Eating Disorders Articles

How Self-Compassion Builds a More Positive Body Image Than Self-Esteem

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Body Image

“Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.” — Diane Von Furstenberg

A new study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has touched on a somewhat taboo question: “What if women were to accept themselves with deep self-compassion — flaws and all?” In other words, what if we looked upon ourselves with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as we would a loved one or a dear friend? Would we gain a more positive body image?

The answer is yes.

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Friday, October 10th, 2014

misery joyMost people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

1. Eating disorders are real and deadly illnesses and having one is not a choice. Your reaction, as an administrator or teacher, to a disclosure of an eating disorder should be the same as if you were told a child had leukemia. Certain eating disorders have a mortality rate as high as 20 percent.

Eating disorders are up to 80 percent genetic, and they are biological in nature. Treatment has to be the number one priority, and the medical and psychological needs of the student should drive how school absences, attendance and other issues are handled.

Eating Disorders in Men

Friday, August 8th, 2014

eatingAccording to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 million males in the United States will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lives.

That number is staggering. Even more startling is the fact that men who battle eating disorders are significantly less likely than women to reach out for help.

Body Image Battles

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Body Image BattlesWe indoctrinate our children to the ideals of beauty before they are out of diapers. These images come in the form of dolls such as Barbie and G.I. Joe, providing guidelines of what we are supposed to look like.

These images are only validated and expanded upon as we get older. The media, whether it’s in the form of a magazine or a television, only exacerbates the problem. Researchers have found that negative body image has a major impact on roughly 75 percent of the female university student population.

The Role of Personality & Psychology in Healthy Eating

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The Role of Personality & Psychology in Healthy EatingWe’re getting fatter. An intelligent understanding of personality can help us to understand why we eat what we eat, and what we can do about it.

Openness

For a start, openness to experience has been negatively linked to BMI — that is, being open can help keep you slim. There are probably two reasons for this.

How Neuroscience is Helping Us Better Understand Disordered Eating

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

How Neuroscience is Helping Understand Disordered EatingHave you ever eaten “comfort foods” to calm yourself down? What about ice cream when feeling sad or depressed? Or, on the other end of the spectrum, does the thought of eating chocolate cake after already eating a meal stress you out with anxiety about your body? According to neuroscience, there is a reason for it.

The Pathological Potential of the Prep Pad

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

The Pathological Potential of the Prep PadNew York Times health columnist Catherine Saint Louis recently covered the many upsides of a spanking new food analyzing device called the Prep Pad. In addition to weighing just how much food you’re about to consume, this unassuming 9-inch-by-6.25 gadget syncs easily with an iPad (generation 3 or higher) to tabulate the grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat whatever edible hits its scale has to offer — along with the total number of calories these macronutirients add up to.

Exciting as this may be for well-meaning dieters and family food planners trying their best to be “healthy,” I can (un?)comfortably say I’m already concerned.

The Hunger Fix: Managing Your Addiction to Food

Friday, March 14th, 2014

The Hunger Fix: Managing Your Addiction to FoodThere’s a scene in an episode of “Sex and the City,” where Miranda Hobbes has shamelessly salvaged a cupcake from the trash and, half of the thing in her mouth, leaves a voicemail with Carrie admitting her weak moment in case her friend needs that evidence when she admits her into the Betty Ford clinic. Katie Couric played the clip before introducing her guest, Dr. Pam Peeke, internationally recognized expert, physician, and author in the fields of nutrition, stress, fitness, and public health, on the “Katie” show.

Peeke’s latest book, The Hunger Fix (a New York Times bestseller), lays out the science to prove that fatty, sugary, salty processed foods produce in a food addict’s brain the same chemical reaction as addictions to crack cocaine and alcoholism.

Peeke uses neuroscience to explain how, with repeated exposure coupled with life stresses, any food can become a “false fix” and ensnare you in a vicious cycle of food obsession, overeating, and addiction. The dopamine rushes in the body work the same way with food as with drugs like cocaine.

3 Common Ways Eating Disorders Develop

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

3 Common Ways Eating Disorders DevelopEating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and overeating develop in people of all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and walks of life. Here are three common ways an eating disorder develops:

Low Self-Image or Self-Esteem

It may seem like common sense: Low self-confidence can lead to someone not caring for him- or herself. But the cause of a negative self-image can run much deeper than just body image. On the surface, an eating disorder seems to be all about weight, but the desire to reach a certain size may be a symptom of underlying self-loathing.

How a Poor Self-Image & Shame Negatively Impacts Your Relationships

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

How a Poor Self-Image & Shame Negatively Impacts Your RelationshipsIs shame about your body affecting your relationship? Or do you have a child who has an eating disorder and it’s affecting your family?

Shame plays a big role in the feelings related to food and it’s important to understand the cause in order to treat it. Read on to learn about the feelings and actions that are often involved in the development of eating disorders and what you can do to help your relationships and family cope.

Why? Why does she think that losing weight is more important than anything else, even her health? Why doesn’t she see herself as the bright, talented, athletic, attractive young woman that others see? These are among the questions most frequently asked by family members of a young woman with an eating disorder.

A large part of the answer to these questions can be found in understanding the emotion we call shame and its relation to self image.

Helping Your Child Reduce Self-Harming Behavior

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Helping Your Child Reduce Self-Harming BehaviorSelf-harm, or inflicting physical harm onto one’s body to ease emotional distress, is not uncommon in kids and teens.

In fact, according to clinical psychologist Deborah Serani, PsyD, in her book Depression and Your Child: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers, about 15 percent of kids and teens engage in self-harm.

There are many forms of self-harm, including cutting, scratching, hitting and burning. Many kids and teens who self-harm also struggle with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, physical abuse or other serious concerns or psychological disorders.

These kids “don’t know how to verbalize their feelings, and instead, act them out by self-injuring,” Serani writes. Kids might self-harm to soothe deep sadness or other overwhelming emotions. They might do it to express self-loathing or shame. They might do it to express negative thoughts they can’t articulate. They might do it because they feel helpless.

Recent Comments
  • Nemya: Thank you so much for this article. It’s very concise and an easy read for those that have...
  • Fight Depression: thank you for the wonderful description.
  • acaw: Although you might be correct to identify a certain infantilism in some men these days, you go astray in...
  • mom of 4: Well, my experience with my son’s ODD agrees with pretty much everything on here. I am going to write...
  • Diimund: Just about everything bad that could happen to a person in their life has happened to me – accept that...
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