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Eating Disorders

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According to ULifeline, eating disorders are compulsions to eat or avoid eating that are harmful to one’s physical and mental health. They can cause serious and potentially fatal medical problems that affect the heart, brain and other body organs. Eating disorders can co-occur with other disorders including depression, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and borderline personality disorder. Eating disorders are unhealthy coping mechanisms that can arise to handle stress and anxieties. People with eating disorders often have low self-esteem or feelings of helplessness. Because eating disorders are compulsive behaviors, it’s difficult for some people to stop even when they want to. The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating.1

 

How common are eating disorders among students?


How to Help a Friend with Eating and Body Image Issues


Mind and Body – A Broader Look at Disordered Eating 

Too much, too little: Recognizing disordered eating habits


  • Extreme measures to avoid eating

  • Typically abnormally thin but still talk about losing weight

  • Lose weight by voluntary starvation, purging, excessive exercise or other weight control measures

  • Rituals around preparing food and eating

  • Social withdrawal

  • Emotional changes regarding irritability, depression, anxiety

  • Some signs and symptoms of anorexia: 

    • Weighing 15% or more below normal body weight

    • Weight loss, sometimes by means of self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives or enemas, or excessive exercise

    • Intense fear of gaining weight

    • Seeing oneself as overweight no matter how underweight

    • Anxious or ritualistic behavior at mealtimes

    • Menstrual changes or the absence of menstruation in women

    • Fatigue

    • Depression


Smith, J. (n.d.) National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, The hidden health crisis on campus: Eating disorders. Retrieved from URL 

ULifeline, Eating Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • Binge and purge behavior, often in secrecy

  • Eat a large amount of food within a short time

  • Forced purging through vomiting, excessive exercise, use of laxatives or diet pills

  • Distorted body image

  • A person with bulimia is often a normal weight for their age and height. In fact, their friends and loved ones may not even realize that anything is wrong. But behind closed doors, bulimics can eat huge amounts of food then try to get rid of the extra calories by making themselves vomit or taking laxatives.

  • Some signs and symptoms of bulimia: 

    • Repeatedly eating larger than normal amounts of food in a short period of time and feeling unable to control this behavior

    • Preventing weight gain after a binge by means of self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives or enemas, fasting or excessive exercise

    • Unhealthy focus on body shape and weight

    • Depression

    • Constipation

    • Discolored teeth and gums


Smith, J. (n.d.) National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, The hidden health crisis on campus: Eating disorders. Retrieved from URL 

ULifeline, Eating Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • Uncontrolled excessive eating followed by feelings of guilt and shame; they do not purge typically

  • A recurring, compulsive behavior

  • Binge eaters may or may not show obvious physical signs of a disorder; they may be overweight or obese, but they might also be normal weight

  • Some signs and symptoms of binge-eating: 

    • Repeatedly eating larger than normal amounts of food in a short period of time and feeling unable to control this behavior

    • Eating even when full

    • Eating rapidly during binge episodes

    • Depression

    • Anxiety

    • Frequent dieting without weight loss

    • Frequently eating alone

    • Hoarding food

    • Hiding empty food containers

    • Feeling depressed, disgusted, or upset about eating


Smith, J. (n.d.) National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, The hidden health crisis on campus: Eating disorders. Retrieved from URL 

ULifeline, Eating Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

The free, anonymous online screening, Screening for Mental Health, takes only a few minutes and consists of a series of questions designed to indicate whether clinical help is needed. 

 

TAKE SCREENING

There are a variety of treatments for eating disorders such as counseling and/or medication. To successfully treat an eating disorder, both the emotional and physical symptoms should be addressed. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, contact CAPS, especially if thoughts of suicide are present. Redfern Health Center can also provide the appropriate medical treatment if someone is suffering from nutritional complications.1


Campus

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS, located in Redfern Health Center, provides a safe and confidential environment for students to address stressors and psychological needs that may occur during their time in college. An after-hours CAPS counselor is available and can be reached by calling the Clemson University Police Department at 864-656-2222 and asking for the CAPS counselor on call.


EATING DISORDER PROGRAM THROUGH CAPS

Appointments/Accessing Services

Services and Programs Offered by CAPS

CAPS Online Mental Health Screening

CAPS FAQs


Office of Advocacy and Success

CARE NetworkSubmit a CARE Report


Clemson University Police Department (CUPD) 

864-656-2222


Campus Recreation

Lead a healthy lifestyle and be active - check out all the fitness options on campus


Dining Services

Lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet - know the nutritional content of your food and upcoming menus at the dining halls on campus


Local and National


American Psychiatric Association: Eating Disorders


Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Eating Disorders


Association for Body Image Disordered Eating (UC Davis): Is there such a thing as too much exercise?


Eating for Life Alliance: Understanding Eating Disorders 


MentalHealth.gov: Eating Disorders


National Alliance on Mental Illness: Eating Disorders


National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders


National Eating Disorders Association 


National Institute of Mental Health: Eating Disorders


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 


Student Mental Health: A Guide to Identifying Disorders and Promoting Wellness


ULifeline: Eating Disorders


ADDITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES


1ULifeline, Eating Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL