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Why me? Survivor’s guilt and EDs

I was always told that if I worked hard enough, I could recover. With hard work and time, the treatment centers told me, I would get well. I am, by most measures, doing well. I’m not “fully recovered,” nor do I really understand what that term means. But I am doing well. It’s a fact […]

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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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The trauma of having an eating disorder

It wasn’t long after I returned home to Michigan that the nightmares started. They weren’t overtly frightening or threatening- no boogeymen, no one chasing me. Instead, I found myself back at the treatment facility where I had spent the previous seven months. I was returning a failure. I had relapsed somehow, although I couldn’t tell […]

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More than you can chew: Binge eating, suicide, and minority girls

Full-syndrome eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder get the lion’s share of research money and media attention. But subthreshold disorders are often just as serious and affect more people. EDs in minority populations (where, in this case, “minority” means anything other than young, white females) also get much less attention. Again, the […]

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Why I suck at intuitive eating

As I mentioned in my last post, I don’t always get along with hunger and fullness cues. There are any number of reasons for it, not the least of which is having a chronic eating disorder. But it might not be the only reason. Welcome to the strange world of impaired interoception. For those who […]

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Personality-based subtypes of anorexia nervosa

As I’m sure most of my blog readers know, the DSM has two subtypes of anorexia: restricting and binge/purge (abbreviated here as AN-R and AN-BP. Because psychologists love acronyms almost as much as they love asking you about your mother). Behaviorally, they look easy to tell apart. But that’s not always the case. New research […]

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Anxiety, anorexia, and estrogen: Interpret the links with care

Some research that’s been making the rounds online, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, is the reports of a recent finding that showed an estrogen patch decreases anxiety in AN. It sounds great on the surface: anxiety is a big factor in the development and prepetuation of anorexia, so finding something that would decrease […]

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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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Treating Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa–Finally, a bit of hope?

In March, I attended the London International Eating Disorders Conference. This past weekend, I finally organized the last of my papers from the conference (After the conference, I was on vacation and then at a journalism fellowship, so I wasn’t home to do any organizing, hence the long delay) and found some notes I took […]

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