"I am always on a diet & never satisfied with my weight."
Dear Counselor: I have been troubled by low self-esteem and an eating disorder. I always seem to be on a diet and am concerned about how I look. I am never satisfied with my weight. Sometimes I throw-up my food after meals. Other times I can't eat at all.. maybe for a whole week. Than, I may have 3 or 4 days of binging on food, especially sweets, chips or bread. I can't seem to stop this. I am 15 now and feel like I need some help. I've never told my parents because I think they would be on my case about it all the time. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for talkng about your problem. You are not alone. There are many teens and young adults struggling with eating disorders. Let me give you some facts about eating disorders. I believe that you are suffering from a combination of 3 disorders: bulimia, anorexia and binge eating. I, also, recommend that you do tell your parents about this, contact AACC for a referral to a counseling professional in your area, and talk with your school counselor as well as your church pastor. Don't wait to get help because you have a serious problem which can threaten your physical health as well as your mental health. Read the following but please get help now. Email me with further questions you may have at http://www.counselcareconnection.org/services.asp
Contact these resources:
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) 1-847-831-3438 E-mail: email@example.com
Overcomers Outreach, Inc: (a Christian organization) 1-800-310-3001; 1-714-491-3000
Remuda Ranch: (a Christian organization) 1-800-445-1900; firstname.lastname@example.org Facts about Eating disorders
People who intentionally starve themselves suffer from an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa. The disorder, which usually begins in young people around the time of puberty, involves extreme
weight loss--at least 15 percent below the individual's normal body weight. Many people with the disorder look emaciated but are convinced they are overweight. Sometimes they must be hospitalized to prevent starvation.
Each year millions of people in the United States are affected by serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorders.
Approximately 1 percent of adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa, a dangerous condition in which they can literally starve themselves to death. Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder caused by deliberate self-starvation with a weight loss and an intense fear of gaining weight. See more information in the course above.
Another 2 to 3 percent of young women develop bulimia nervosa, a destructive pattern of excessive overeating followed by vomiting or other "purging" behaviors to control their weight. These eating disorders also occur in men and older women, but much less frequently.
The consequences of eating disorders can be severe. For example, one in ten cases of anorexia nervosa leads to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide. Fortunately, increasing awareness of the dangers of eating disorders--sparked by medical studies and extensive media coverage of the illness--has led many people to seek help.
People with bulimia nervosa consume large amounts of food and then rid their bodies of the excess calories by vomiting, abusing laxatives or diuretics, taking enemas, or exercising obsessively. Some use a combination of all these forms of purging. Because many individuals with bulimia "binge and purge" in secret and maintain normal or above normal body weight, they can often successfully hide their problem from others for years.
Bulimia is a preoccupation with food which usually includes binge eating and purging.