freedom and responsibility and offers lessons in life far beyond the classroom.
It is a milestone time—and one far too often hijacked by eating disorders.
All types of eating disorders can develop, return, or worsen in young people during their college years. Though these illnesses occur across the lifespan, they are particularly prevalent between the ages of 18 and 21. Research has found that the median age of onset is 18 for anorexia and bulimia and 21 for binge eating disorder, both findings within the age range of the traditional college student.
This article examines eating disorders in college students, including potential risk factors, warning signs, and tools for screening and intervention. Learn what makes college students particularly vulnerable to these complex mental illnesses as well as ways to identify and support those affected by them during college and beyond.
For people with eating disorders, the holidays—the eating, the socializing, the changes in routine—are often an annual stressor. Intensifying the challenges again this year are the still-high levels of anxiety, discomfort, and fatigue hovering over this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether your family’s 2021 holiday plans are virtual, in person, or some combination of both, supporting your teenager with an eating disorder can be a meaningful part of them. Consider these suggestions to help your teenager navigate the holidays ahead in recovery.
Dr. Shauna Frisbie is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an approved Supervisor for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC-S), a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She has taught psychology, family studies, and counseling since 2001 and is currently a Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lubbock Christian University.
Shauna joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss the value of sharing and discussing visual content in therapy. Her phototherapy techniques are described in her 2020 book, A Therapist’s Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age.
Charlotte Markey, PhD, is a professor of psychology and a founding director of the Health Sciences Center at Rutgers University (Camden). She is the author of The Body Image Book for Girls, as well as a forthcoming companion book for boys.
While body image has typically been regarded as a female issue, body image concerns can affect people of all genders. Here, we chat with body image researcher, Charlotte Markey, PhD, about body image in boys and men.
My interest in body image dates back to my childhood experiences as a ballet dancer. The intense focus on your body when you are a dancer is unfortunate and really fueled my own body dissatisfaction.
It wasn’t until I was an undergraduate psychology major that I started to look at the scars from my years as a dancer. Intellectualizing these issues was (and is!) a great coping mechanism for me. I began doing research on body image and eating attitudes during my undergraduate years and continued to do so when I completed my PhD in psychology. I love doing research and teaching as a professor, but I also really love to make the research accessible to more diverse, public audiences. This has led to my work on book projects, including my recent The Body Image Book for Girls and the forthcoming companion book for boys.
Diet culture and the beauty industry have targeted women for decades. It has long been commonplace for girls and women to want to change their appearance—in terms of both their bodies and their faces. This is not the only reason, but it is one of the primary reasons why body dissatisfaction is normative and festers among girls and women. In contrast, “manly” men have historically been conceptualized as natural, unadorned, and uninterested in fashion or beauty.
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