By: Ginny Schneider, LMSW
Eating disorders affect as many as 10 in 100 young women in the United States today and a growing number of young men. The eating patterns involved are responses to an obsession with food and physical appearance, and are driven by powerful, distorted thinking.
School-age children,preteens, and adolescents obsessed with thinness believe:
Those with an eating disorder do not share their distorted sequence of thinking with anyone, particularly adults. Children at risk are those who are being stressed by life events, such as divorce or remarriage of parents, or the loss of a significant adult. Some girls and boys who have been sexually abused turn to binge-purge behavior as a way to deal with feelings and control issues. A food binge is one way to stifle painful feelings, and purging can become a safe way to regain control (Renfrew, 2003).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) classifies eating disorders as AnorexiaNervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating.