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mirroraddict
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PostSubject: Causes/Treatments   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:23 am

" What causes eating disorders?

There are many different theories regarding the causes of eating disorders. Eating disorders are likely caused by a combination of social, psychological, family, genetic, and environmental factors.

Society’s intense focus on thinness and appearance influences how young women view their bodies and their self-esteem. While this focus may not cause eating disorders, it can contribute to their development.

An individual may have a family history of emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety. Eating disorders are often associated with feelings of helplessness, sadness, anxiety, and the need to be perfect. This can cause a person to use dieting or weight loss to provide a sense of control.

Teens who participate in competitive sports that emphasize thinness or artistic activities, such as ballet, running, gymnastics, or skating, are more likely to develop an eating disorder.

Family stress of any kind can also contribute to the development of these illnesses. Dealing with difficult transitions, loss, or teasing about weight from friends or family may trigger eating disorders.





What do I do if I think my friend has an eating disorder?

It can be hard to talk to a friend who you think has an eating disorder. People who have eating disorders are often in denial and do not want to talk about their problems. They may get defensive or upset with the people in their lives who try to get them help. Do not let these reactions prevent you from trying to help someone you care about.

Remember, you can make a difference by helping a friend face her illness and her get treatment. Many people who get treatment for anorexia or bulimia are able to do so because of the support from others in their lives. It is often very hard for people with this illness to make a phone call or come in for their appointments. They often need friends and family to take the first steps for them.

Before talking to your friend, think about how to approach her. If you feel that you can't approach her yourself, share the information with a trusted adult and have them get help for your friend. You may want to talk with someone first such as an adult or another friend to find out more information, as it is helpful to have names and numbers of eating disorder resources (see Related Links below) to give your friend so she can take the steps to get help.

You may need to give your friend some time after you confront her about your concerns. Do not expect that she will immediately be able to understand you or accept help right away. Dealing with eating disorders can be challenging and may take a long time. Being honest and patient with your friend will make it easier for you to support her. But most importantly, remember to tell an adult such as a parent or teacher if you are worried about a friend.





How are eating disorders treated?

Eating disorders are medical and psychological problems. Treatment usually includes working with a team of specialists: a therapist, a nutritionist, and a doctor or nurse practitioner. Treatment is individualized to fit a teen's specific needs. "

~Young Women's Health
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