An eating disorder is a serious medical illness. Eating disorders can be characterized by limiting food take or overeating. Sometimes exercise, vomiting, laxatives, or diuretics are used to eliminate food and calories from the body.
A common misconception is that everyone with an eating disorder is visibly skinny or at a low body weight. Eating disorders are generally kept secret, and people may deny that they have a problem.
The main types of eating disorders are:
Look for these signs and symptoms:
There are many factors that may contribute to developing an eating disorder, including:
Eating disorders can become chronic and life-threatening if not identified or treated in their early stages. Treatment of eating disorders is often tailored specifically on an individual basis. Most treatments involve forms of psychotherapy and psychological counseling in connection with nutrition and medical support. Counseling, medical, and nutritional help should always be given by a health care or mental health professional. Relapse rates from eating disorders are estimated at 30 – 50%, so long term monitoring and treatment is important.
To help prevent eating disorders in yourself and others, you can:
It is important that treatment for eating disorders be provided by a health care or mental health provider. If you are constantly preoccupied with food, body image, or exercise, consider contacting a health care provider.
Helping a friend or loved one with an eating disorder can save a life. You can help by engaging them in an open dialogue with the goal of seeking help from a health care provider. When deciding whether to discuss these issues with someone, think about your relationship to the individual. Does he or she consider you a close, trusted, and appropriate person to confront them about this issue? Before talking to your friend, consider these suggestions:
Authored by: Peer Health Educator
Reviewed by: Hall Health Center Mental Health Clinic staff, January 2014
Starting to feel anxious about "going home" or being around family for the holidays? Here are seven tips to help you make the most of the season and enjoy the break from academic pressures.
For many of us, sitting for extended periods of time glaring at a computer screen is an integral part of our daily routine. Yet little do we recognize how significantly the design and arrangement of our computer workstation equipment impacts our health. Improper computer ergonomics is a leading cause of neck and back pain, shoulder fatigue, carpal tunnel, and eye strain.
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a condition that makes it difficult for people to control their attention and behavior. It usually appears before age seven. ADHD symptoms may create difficulties getting work done. Symptoms may also affect relationships with friends and family.
It is common to have a hard time focusing on schoolwork sometimes, or to occasionally be impulsive in decision making. These symptoms by themselves do not mean that you have ADHD.
Although symptoms of the disorder vary by individual and can range from mild to severe, some of the most common signs are:
Other behaviors related to ADHD are chronic lateness and forgetfulness, anxiety, difficulty organizing, difficulty controlling anger, impulsiveness, and substance abuse.
People with ADHD are easily distracted by sights and sounds in their environment, cannot concentrate for long periods of time, are often restless, have a tendency to daydream, and may be slow to complete tasks.
Studies show that men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with ADHD, and that between 2 and 6% of the adult population has the disorder. At least one student in every classroom in the United States has been diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD should only be diagnosed by an experienced and qualified professional such as an educational psychologist or a psychiatrist. Since the symptoms of ADHD are common to may other conditions, you should never self-diagnose. Instead, seek a comprehensive evaluation from a qualified professional. A comprehensive evaluation may include exploring personal and family medical history, and psychological testing. Hall Health is unable to perform ADD/ADHD evaluations. If you are in need of an evaluation, please see our page on ADD/ADHD Testing and Medication Resources.
More information about ADHD can be found at:
Authored by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic
Reviewed by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic and Hall Health Primary Care Clinic (GLC), April 2014