Making Recovery and the School Year Compatible

As summer vacation draws to an end, families are making changes to their fall schedules so that each family member can accommodate the new school year. Since the entire family routine will change, its no wonder everyone feels stressed out during the first few weeks of the school year.

Families with a loved one who has been identified with an eating disorder, or disordered eating, may feel even more pressure at this time since transitions and change are high risks for eating disorder relapse. The loved one with an eating disorder may not want to burden the family with issues related to food while navigating peer pressure, having the right look and trying to get good grades.

Trauma and Eating Disorders

Many women and young girls, who experience an emotionally or psychologically traumatic event, form an unhealthy relationship with food later in life. These individuals may develop anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder as a way to help them manage or cope with upsetting emotions and difficult memories.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often a co-occurring issue with individuals who suffer from an eating disorder. When a person experiences an exceptionally harrowing event—one that may involve physical harm, emotional trauma, or the threat of physical harm—their sense of security may become damaged. As a result, females may develop an eating disorder as an attempt to gain control over their feelings of vulnerability, hyper-arousal, intrusive thoughts of the event, sense of isolation, depression, anxiety, or feelings of detachment related to the trauma.

As You Return To School, Stay Healthy!

As summer winds down, many young girls with an active eating disorder or who are in recovery, may be feeling a little anxious over going back to school. The onset of a new academic year brings with it a busier lifestyle, unfamiliar teachers, assorted classmates, and for those entering a different school or entering college for the first time, a totally new environment.

A large percentage of eating disorders begin to surface between the ages of 13-18; a pivotal time when young girls are entering high school or college. For girls in this age group, it’s a period of their life punctuated with anxiety varying from concerns regarding how their body looks and feels, to their emerging independence and responsibilities, and increasing complexities within their social circles.

Pouncing on the Sensation of “I Can”

By Colleen DeRango, MA, LISAC, SEP, The Meadows

For many of us practitioners, we have been conditioned for years to focus on the “why” and the “what,” and celebrated the “insights gained.” With our new understanding of trauma healing, this has expanded into focusing on the “where and what do you notice in your body?”

Working with patients who are challenged by the complexities of eating disorders, throughout their healing we focus on “pouncing on their positive sense of I can,” and sometimes this sense merely lasts a glimmer of a second. To delve deeper too soon is a mistake. There may not be enough resilience in their human system to hold onto the glimmer, so we tenderly support them in building up the glimmers into a full sensation of expansion.