Mental Health Screening
Light Therapy for
you answered yes to several of these questions, you may have an eating
disorder. An eating disorder is not just about eating,
weight, and dieting; it is much more than that. It often begins as a
way to control weight and just gets out of control. Please remember
eating disorder is something that can be treated with therapy and hard
work. You can heal!
that others pressure you to be thin?
about what you eat?
your weight is one of the only things you can control?
become isolated from family and friends?
to eat alone?
as a comfort?
large amounts of food in a brief amount of time?
despite others telling you that you're not?
vomiting after eating or drinking?
all the hidden calories or grams of fat in each bite of food?
feel depressed and unhappy with yourself?
diet pills, or diuretics each week?
yourself several times each day?
you're lonely, anxious, depressed, or nervous?
that you might have an eating disorder?
disorders may be divided into two categories: anorexia and
is usually defined as willful starvation--deliberate and obsessive
in the pursuit of thinness.
is usually defined as a craving for food which often results in
followed by purging--either by vomiting, laxatives, or exercise.
most people who suffer from eating disorders are female, males also may
become bulimic or anorexic. Some people also exhibit a
combination of the symptoms of these disorders.
especially those in traditionally masculine roles
subcultures where weight is restricted--runners, dancers, wrestlers,
with early physical development, particularly women
who was overweight in childhood
who needs social approval
who has difficulty asserting needs in a direct manner
with poor impulse control
with a family history of substance abuse
who has been sexually abused
who engages in prolonged dieting
with a high need for control
with an obsessive need for perfection
Many of the
of eating disorders are similar; however, each disorder is somewhat
If someone is anorexic, you might expect to see: an extremely thin
an over-achiever; a perfectionist; an isolated individual; loneliness;
black-white thinking; an obsessive preoccupation with food--obtaining,
cooking, and eating; all-encompassing fatigue; extreme sensitivity to
cold; compulsive exercise; distorted body image; and lack of menstrual
period. If someone is bulimic, you might expect to see: the use of food
as a comforter; laxative or diuretic abuse; heart palpitations; mood
constant concern about body image and weight; quick trips to the
after meals; dualistic thinking; excessive exercise; some isolation;
self-esteem; and average body weight.
of eating disorders are dangerous to good health and can cause major
both now and in the future. Some of the immediate physical complaints
constantly feeling cold, bloodshot eyes with dark circles, finger
dizziness, weakness, lackluster hair, moodiness, insomnia, irregular
swollen glands, weight loss, sore throat, or dry skin. Some of the
effects include extreme weight loss, gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea
constipation, malnutrition, loss of tooth enamel, metabolism
heart attack, electrolyte imbalance, permanent damage to internal
kidney failure, and death.
suspect that a friend has an eating disorder, please remember that help
is available at the Counseling Center. The following suggestions
may also help you to help your friend.
her around to check her eating or purging behavior
to quit this behavior
need to solve her problem
her openness and the risk she took to share
her and be available
to accompany her to the first counseling appointement
Hall, Box 355830
(short-term therapy and outreach presentations)
Circle, 3rd Floor
(individual and group therapy)
Eating Disorders Northwest
603 Stewart Street, Suite 803
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 382-3587 ext. 18
Center Referral Line
© 2005 UW Counseling