Students at Risk for Eating Disorders
By Christopher Clark, Executive Director, N.A.M.E.D.
Of the estimated eight million Americans with eating disorders, teenagers and young adults are at greatest risk for these illnesses. Young adults are especially susceptible to eating disorders, because they are under a great deal of stress, and because they are trying to achieve their personal identities.
The stress of school as well as the stress that comes with balancing work and family responsibilities can seem overwhelming. Students may feel confused on what career and personal goals they wish to pursue. While stress itself does not cause the eating disorder, stress certainly worsens the condition of the eating disorder.
It is important to note that eating disorders are both physical and psychological illnesses. Essentially, eating disorders are coping strategies that the person has subconsciously chosen to deal with emotional distress and inner conflict.
There are three main categories of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa characterized by restricting food intake and perhaps purging and over exercising. Bulimia nervosa is when the person binges, then purges or uses non-purging techniques, such as dieting or excessive exercising, to rid oneself of the food binged on. Binge eating disorder is characterized by bingeing on food, but the person does not typically purge.
Eating disorder behaviors can result in serious medical complications, and can be fatal! These behaviors are very addicting, which makes them difficult to break.
It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible for these disorders. The problem with putting off treatment is that one’s physical and psychological condition increasingly deteriorates, making treatment more difficult and lengthier later on.
If you are without insurance and finances are a problem, find out if a therapist will accept a sliding scale fee for appointments.
If you are a student with an an eating disorder, talk to a school counselor and enlist their help in finding you a therapist in the community. If you know someone with an eating disorder, express your concern for him or her and encourage the person to seek treatment.
Both females and males are afflicted with eating disorders! Of the eight million Americans with eating disorders, estimates currently suggest that up to two million American males may have eating disorders.
Due to little support for males with eating disorders, The National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, Inc. (N.A.M.E.D.) was formed to specifically offer support to and provide public awareness about males with eating disorders.
Reaching out to admit one’s problems and ask for help requires a lot of courage. N.A.M.E.D. is here to provide you with information and support, so please contact N.A.M.E.D. toll-free at 1-877-780-0080 or by e-mail at Chris@NAMEDinc.org. Your call is confidential. Visit N.A.M.E.D.’s website at http://www.NAMEDinc.org
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