The Many Faces of Eating Disorders : Parent and Teen Connection

The Many Faces of Eating Disorders

February 28, 20140 Comments

icecream-1-1172976-mThis marks the end of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and while you may feel you know what an eating disorder looks like, that’s not always going to be the case. Instead, your teen could have one and you may never be able to recognize it.

The Most Common Eating Disorder People Don’t Know They Have

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (beginning February 24) is upon us and it is an excellent time to remember that disordered eating of all kinds, across the spectrum, encompasses far more than most people realize.

Anorexia (restrictive or purge-like behaviors in an effort to become as thin as possible) and Bulimia (binge/purge behaviors) are the most well-known eating disorders and we’ve made great strides in raising awareness of both of these devastating problems.

But there is another form of eating disorder that is just beginning to be widely discussed, and it’s one to which many people can relate: binge eating disorder (or BED). Binge eating disorder is now classified in the latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), which lays out specific criteria for diagnosis. As a result, you’re now beginning to hear more about this insidious disorder — and many people are surprised to learn that help is available and attainable.

Though it is common for eating-disorder sufferers to experience more than one type, binge eating disorder has some unique attributes when compared with Anorexia and Bulimia:

• Binge eating disorder affects nearly as many men as women. About 40 percent of people with binge eating disorder are male, compared to just 5 to 15 percent for anorexia or bulimia. Overall, though, eating disorders are on the rise in boys and men.
• Binge eating disorder is much more common in middle-aged women than in teens and young adults. In part this may relate to hormonal and metabolic changes that occur in midlife. Another possible reason is the sense of deprivation or personal neglect that may fester in women who are juggling multiple caretaker roles in their lives.
• Though obesity can and often does result from binge eating, many people with binge eating disorder are not overweight.

Read more at The Huffington Post.

If you’re concerned your teen may be suffering from an eating disorder, the single best thing you can do is get help. Talk to a licensed counselor or your family doctor to learn more.

The Many Faces of Eating Disorders

Article: The Many Faces of Eating Disorders

Author: Jennie J. Kramer

Source: The Huffington Post

Filed in: Advice for ParentsHelp for Teenagers
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