An Eating Disorder is a complex psychological and physical illness. It requires attention on not only the physical aspect of a person’s well being, but also the psychological. And although some might think there is only one kind of eating disorder, actually there are three main types. Most men and women with eating disorders will have one of the following:
Anorexia Nervosa – Someone with this illness will refuse to maintain a body weight that is considered within a normal range for age and height. Those with this disorder often begin with an intense desire to lose weight, which transforms into a morbid fear of gaining weight, to the point of endangering their life.
Bulimia Nervosa – This illness includes recurrent episodes of binge eating. A person with this illness might also make attempts to compensate for the overeating such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, frequent fasting, or excessive exercise.
Binge Eating Disorder – This disorder is characterized by the repeated experience of eating a large amount of food within a specific period of time, accompanied by a feeling of not being able to stop, or a lack of control.
In addition to these, there are other types of eating disorders. If you’re a concerned parent who suspects that your teen is struggling with an eating disorders, the most important step to take is to contact a mental health professional. You might search for an eating disorder treatment center that focuses on this type of illness specifically. Often, these treatment centers will provide full services that address the many needs of a teen with an eating disorder. In addition to this, you might consider the following online resources to learn more about the illness of eating disorder:
Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center (http://www.edreferral.com/) – This site provides information and treatment resources for all forms of eating disorders.
Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc. (http://www.edap.org/) – This nonprofit is devoted to the awareness and prevention of eating disorders.
Something Fishy (http://www.somethingfishy.org/) – Despite its odd name, this site is a great resource for information on eating disorders and offers versions in French and Spanish.
Gurze Books (http://www.gurze.com/) – This is a trade publication company specializing in eating disorders. Here you’ll find an entire range of books all on eating disorders.
Academy for Eating Disorders (http://www.aedweb.org/) – This is a group of professionals looking to promote treatment, prevention, and research related to eating disorders. AED sponsors an annual conference for physicians on eating disorders.
New Moon Publishing (http://www.newmoon.org/) – New Moon publishes magazines and books geared towards empowering adolescent girls.
The National Women’s Health Information Center (http://www.4women.gov/) – This site is administered by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services to address a range of women’s health issues, including eating disorders.
Eating Disorders/Disordered Culture (http://www.eating.ucdavis.edu/) – Two college women administer this site, featuring personal stories written by young women who have struggled with a range of eating disorders.
My Life With ED (http://www.gggeez.homestead.com/home.html) – This site highlights the story of a woman’s battle with anorexia.
This is a list of online resources to gather more information about eating disorders and learn about the disorder. However, as mentioned above, if you feel that your teen is in danger, contact a mental health professional or dial 911 for immediate help.
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