It’s always Prevention season and though we do not yet have vaccines for eating disorders, there is much we can do. Prioritizing self-care is a universal prevention and is powerful in the face of contagion.
Balance in Schools: How to Address Weight Concerns While Limiting Impact on Body Image and Disordered Eating”
A “healthy” weight is truly different for every person. When we hold onto rigid ideas of what any individual should weigh – especially while discounting other wellness markers – we can actually negatively impact the body image and self esteem of our students and children.
Body image is complicated for everyone – especially those who have a history of an eating disorder. Be patient, have compassion for yourself and practice these five tips that can help to ease anxiety around any bodily changes that might be happening.
While we know that eating disorders can develop from interplay of biological, psychological and environmental factors that are often beyond our control, there are many risk factors that we can actively work to minimize - and even prevent in our everyday encounters.
We are very excited to share that our non-profit affiliate, the Foundation for Education and Research in Eating Disorders (FREED), has partnered with the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC) at McLean Hospital to launch the first and only national brain bank dedicated to the research of eating disorders.
The reality is, today's culture can often leave us feeling saturated in body judgment - both from others and ourselves. It is possible however to separate ourselves from negative environmental influences. Here are a few strategies to help you “tune out” body – focused messaging.
How do we ensure that our children have a positive relationship with food and in turn with their natural body size and shape?
Being happy and comfortable in your own skin is bad for the "beauty" business. But you know what? It’s great for us – and it’s what every single person deserves.
Eating disorders are serious, impacting millions of school-aged youth across America. Like any mental health condition, they warrant honest and sometimes uncomfortable conversations. But these discussions help.
The question for all of us as providers, relatives or as friends remains: how can we help our loved ones and students/clients/patients access proper mental health treatment and support prior to feeling as though they have no other option? Our answer: We can all become better informed and we must not be afraid to have these conversations. Awareness PLUS action is powerful. Our answer: We can all become better informed and we must not be afraid to have these conversations. Awareness PLUS action is powerful.
Eating disorders are like rip currents. They highjack our instincts, alter our primal signals for survival and change our behavior.
Relapses are often natural parts of the recovery process. As they say, sometimes you need to take a step back to take two forward. When experiencing an eating disorder relapse, it can be helpful to remember these seven tips.
Learning the skills of self-care is a lot like learning to drive a car. We often expect to already have these skills, when in reality, learning how best to care for ourselves is a process that typically requires a lot of trial and error before we figure out what actually works.
Understanding what self-compassion is--and what it isn't--is a critical piece in gaining self-acceptance and boosting self-esteem.
We are so used to picking people apart, or judging people based on their external appearance, that body shaming has become a sort of white noise that is constantly playing in the backdrop of our lives.
For women and men suffering from the infliction of an eating disorder within this cultural back drop, it’s no wonder why it has become increasingly challenging for many to feel comfortable in their own skin.
How do you explain to a 12-year old that as she gets older, fitting in with the “popular” crowd won’t matter as much? That individualism is an asset in the adult world? How do you give her hope that her ideas, values and self-concept will change as she matures?
I thought to myself “Is it possible that Prince has taught me the most about what a healthy body image and self-concept ought to look like?
Adequate rest is vital for mental health, learning and overall wellness. If we don’t make good sleep a priority, we risk a multitude of health issues, including the most common problems we see in individuals with eating disorders.
In the service of supporting all those who are doing their best to love themselves unconditionally, I offer the wise words of Rosie Molinary, author of The Body Warrior Pledge (taken from her book Beautiful You, Seal Press Berkley CA, 2010)
While Martin Luther King Junior was a brave and profoundly brilliant advocate in the African American civil rights movement, I think it is important today, and everyday, to reflect on his teachings in a way that resonates with each of us individually. Being that this is a mental health blog, I thought it useful to relate MLK's preachings of tolerance and support for the whole person to those who have been touched by a mental illness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We try to protect our kids from danger and do our best to keep them shielded from things that could make them feel bad. We teach them not to speak to strangers, make sure that they put on their sunscreen and wear a helmet and we don't talk about "adult matters" while in their presence. We do this to keep them safe, and because we know that infancy and childhood are supposed to be times filled with nurture, exploration, play and discovery that should not be infringed upon by stress, jealousy, self-degradation and dare I say it, body image issues.
Today I went and saw the new Pixar film, Inside Out. If you haven’t heard about it yet, here’s the gist: You are witnessing the emotional life of an 11 year old girl from the inside of her brain. Specifically, you are watching life in her Limbic System and Hippocampus. You are watching personified emotions-Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness. Each emotion takes turns “driving the bus” that is this young girl’s brain reaction to her circumstances, and watching these experiences be solidified and stored.
Upwards of twenty million women and ten million men suffer from a clinically – significant eating disorder in the United States at some point in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.
Each year, Walden Behavioral Care commemorates National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW) in order to highlight the seriousness of these devastating illnesses. NEDAW’s goal is “to improve public understanding [of eating disorders]…by increasing awareness and access to resources.”
If you take a moment to think about the variety of people you work with, go to school with, live with, or just interact with on a daily basis, you will probably be able to identify a variety of personalities, likes, dislikes, beliefs, and struggles. These individuals and their differences serve to strengthen and enrich families, teams and communities, but they may also present challenges. The same concept applies to the treatment setting. In the same way you may be influenced by a college roommate, a work colleague, or even a close friend, you will be faced with choices, for better or worse, about whether or not to adopt the behaviors of those around you.
Happy Super Bowl Weekend! Even if you are not a fan of football, you can’t help but be sucked into the vortex that has become Super Bowl marketing. From the commercials to the half-time show to this year’s #deflategate scandal, it is easy to forget the actual reason this event exists – to play a championship football game!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month according to the PACER National Center for Bullying Prevention. This campaign, started in 2006, brings awareness to schools and children across the country about the signs, behaviors and dangerous effects of bullying. It also emphasis the view point that peer bullying is destructive and demoralizing and should not be simply brushed off as a right-of-passage for kids, adolescents, teens and young adults.