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The sky is (not) falling: Setting the record straight on the so-called eating disorder epidemic

Eating disorders can be a popular topic in the media, especially when they have to do with celebrities. They are usually filled with gasp-inducing statistics, a stock photo of an empty dinner plate, a bathroom scale, a tape measure, and/or a thin young woman in her underwear, possibly with scale or tape measure. It’s not […]

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Not just small adults: eating disorders in young children

More and more researchers and clinicians are becoming aware of the presence of eating disorders in young children (defined here and in most of the research literature as ED onset at less than 13 years). I have known five-year-olds with full-blown anorexia nervosa. Whether this awareness is due to people developing EDs at an earlier […]

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Puberty and Eating Disorders- The Perfect Storm

Puberty sucks. Let’s just get that out of the way. Your body is changing, sprouting breasts and zits at the most inopportune of times. The angst of being more or less “developed” than your friends (hello, locker room comparisons!) is difficult. Then there are the psychosocial changes. Your peer relations grow much more complicated, you […]

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The treatment variables that affect long-term recovery

The basic goals of eating disorder treatment are to reduce or eliminate ED symptoms, address co-morbid disorders, and improve quality of life. When researchers study these treatment in clinical trials, they generally focus on the first issue and seek to ask whether this treatment reduces ED symptoms. It’s not a bad goal for an ED […]

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Pluck my life: Hair pulling in eating disorders

I’ve used this blog to confess to all sorts of bizarre behaviors related to my eating disorder, from laxatives to suicide attempts. Lest anyone reading this blog still be under the illusion that an ED is glamorous, let me remind you that it’s not. At all. But I haven’t really discussed one of the things […]

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Baby makes four: When mothers have eating disorders

According to most mainstream media articles and more than a century of psychological research, eating disorders are the near-exclusive purview of young teenage girls. But what happens when that girl grows up? We know now that eating disorders can follow sufferers through college, young adulthood, and into partnerships, marriage, and pregnancy. As much as we […]

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How am I feeling? Alexithymia and eating disorders

My treatment team always used to get so mad at me because I’d always answer the question “How are you doing?” with “I’m fine.” No, no, they said, tell me how you’re really feeling. Although I had times where I did know what I was feeling and either didn’t feel like sharing or didn’t feel I could […]

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Re-thinking mindfulness during mealtimes in ED treatment

In psychology, mindfulness is a really hot topic. It’s everywhere, and plenty of research is showing that it can be helpful in managing anxiety, depression, and many of the other woes of modern living. Not surprisingly, mindfulness has also become extremely popular in the eating disorder field. We need to learn how to “be in […]

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Cuts both ways: Binge/purge and self-harming behaviors in adolescents

Besides the (obvious) binge/purge behaviors, one of the most common features of bulimia is self-harm. A recent study of adolescent ED outpatients found that, overall, around 40% of patients engaged in self-injuring behaviors (Peebles, Wilson, & Lock, 2011). When they broke the data down, the researchers found that approximately 60% of patients with BN self-harmed, […]

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Are EDs really on the rise? No, 10% of teen girls DON’T have an ED

It’s a question I get a lot: how many people out there have eating disorders? I can take some reasonable guesses, but there’s not much in the way of good, population-wide prevalence studies. But new estimates of ED incidence (the number of new cases diagnosed in a particular population in a specific time period) and […]

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