When eating habits become unhealthy: Symptoms & support - Ep. 63

February 20, 2023
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Weight is a topic that sparks an emotional reaction in almost everyone.

But for some, weight and eating can become the focus of a serious disorder.

An estimated 20 million Americans have or have had an eating disorder at some time in their lives. 

An eating disorder can impact a person’s daily functioning and affect their relationships, work or school.

Eating disorders are serious mental health disorders that can lead to behaviors with major health consequences. 

Eating disorders can be secretive, hidden from family and even physicians. They’re dangerous, but help is readily available.

How would you know if someone you love has an eating disorder? What puts people at risk for eating disorders? 

In Episode 63, Dr. G and his guests, Jacqueline Sierzega, PsyD, and Katie O’Donnell, LCSW, CADC, discuss the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, how they develop and what can be done to help people who are struggling with an eating disorder.


Myths vs. Facts

“Eating disorders are very serious, and even deadly, illnesses.” - Fact
Eating disorders are the deadliest of all mental illnesses. They have a significant impact on physical health and can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and other illness.

“Eating disorder treatment plans are specifically tailored to each person and may include a combination of multiple therapies.”
- Fact
At Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, treatment is tailored individually for each person, including a therapist, medical provider and a dietitian. 

“Eating disorders are a result of dysfunctional families.”
- Fact
There are many things that can contribute to the risk of an eating disorder, including genetics, age and trauma or abuse.

“You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them.”
- Myth
People who have eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes.

“While research shows that eating disorders affect significantly more women than men, these illnesses occur in men and boys as well.”
- Fact
Eating disorders are very common in men and boys. They can look different in men than women, as the body type men look to achieve is different than women. But sports that require weight classes can influence eating and weight in men.

“Eating disorders are just about food.”
- Myth
Eating disorders are about control, self-validation and brain chemistry. It can stem from a desire to fit in or a way to comfort ourselves.

“Recovery from eating disorders is rare.”
- Myth
Recovery from eating disorders is possible and very likely. They’re serious but treatable disorders.

Listener healthy OH-YEAH!

“My goal is to stay healthy. Anything else is gravy.” – B.B.

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