Laker Help Link
Dealing with an Eating Disorder
How do you recognize an eating disorder?
One of the most important first steps of dealing with an eating disorder is to recognize the physical and behavioral signs and symptoms, which include:
- Self-perception of being "fat" at a normal or below normal body weight
- Recurrent behavior(s) in order to prevent weight gain such as self-induced vomiting; diet pills; misuse of laxatives, diuretics or other medications; fasting; or excessive exercise
- Hoarding or preoccupation with food, or unusual eating patterns
- Binge eating
- Physical problems of fatigue, dizziness, discoloration of tooth enamel, yellowish palms, loss of monthly periods
Suggestions of what to do if you suspect an individual has an eating disorder:
- The first and most difficult step is to acknowledge the eating problem.
- Be supportive and empathetic.
- Provide accurate information and refer them to a professional who is experienced in working with individuals who have eating problems. Counseling can help improve self-esteem and challenge negative body image messages.
Suggestions of what to avoid if you suspect an individual has an eating disorder:
- Demand that they stop the problem or express concerns about their weight specifically.
- Make insensitive remarks about body weight.
- Single the person out related to their eating behavior.
GVSU Counseling & Career Development Center
GVSU Women's Center
Forest View Hospital
In-patient and out-patient treatment services; support groups and one-on-one therapy.
Other Links and Information:
National Eating Disorders Association
Something Fishy: Website on Eating Disorders
"Dying to be Thin"
View this PBS NOVA program at the following web site:
Page last modified September 14, 2010