Pressures in life can present themselves in a number of ways. Sometimes we feel stress because media images and our own bodies just don’t match up. This affects our view of ourselves—our self esteem.
Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder affects up to 24 million people in the United States every year (National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), n.d.). If you have suffered from an eating disorder, you are far from alone. If you are at risk or think somebody is experiencing problems with an eating disorder, you should seek professional help.
vWebmd.com lists symptoms of anorexia and bulimia:
Ø Skipping meals or obsessive dieting
Ø Feelings of guilt in association with exercising or eating
Ø Loss in hair and nail quality
Ø Damaged teeth quality
vDr. William Kernan of Columbia University Medical Center provides a 10-step plan for helping friends and family who suffer from eating disorders.
Ø 1.) Keep an open mind: If you think somebody may be suffering from an eating disorder, approach them privately and allow for you both to talk without being rushed.
Ø 2.) Clarify your role as somebody who cares and wants to help.
Ø 3.) Speak privately
Ø 4.) Avoid making the other person feel judged by reflecting concern for specific behaviors
Ø 5.) Avoid “You” statements and try to reflect your observations by telling them, “I noticed” instead of, “you have.”
Ø 6.) Remain supportive and a good outlet
Ø 7.) Stress your concern for your friend/family
Ø 8.) Avoid conflict when discussing these topics as conflict can result in resistance to open dialogue
Ø 9.) Emphasize physical and mental health rather than weight, image, or morality.
Ø 10.) Do your homework and be careful not to jump to conclusions.
(Kernan, W., Dr., n.d.)