It is difficult to watch someone you love live with an eating disorder. While you can't simply fix them, there are certainly many ways that you can be a support for them and encourage them along in their path to recovery.
The thought of seeking treatment for an eating disorder can be scary. There is a lot of uncertainty and the opportunity for change - which can be daunting for many. There are many myths about eating disorder treatment that don't help to minimize nerves. This blog will debust many of the common myths about eating disorder treatment so that you will feel more comfortable pursuing recovery.
It's okay to feel, "Not Very Okay at All." Just make sure that you aren't feeling it alone. Talk to a friend, reach out to a teacher or call a hotline. Even though you may not always feel like it, there are a lot of people who care for you and want to help.
A large part of my work with individuals in program is helping them to understand the importance of making recovery a priority while also practicing balance. Here are 3 tips to help manage eating disorder treatment with other life responsibilities.
As much as we wish there was, there are no instructions for how to recover from an eating disorder. What I can say, is that everyone's recovery journey is unique, and different things will work for different people. Here are a few of my recommendations that have worked for individuals in the past.
With the ever-changing climate of mass media and societal pressures, children are experiencing eating disorders at younger and younger ages. For this reason, I thought it was important to list some of the things I’ve learned in working with the pediatric population.
Do you suspect that your loved one might have binge eating disorder? Are you concerned about how they will react if you confront them? Here are some helpful strategies to best frame a productive dialogue.
Friends and family can play incredibly significant roles in treatment and recovery – especially during the holidays when you’ll likely be spending more time together. Here are some tips to ensure that everyone at at your holiday gathering feels safe and comfortable.
Doing your best to understand what your loved one is going through and knowing what to expect while they are in eating disorder treatment, can provide a really great foundation to support them through their journey toward recovery. Here are few more helpful tips to scenarios that may arise.
In my work as an eating disorder professional, I often hear unrealistic expectations, baseless rumors or frankly inaccurate myths about eating disorder treatment that have been powerful enough to prevent many from seeking the help they need.
Binge Eating Disorder is a serious and complex condition affecting more than 6 million Americans of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes. If you think you might have binge eating disorder, there is hope. Take the first step and ask yourself these five questions.
Making the brave decision to enter eating disorder treatment is hard. There are a lot of unknowns so we'd like to help. Here are 5 things that might help you feel a bit more comfortable making this brave commitment.
Could your child have an eating disorder? I often recommend parents think about what is “typical” for their child and how does that compare or contrast to their current behaviors and food choices.
Louisa Howell is the adult mental health counselor at Walden Behavioral Care's Peabody clinic where she has been since it opened almost 3 years ago!
While there is no simple answer to the common question “Where can I find help for an eating disorder?” – hopefully the following guidelines will provide a framework (and some valuable resources) to navigate the process.
In this video blog, our prevention specialist, Stephanie Haines, M.Ed., CHES, will walk you through some of the emotions you can expect to experience, why treatment isn’t as bad as you might think and some of the things you can expect when deciding whether or not to seek treatment for an eating disorder.
Are you ready to take the next step in your eating disorder recovery journey? If you're looking into treatment options, here are some important questions to consider in choosing the right provider for you.
Eating disorders come in different forms, have different causes and are triggered by different biological, emotional and/or environmental factors. Here are some common indicators of an eating disorder.
My disdain for the word “or” came in fourth grade when I took my first True OR False exam in Science. “True or false, the world has people in it,” the test question mused. “Well,” I thought to myself, “it is true that the world has people in it, but it also has animals and trees and insects…that must mean the answer is false…but the answer couldn’t be false because there ARE people in the world…”
With the end of the year and holiday celebrations upon us, I wanted to remind you of some reasons I believe we celebrate because Ed can try to convince you otherwise. The holidays are a time to give thanks for who we have in our life and how much our life is filled with love and gratitude for ourselves (even if you don’t believe it) and others. Spending time with family and friends and making memories is what it’s all about.
What has kept me from sharing my road to recovery from everyone I meet? Part of it is the fear of being stigmatized for recovering from an Eating Disorder (E.D.) Ignorance can be bliss at times. I remember it like yesterday. The feeling of being crazy and hopeless, barely escapes me.
The feel-good energy surrounding the holiday season has begun as we prepare for Thanksgiving. While many of us look forward to seeing family, watching football and “binging” on turkey and stuffing, those who struggle with an eating disorder have probably been dreading this day for several months. I have found a few really helpful articles with tips and reminders for those who struggle, but have yet to find information on how to SUPPORT a loved one through the Thanksgiving holiday.
I took that leap. The leap of faith that got me through the day. I knew I was not alone, I couldn't be. I knew that this could not be an internal struggle inside myself anymore. Despite, all the thoughts I thought inside my head, I believed I was not alone. I hoped that sharing my story would help me and others too.
To an individual with an eating disorder, fear foods are foods that Ed prohibits you to eat. Fear foods vary from individual to individual, day to day and sometimes don’t even make sense. No matter what the fear food is, Ed is right there to be sure the rules are followed and it is not eaten. Should a fear food really be feared? Will something bad happen if it is eaten? The answer is NO.
What I learned from fracturing a bone in my foot, it takes time to mend. However, healing emotional scars and wounds can take time to mend too.
As I reflect on my life at the age of thirty-five years old, I wonder how I have learned to love myself along the way. I ask myself, "how can one love themselves' when there is so much more to love in others?" Well, I've learned along the way, through the guidance of my parents, that it is important to love yourself first. It can be a hard concept to grasp for a selfless person, but as I walk in my own shadow, I trust and love myself for all of me.
Did you know that Oct. 4 -10 is Mental Health Awareness Week? That’s right, this awareness week began in 1990 when the U.S. Congress recognized the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for all of their work to educate and increase awareness around mental illness. This year, to commemorate this event, NAMI created web and social media initiatives to help break down the facts and figures around mental illnesses.
There is often a misconception that eating disorders are primarily a “young, white woman of privilege” problem and that other races, ethnicities, and cultures do not struggle with the disorder. This can often make it difficult for individuals to enter eating disorder treatment if they do not fit this image. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) website, the prevalence of eating disorders in other cultures is unknown as there is limited research into the area of eating disorders and other races/ethnicities/cultures. However, reports of eating disorders in other cultures are on the rise.
Every year around this time memories flood in of back to school and specifically for me back to dance. Dance was (and still is) an integral part of my life and unfortunately so were eating disorders.
“During your cancer treatment, you have no control over your body — you give up your body to your doctor,” said Kathleen Emmets. “You are willing to do it because you want to live. Food restriction is the one thing that you can do to have some sense of control when everything is chaotic.”
During my recovery, one of my therapists Thom, had me talk about and look at my inner child (aka: little Cheryl, a younger version of myself etc.) and how I relate (or related) to her and what may or may not come up in how I am relating it all to Ed.
It seems like eating disorders have become a popular topic lately. There have been countless news stories depicting eating disorders in teens, parents, athletes etc. Catch up on the most recent ones listed below.
At Walden Behavioral Care we strive to individualize eating disorder treatment. To increase the specific services we offer to patients, we have developed “track programs” that are tailored for patients who need support in certain areas. This August, the College Track program for students with eating disorders ran for patients that were heading to college this fall. Whether a new freshman in college, or going back for another year, patients in this program focused not only on learning traditional research-based eating disorder interventions, but also developing skills necessary to managing triggers or scenarios specific to what a college student might encounter on campus.
The term self-injury, sometimes interchanged with the terms self-harm, self-mutilation or cutting, is the act of intentionally harming oneself, often repeatedly. Many people equate self-injury with cutting. But the truth is self-injury also encompasses less obvious ways that we think of harming oneself, including reckless driving or binge drinking for example.
Think dads have nothing to do with how their daughters see themselves? Think again. According to recent research at Charles Stuart University in Newcastle, Australia psychologist John Toussaint surveyed women diagnosed with eating disorders about their perceptions of their fathers and their relationship to them. He found that 42% of the women between the ages of 37 and 55 had over protective fathers, while 36% had distant fathers. Only one in five women had fathers that would be classified as caring parents.
People are healthiest when their mind, body, and spirit are integrated, creating an internal sense of wholeness. These parts of the self are meant to be connected to each other, and to function in harmony with each other and the whole. Unfortunately, eating disorders often bring about an internal fracturing of mind, body and spirit. It may feel like you have been trapped in your mind by eating disorder thoughts that disconnect you from your body and spirit.
People don’t choose to have an eating disorder. There are many biological, psychological, and sociological factors that play a role in the development of an eating disorder, and recovery from an eating disorder can be difficult, but it is possible to achieve a full and sustained recovery.
The often portrayed media image of eating disorders as something that effects only young, white, middle- and upper-class women continues to render many with eating disorders invisible. One such population is people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ).
What is recovery and what does it look like? A big question with a multitude of answers. Back when I was with Ed, someone asked me that question and I responded by saying “I have no idea what recovery looks like, I’m not even sure it exists.”
Everyone has a best-friend, right? A friend that guides you, listens to you, and lends you a hand? They tells you the truth and lets you know how they feel. They help accentuate your strengths and support your goals in life. They stand by your side through thick or thin. What if I told you my best friend at a certain time in my life was not that at all?