Posts Tagged ‘Teenagers’

Eating Disorders in College Students

A person studying in a library

For many people, college is a time of tremendous transition and change. It provides new freedom and responsibility and offers lessons in life far beyond the classroom.

It is a milestone time—and one far too often hijacked by eating disorders.

All types of eating disorders can develop, return, or worsen in young people during their college years. Though these illnesses occur across the lifespan, they are particularly prevalent between the ages of 18 and 21. Research has found that the median age of onset is 18 for anorexia and bulimia and 21 for binge eating disorder, both findings within the age range of the traditional college student.

This article examines eating disorders in college students, including potential risk factors, warning signs, and tools for screening and intervention. Learn what makes college students particularly vulnerable to these complex mental illnesses as well as ways to identify and support those affected by them during college and beyond.

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Episode 42: Phototherapy as a Healing Technique with Shauna Frisbie

A person viewing a photo gallery on a phone

Episode description:

Dr. Shauna Frisbie is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an approved Supervisor for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC-S), a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS), and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). She has taught psychology, family studies, and counseling since 2001 and is currently a Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lubbock Christian University.

Shauna joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss the value of sharing and discussing visual content in therapy. Her phototherapy techniques are described in her 2020 book, A Therapist’s Guide to Treating Eating Disorders in a Social Media Age.

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It’s Not Just Girls: Body Image in Boys and Men

A young boy sitting on a man's shoulders

Charlotte Markey, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and a founding director of the Health Sciences Center at Rutgers University (Camden). She is the author of The Body Image Book for Girls, as well as a forthcoming companion book for boys.

While body image has typically been regarded as a female issue, body image concerns can affect people of all genders. Here, we chat with body image researcher, Charlotte Markey, Ph.D., about body image in boys and men.

Describe your interest in body image. 

My interest in body image dates back to my childhood experiences as a ballet dancer. The intense focus on your body when you are a dancer is unfortunate and really fueled my own body dissatisfaction.

It wasn’t until I was an undergraduate psychology major that I started to look at the scars from my years as a dancer. Intellectualizing these issues was (and is!) a great coping mechanism for me. I began doing research on body image and eating attitudes during my undergraduate years and continued to do so when I completed my Ph.D. in psychology. I love doing research and teaching as a professor, but I also really love to make the research accessible to more diverse, public audiences. This has led to my work on book projects, including my recent The Body Image Book for Girls and the forthcoming companion book for boys.

Why has body image traditionally been thought of as a “women’s issue”? 

Diet culture and the beauty industry have targeted women for decades. It has long been commonplace for girls and women to want to change their appearance—in terms of both their bodies and their faces. This is not the only reason, but it is one of the primary reasons why body dissatisfaction is normative and festers among girls and women. In contrast, “manly” men have historically been conceptualized as natural, unadorned, and uninterested in fashion or beauty.   

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Eating Disorder Support For Your Teen Over The Holidays

A teen holding a gift and hugging another person

This year’s holidays may not be like the ones we used to know. Amid pandemic restrictions on travel and in-person gatherings, more caution and creativity will be the key to safe plans.

Not only can we make our holiday plans more COVID-friendly, we can also make them friendlier to those with eating disorders. For people experiencing these illnesses, anxiety related to holiday eating, socializing, and changes in routine often make this season the most challenging time of the year.

The best gift we can give our children and other loved ones affected by eating disorders is genuine, informed support. Consider these suggestions to help your teenager with an eating disorder navigate the holidays ahead.

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Supporting a Child with an Eating Disorder in Uncertain Times

A mother and daughter sitting on a couch

Uncertainty is still all around us.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to raise questions over our finances, jobs, schools, and, of course, our health and the health of those we love. So much remains unknown.

During this long coronavirus blur, eating disorders have not gone away. Far from it. We may have shut down parts of our lives, but eating disorders have not loosened their grip. For some, the pandemic has only exacerbated issues with food and body. For others, it has introduced them, and for others still, it has complicated the already tough, circuitous process of recovering from an eating disorder.

Navigating a child’s eating disorder as a parent can be painful, confusing, and frustrating in the best of times. It’s demanding and it’s stressful. And in a trying year of tremendous turmoil, loss, and unpredictability? It may feel impossible. How can you support your child when racked with fear and anxiety yourself? How do you encourage healing in a world seemingly still so sick? How do you make any decisions or plans when the future is so unknown?

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Teenagers and Eating Disorders

Group of teenagers walking on sidewalk

We know that eating disorders can and do affect people of all ages.

They’re not a “teenage phase.” They’re not a “teenager’s problem.” They’re mental health conditions that impact children and adults as well.

We also know that teenagers are particularly susceptible to developing these illnesses. Research shows that the average age of onset is between 16 and 18 years, and eating disorders occur in nearly three percent of 13- to 18-year-olds.

It’s clear that eating disorders often develop during the adolescent and teenage years—but why?

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