Psych Central

Eating Disorders Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Obsessed: America’s Food Addiction — and My Own

December 12th, 2013
Have you ever heard a skinny, super successful, professional woman spouting the horrors of obesity? We all have, and the widespread reaction from anyone who has ever struggled with their weight is along the lines of: “Please shut up.” MSNBC’s Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski has been publicly ridiculed and even vilified for doing it. But ...

Why America’s Addiction Treatment System Is Broken & What You Can Do

Why America's Addiction Treatment System Is Broken & What You Can DoWe know a lot about addiction. We know that addiction is a complex brain disease – not a weakness or lack of willpower. We know its risk factors include “genetic predisposition, structural and functional brain vulnerabilities, ...

Improving Your Emotional Health Through Healthier Eating

Improving Your Emotional Health Through Healthier EatingMany people do not realize it, but you actually are what you eat. Scientific research shows that eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life. Food allergies or intolerances can have a great effect on ...

Obesity, Genetics, Depression and Weight Loss

Obesity, Genetics, Depression and Weight LossThere are a lot of different opinions and strong emotions when it comes to the topic of obesity and weight loss. This article is simply another opinion about obesity in America. By writing this article, I am ...

Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back

BOOK REVIEW.
Loneliness, shame, depression: all of these are a part of the life of someone with an eating disorder. If they are unable to confide in anyone, the names Ana (anorexia) and Mia (bulimia) may quickly become their best friends. However, these are no true friends and only contribute to a downward spiral for the individual. In ...

Qsymia and Belviq Drugs for Obesity, Weight Loss

Qsymia and Belviq Drugs for Obesity, Weight LossIf you're obese and are at the end of your ropes looking for weight loss help, there's good news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA in the past few months has approved two new ...

The Importance of Support for Eating Disorders

The Importance of Support for Eating DisordersIn her first session with me Rose exclaimed emphatically, “No offense to you, but I feel that I should be able to control my food and weight by myself without the help of a therapist!” Over the years, Rose had tried ...

[A]Musings of a Spiritual Atheist

BOOK REVIEW.
[A]Musings of a Spiritual Atheist by Andrew J. Ackerman is a book about the author's journey from addiction to recovery.  Ackerman, the self-described hard-line "spiritual atheist," uses the book to offer his experience with 12-step recovery programs. As an atheist, Ackerman's point of view is unique among recovery-oriented and 12-step literature. Many people struggling with ...

Hope with Eating Disorders: A Self-Help Guide for Parents, Carers and Friends of Sufferers

BOOK REVIEW.
Eating disorders are constantly in the news, and have been for some time now. Yet it’s quite astonishing to note how few people truly comprehend the psychological factors involved in them. Many are quick either to deem an eating disorder a solely physical ailment, or to make a blanket claim such as, ‘It’s the media’s ...

Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat

BOOK REVIEW.
It seems that you read or hear about a new diet every other month or so that promises to help you lose weight and keep it off.  Discipline and willpower to stick with the diet plan of choice is occasionally in short supply for someone on a diet.  Yet here is where a brand new ...

White Elephants

BOOK REVIEW.
As I cried, I wanted to believe it was the alcohol that induced Mom’s words.  I had to believe it was the alcohol.  I don’t want them.  The words rang in my ears.  That’s the night my heart first broke. White Elephants is the story of Chynna Laird’s childhood with an alcoholic, bipolar mother.  Not for ...

Adolescent Tragedies and My Teenager

Adolescent Tragedies and My TeenagerOnce again I am writing about a terrible tragedy. Fifteen dead children. Fifteen lives ended prematurely and violently. An entire community that will not recover for generations. An entire nation searching for answers that ...

8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
Babette Rothschild, the Series Editor of 8 Keys, explains in her introduction that the purpose of the 8 Keys series is to provide intelligent, thoughtful help from highly experienced professionals.  In this case, Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb are not only psychotherapists who are highly trained in working with people with eating disorders, but ...

Loud In The House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl

BOOK REVIEW.
I found "Loud In The House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl" by Stacy Pershall to be a superbly written, first-person account of a young girl's struggle with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD). The author explains her symptoms in an easily understandable way. The stories are so easy to relate to ...

Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia

BOOK REVIEW.
Between three and six percent of all teens struggle with some type of eating disorder, be it bulimia, binge eating, or anorexia. Because these illnesses involve eating, they seem to take a blow at family traditions, celebrations, and expressions of togetherness. Thus, parents, siblings, and even relatives all suffer, as Harriet Brown so adroitly shows ...

Fat People

BOOK REVIEW.
For his book Fat People, Bill Schubart has created and gathered a collection of stories that will make you rethink your relationship with food. Schubart is smart, sensitive and unnervingly keen at noticing details.  The behaviors that he draws attention to are profound and haunting.  Through fourteen stories he tracks the different ways people have ...

10 Ways Loving a Dog Can Teach Us to Love Our Bodies

How Loving a Dog Can Teach Us to Love Our BodiesWorried parents often come to my psychotherapy office, wondering how to teach their children to have a healthy attitude toward their bodies. These parents have heard their adolescents and pre-adolescents make comments like ‘I hate ...

Restoring Our Bodies, Reclaiming Our Lives: Recovery from Eating Disorders

BOOK REVIEW.
Aimee Liu writes with a gentleness and an understanding that only someone who has been through the painful process of recovery can truly possess: Her 1979 memoir, Solitaire, was the first discussion of anorexia nervosa published in America. Since then, Liu also has written fiction and self-help books. Liu teaches creative writing at Goddard University's MFA ...

Eating Disorders Spike Among Middle-Aged and Older Women

Eating Disorders Spike Among Middle-Aged and Older WomenWhen you hear the term, eating disorder, many people may typically think of a perfectionistic adolescent girl heavily into sports or dance, being raised by an over-controlling parent. By starving herself or binge eating and purging, she is rebelling ...

Mindless Eating

BOOK REVIEW.
We make more than 200 food-related decisions per day. We are unaware of 90 percent of them. In Mindless Eating (2006), Brian Wansink, PhD takes an in-depth look at food psychology and how environmental cues influence eating behavior. Hidden persuaders -- including items such as food presentation, advertising, packaging, kitchen design, utensil ...

Is Trying To Change an Addictive Habit Worth It?

Is Trying To Change an Addictive Habit Worth It?Drugs. Alcohol. Food. Exercise. Shopping. Gambling. Attempts to change or fix other people. Trying to make more and more money and achieve higher levels of success. Any of these can be used in excess and compulsively as ...

Parents Important in the Prevention, Awareness of Eating Disorders

Parents Important in the Prevention, Awareness of Eating DisordersEating disorders are now epidemic in the United States. Approximately 11 million women and girls struggle with anorexia and bulimia. Although the average age of onset is 14, girls are being diagnosed as young as ...

Challenging Body Distortions Through the Eyes of the Body

Body image is the picture in our mind's eye of how we look to ourselves. It reflects our beliefs about how we think others perceive us and captures how we experience the feeling of "living" in our bodies. -- Adrienne Ressler, MA, LMSW, CEDS Everyone has a ...