The Lie in the Mirror

The Lie in the Mirror
Some of the most rapidly growing disorders in the United States are eating disorders; some might wonder why, as do a lot of others. This page is a resource page for those would like to know more about eating disorders, more specifically anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. 
Anorexia nervosa is an emotional disorder, which causes an obsessive desire to loose weight and not eat. Bulimia nervosa is also an emotional disorder which causes an obsession to loose weight and overeat followed by an onset of depression and self-purging and vomiting. Both disorders are recognized medical conditions that cause the mind to distort one’s body image. The mental aspect as well as the genetic aspect of these disorders is what mainly causes their development, other environmental factors will help to trigger them as well.
When discussing the genetic aspect of these disorders; one must be aware that like most other diseases and disorders, there is a part of your genetic composition (DNA), that is predisposed to either inherit or bypass a specific gene for certain types of medical conditions. For example; when doctors ask what your medical history is, they are asking for a reason and this reason is if something such as Cancer runs in your family, then you are more likely to develop Cancer than someone else whom Cancer does not run in their family. The same can be said for anorexia and bulimia; and this is a fact that not many people know about, and it is one of the most important elements in understanding, helping and coping with someone who is experiencing these disorders. If one cannot understand that these disorders are not things that people choose to have rather they are things that simply develop within them; then they will never be able to begin to help the healing process take place.
Aside from understanding the genetic composition of these disorders, one must also understand the mental aspect and what the genetic aspect actually does to the human body. When people suffer from such disorders, they do have an overwhelming desire to loose weight, but they also cannot control what they see when they look at themselves. It must be said that even if you understand the predisposition to developing these disorders, it is much more difficult to understand the mental aspect. When someone suffering from these disorders looks at themselves in the mirror, they do not see what the rest of the world sees; their minds play tricks on them causing them to feel as though they must loose weight in order to be accepted. The problem that most people have when they know someone who is experiencing these disorders is that they cannot simply understand how they look into a mirror and do not see what is really there. In this lies the biggest problem. Because as healthy people, it is  nearly impossible to relate to the problem, so one will simply insist that there is no problem, when in actuality there is. (Imagine trying to understand someone with multiple personality disorder, it is very much the same.)

When the Lie Consumes You...

When the Lie Consumes You...
For those that do not get treatment, or for those who do not recognize that they have a problem until it is too late the end can come quickly. Eating disorders walk hand-in-hand with depression, mixed with the self-destructive behaviors of those who suffer, it can be a recipe for disaster. Most people who suffer from these disorders begin to feel suicidal and have been known to not only attempt to kill themselves, but succeed. The urge to commit suicide is generally higher in anorexic nervosa sufferers. 
It is important that if one were to notice a friend or family member beginning to fall into bad habits of not eating, eating and going leaving the room soon after, excessive exercise, having a thin appearance, bloating, reoccurring fatigue, dizziness or fainting, thinning or breaking hair, dry skin,  or frequently being cold, act immediately. Don't be afraid to be a friend and let the person know that they have a friend, someone who cares and someone who notices a change in them, then try to urge them to go to the doctor. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Multimedia Sources

Thin. Dir. Lauren Greenfield. Brooklyn, N.Y.: VII Photo Agency, 2007.
This is a documentary film about women suffering from eating disorders. Lauren followed these women around in their everyday lives and even to their visits to their doctors. The film speaks for itself, it has been touring nationally since February 22, 2007 and will continue to travel through the country until 2010. This film has made a drastic impact on the education of eating disorders in America and is being developed into a curriculum for use with the exhibit and in schools by HBO. 

You Tube: Broadcast Yourself. 2006. "Eating Disorders". Accessed 8 June, 2008. 
This video is a girl who is crying out for help and support in her fight against eating disorders. This video does a phenomenal job of presenting the issues, the causes and the consequences of eating disorders. It brings a human element to the disorder that just about anyone can relate to because it provides visuals of the things that trigger eating disorders; such as fashion, society and advertising in the media, which are things everyone is exposed to. 

You Tube: Broadcast Yourself. 2007. "I Just Want to be Pretty". Accessed 8 June 2008.
This video is another young girl crying out but not for help, she wants to have an eating disorder and she wants to be thin like the images presented in the video. This is a great video to portray the desired aspects of anorexia and bulimia; but it is also the perfect example of what society can do to a person and their outlook on certain things; it is almost as if this girl has been brainwashed by fashion, society and advertising media. "Eating Disorders" and "I Just Want to be Pretty" are two videos that work together to provide insight into what people who suffer from these disorders are thinking, how they are feeling and what they truly want. 

Healthy Place Films. 2008. "Reflections of Emptiness: Straight Talk About Eating Disorders". Accessed 8, June 2008. 
This is a first hand account of several teens who talk openly about their struggle with eating disorders. They tell why they fell into the destructive paths that they did, what they told their friends and family,  and their struggle with loosing friends and loved one because of their "secrets". They also discussed how they felt once they realized that they crossed the line with their health, and how they knew they needed to stop before they ending up killing themselves. This is video won the 2000 National Mental Health Association Public Service award for its delivery and effectiveness in helping teens and adults understand eating disorders.

Newspaper & Magazine Articles

Kershaw, Sarah. "Starving Themselves, Cocktail in Hand." The New York Times. 2, March 2008. 
 This article discusses new terms of  eating disorders arising among today's society that have direct relationship with anorexia and bulimia and college-aged students, (mainly women). These words are: Manorexia, Orthorexia, Diabulimia, and Drunkorexia; while none of these terms are recognized by any medical organizations, they are raising questions and concerns to medical experts. The main idea is that girls will starve themselves all day and then drink alcohol either as their main source of sustenance for the day; this is more common for those who suffer from anorexia. Those who suffer from bulimia will tend to binge drink then binge on food and then proceed to purge; the idea that the drinking relieves the reservations about their disorders which permits them to eat and drink. The article is very informational on many different types of new eating disorder crazes and has a lot to offer in terms of interest and knowledge. 

Hummel, Debbie, The Associated Press. "Study Links Hair to Eating Disorders". USA Today. 17, October 2006. 
This article discusses the possibility of testing for eating disorders by using strands of hair, similar to the drug testing process. It is said to be a very beneficial opportunity if it turns out to be effective because it will be able to catch the disorder in its earlier stages rather than later once it is fully onset. The biggest positive factor in this style of testing is that it will test for eating disorders in those who may not know that they are ill, or who are secretive about their disorder. Those who suffer from these disorders have a very impaired sense of self-evaluation, and therefore may not truly believe that he or she is suffering from any type of disorder or illness at all. For this reason it would be convenient for a doctor who notices a change or sees symptoms occurring could simply conduct a hair sample and determine a diagnosis. 

Kingsbury, Mathleen. "Suicidal Anorexics: Determined to Die?" TIME Magazine. 28, February 2008.
This article discusses the severity of anorexia nervosa and its consequences; death. The article brings up the same point that most other references to eating disorders brings up, which is the high morality rate that directly correlates with those who suffer from eating disorders. The suicidal factor of these disorders is the extreme, and these suicidal tendencies are stronger in anorexics than any other type of eating disorder. The belief used to be that anorexic suicides were cries for help gone wrong, and the idea was that any attempt to kill oneself would be successful simply because of the malnutrition of the body. Recent studies have proved otherwise; anorexics most commonly attempt to kill themselves in effective ways, that could kill anyone, ways such as: toxic digestion, jumping in front of moving trains, and setting themselves on fire. Their choice in death is exactly a choice, it is not an attempt and they use the most extreme and effective ways to fulfill their desire for death. This article is very interesting, informative, and terrifying; a very good source of information about the severity of eating disorders. 

Scholarly Articles & Trade Magazines

Lamberg, Lynne. "Advances in Eating Disorders Offer Food for Thought." The Journal of the American Medical Association. Volume 290, No. 11 (2003). 
This article is about the genetic components that cause anorexia and bulimia. It had once been thought that psychological and environmental factors played a larger role in the development of eating disorders. Through extensive research, doctors are now finding that genetic risk factors may be the key factor in the development of these disorders. They are finding that anorexia and bulimia have heritability percentages similar to other psychiatric disorders which are already known to be caused by genetic makeup.

Cohen, Deborah. "The worrying world of eating disorder wannabes." British Medical Journal. 335:516 (2007). 
This article is very interesting because it brings to light the side of eating disorders that makes them one of the most misunderstood disorders and most ignored disorders. The article talked about people who claim to have or have had eating disorders, and who do not fit the criteria of the average eating disorder patient. It is called, "wannarexia", and it is the "latest craze" in our day and age; it sheds light on the fact that the unrealistic stereotype of the "perfect body" is becoming more and more accepted and desirable. The article also touches on the "pro-ana" and "pro-mia" terms which simply refer to people to CHOOSE to live the eating disordered lifestyle versus those who have no choice and who truly struggle with the disorders. 

Specialized Print Reference

Phillips, Leigh. An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism: The Women's Movement Today: Eating Disorders. Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 2006. 
This book refers to the changes in women's movements throughout time in all aspects of life. It describes the impact that feminism has had on all topics to include eating disorders. It discusses the unattainable body image that is viewed as desirable in today's culture; eating disorders "may be the pivotal third wave issue-the common struggle that mobilizes the current feminist generation." The feminism approach in this book is explaining how joining a feminism community  is becoming an "outlet for... frustration" over an unrealistic standard for women's bodies in today's society. 

Morgan, Timothy. Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol & Addictive Behavior, Second Edition: Anorectic & Anorexia. New York, N.Y.: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001.
This book is about drugs, alcohol and addictive behavior, in this case eating disorders falls under both drugs and addictive behavior. The section about anorectics is referring to appetite suppressants, which are becoming used more and more to encourage loss of appetite in order to loose weight. This section describes what these drugs are, what they do to you, and clarifies that not all of these are legal forms; for example cocaine falls under this category and is only approved ONLY as a local anesthetic though it is often used for weight-loss illegally. The section about anorexia is is a general definition of anorexia as a "loss of appetite". The interesting thing about this is that it relates the metal disorder of anorexia to a behavioral equivalent to drug abuse. 

Specialized Online Reference

Encyclopedia of Women's Health: Eating Disorders. 2004. Encyclopedia of Women's Health. Accessed 7 June 2008.
The Encyclopedia of Women's Health is part of the medical collection; it is a direct definition of eating disorders and specifically anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. It contains general information about symptoms, signs, prevention and treatment. This is a good starting place for someone looking for general information quickly; it is a short page read and very informational. 

Eating Disorders Online. 2008. Eating Disorders Online. Accessed 7 June 2008. 
This website is a direct resource for information about eating disorders of all types. The website discusses anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, compulsive exercising, night eating disorder, orthoexia nervosa, and anorexia athletica. It provides information about complications, body mass index, medication abuse and depression as well nutritional information. It provides an online community with a message board for people to talk and discuss what they are going through and support one another. The site also provides a treatment locator and other links to site and a glossary of terms. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Recent Books

Lock, J., Le Grange, D., Agras, S., Dare, C. (2001). Treatment Manual for Anorexia Nervosa: A Family-Based Approach. New York, N.Y.: Guilford
This book is a detailed explanation of the Maudsley approach to treatment of anorexia nervosa in adolescents. Treatment differs for every eating disorder based on the type and the patient. This book focuses on the family approach to treating anorexia, it is a short-term treatment plan and has been successful in clinical trials. James Lock, is the author and he is the associate professor of Psychiatry in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. He lectures on the topic of anorexia nervosa across the country as well as Canada, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. 

Maisel, R., Epston, D., Borden, Ali, Borden, Alisha. (2004) Biting the Hand that Starves You: Inspiring Resistance to Anorexia/Bulimia. New York, N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
This book is exactly what everyone should read to understand anorexia and bulimia. The main goal of the book is to inform readers about the reality behind eating disorders and what goes on in the minds of those who suffer. One must understand the mental aspect of eating disorders in  order to be of any help to someone who suffers. The book also tells about the feelings of people who have suffered through these disorders and tells their stories of how they recovered and difficulty involved. The blunt truthfulness of this book is necessary for understanding these disorders and helping someone recover; these are first hand experiences that define this book.  

Berg, Frances, M. (2001) Children and Teens Afraid to Eat: Helping Youth in Today's Weight-Obsessed World. Chicago, Ill.: Independent Pub Group. 
This book is written by Frances M. Berg who is a licensed nutritionist and professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and he is the editor of Healthy Weight Journal. This book is written in recognition of society and the pressures that are placed on children to be extremely thin to be accepted. The book focuses on four major problems; eating disorders, dysfunctional eating, size prejudice, and being overweight. The book discusses healthy ways to improve weight and eating issues, and explains how parents can help their children and have a better chance at preventing the onset of eating disorders. 

Online Blogs

Collins, Laura. Are You "Eating with Your Anorexic?" So many misconceptions, so little time. Weblog entry. Accessed 12 April 2008. 7 June 2008.
Laura Collins blogs about eating disorders daily, even if it is just a random thought she had throughout the day or a major story. She is a mom on a mission to eliminate the myths and misunderstandings about eating disorders. She wants to people to know that eating disorders are actually brain disorders and she wants parents to be aware that they can really be apart of the solution. There is a section dedicated to things about eating disorders she wants people to know, and this list includes things such as: denial is part of the illness, head of NIMH says it is a "Brian disorder", how to reduce stigma surrounding eating disorders, and comparing different types of eating disorders. Laura is a supporter of the Maudsley approach to treatment and has a section of her page dedicate to explaining this approach as well as comparing it to other approaches. 

Angelique (No last name given). Breaking the Mirror. Weblog entry. Accessed 12 April 2008. 7 June 2008. http://www,
The writer of this blog who goes by Angelique only has designed a site based on personal experiences and day-to-day feelings and emotions about eating disorders in life and in society. She discusses the conflicts that exist in society about health and what is ideal and what is realistic. She writes about published articles, which slightly gives the site more credibility on the account of her recognition of factual researched publications. The site is also loaded with helpful links to informational websites, treatment organizations as well as other related illnesses. 

International Sites

Academy for Eating Disorders Home Page. 2008. Academy for Eating Disorders. 7 June 2008.
The Academy for Eating Disorders is a global organization that provides professional training and education. The mission of AED is to promote excellence in research, treatment and prevention of eating disorders. This site not only explains general information about eating disorders, but also helps to provide press with expert sources, offers teaching days for treatment providers, offers the public an opportunity to participate in research studies, as well as holds annual international conferences on eating disorders. This website is designed for professionals, people who suffer, and people who want to be apart of the global support and recovery of eating disorders internationally. 

King's College London Institute of Psychiatry Home Page. 2008. Kings College London Institute of Psychiatry: Eating Disorders Research. 7 June 2008.
This site is developed by a research team located at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, England. This site acknowledges that about 1 million people suffer from eating disorders in the UK and discusses the lives of people who live with eating disorders and the impact it has in their careers and relationships. This site also discusses the common misunderstanding of eating disorders and the fact that they are after trivialized and ignored. It is a community oriented site that asked for public involvement in the research of eating disorders and planning and development of studies. It offers treatment and recovery to those looking for help as well as the general information about eating disorders. 

Statistical Sources

The Surgeon General. The U.S. Public Health Service. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, Chapter 3: Other Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Eating Disorders. Prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services Administration. 7 June 2008. 
This publication discusses mental health in its entirety, and is broken into segments based on each mental illness and discusses each one in depth. Because both anorexia and bulimia are actually considered mental disorders, this publication is very useful because it not only explains eating disorders, but also explains other disorders that could play a part in the development of eating disorders such as anxiety disorder. States that anorexia has a 5.6% morality rate per decade or .56% per year. The morality rate for anorexia is 12 times higher than that for other young women in the population. Eating disorders have a mean age of onset at 17 years, and those who have these disorders have a limited response to treatment. This publication will help to understand the larger picture of the severity of these disorders. 

Something Fishy, Website on Eating Disorders. How Long does Recovery Take? Poll taken 2 October 2003 - 3 November 2003. 7 June 2008. 
This is a website that is fully dedicated to the spread of information about eating disorders, remembrance of those who have passed, warning of signs and symptoms, reaching out for recovery, associated dangers, finding treatment, cultural issues, doctors, prevention and causes, online support, sharing of stories, and updated news as well as related links. The poll asked  a total of 1748 people the question, "If you are recoverED, how long did it take? If you are in recovery or still suffering, how long do you think recovery takes?" The responses show that 42% are still suffering, 43% are in recovery, and only 15% are actually recovered. Pf those who were still in recovery or suffering, 0% said days, 1% said weeks, 10% months, 60% said years, 16% said definitely over 10 years, and 13% were not sure how long it would take. This is just one of many interesting polls taken about eating disorders, other interesting polls include: prevalence of depression in eating disorders, getting accurate information about eating disorders, and media impact on body image. 

Government Documents

Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action. Management of Eating Disorders. (AHRQ Publication No. 06-E010), by RTI-UNC Evidence-Based Practice Center, Research Triangle Park, NC,(Team of 7 Investigators). Accessed 7 June 2008.
This is the first published report on the various types of treatments for eating disorders provided by the federal government. The Eating Disorders Coalition has a mission to advance the federal recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority. Policy priorities include increasing resources for research, education, prevention and improving training, provide federal support, promote national awareness for eating disorders as well as promote initiatives that support healthy development of children. The report recognizes the scope of the problem, methods for researching and treating eating disorders. It evaluates each type of eating disorder down to outcome differences by sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity, or cultural group. 

Womenshealth. The Federal Government Source for Women's Health Information. Body Image: Loving Yourself Inside and Out. Accessed 7 June 2008. is designed by the National Women's Health Information Center in recognition of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. This discusses the average American model's body build, and the contradiction of the perception of healthy body images versus unhealthy body images. It discusses factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders such as: culture (U.S. and a social and cultural ideas of extreme thinness), personal characteristics, other emotional disorders, stressful events of life changes, biology, and families.  It emphasizes the fact over exercising and eating disorders go hand-in-hand and that it too can be a sign of unhealthiness. 

Government Agencies

Medline Plus Home Page. 2008. Medline Plus. 7 June 2008.
Medline Plus is a government agency in service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes if Health. This site give general information about eating disorders such as what they are, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, prevention, coping, clinical trials, as well as links to journal articles, other organizations, and related issues. The site has a sections dedicated to the latest news in terms of eating disorders and even the financial issues involved in health insurance and its effects on benefits. 

National Mental Health Information Center Home Page. 2008. National Mental Health Information Center. Center for Mental Health Services. 7 June 2008.
The Center for Mental Health Services is a website within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This page offers information about eating disorders such as what they are, who has them, symptoms, medical problems that can arise from eating disorders, what is required for a formal diagnosis of an eating disorder, how eating disorders are treated, as well as referrals to the nearest therapist specializing in eating disorders. It also contains links to online publications and other government agencies. 

For-Profit Organizations

Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders. 2008. Ceveland Center for Eating Disorders. 7 June 2008.
The Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders is a for-profit organization that lives by the motto, "Living with Food." The center is located in Cleveland, Ohio and specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. The programs include: Child and Adolescent Programming, Day Treatment Programming, Intensive Outpatient Programming, "Pure" Maudsley Programming, Adult Programming, Comprehensive Intensive Outpatient Programming, and Meal Support. The age range for treatment at this facility is as young as 8 years old to people in their 50's. The center also offers services to family members and loved ones of people who suffer from an eating disorder. 

CRC Health Group. 2008. CRC Health Group. 7 June 2008. 
The CRC Health Group is an organization dedicated to set the standard for excellence in the treatment of addiction and other behavioral health disorders. CRC's mission is to provide the highest quality in care while still embracing the values of integrity, compassion, responsibility, and clinical excellence. While CRC offers treatment for more than just eating disorders they provide residential treatment, outpatient treatment, online treatment, youth treatment and specialize in eating disorder treatment. CRC offers treatment at facilities located all across the country through detoxification, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, day treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, sober living, community education, intervention and aftercare. 

Non-Profit Organizations

National Eating Disorders Association. 2008. National Eating Disorders Association. 7 June 2008. 
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders and campaign for prevention, provide cures and access to quality care. The NEDA was formed in 2001, and has a toll-free helpline that has assisted more than 50,000 people in finding the appropriate treatment. NEDA hosts events each year that are catered to spreading the importance of a healthy body image in the media and society. This organization has programs specialized for different age groups, different disorders and all sorts of educational programs as well. One would be able to be treated for any eating disorder through this organization. 

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. 2008. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. 7 June 2008. 
The National Association of Anorexia  Nervosa and Associated Disorders was founded by Vivian Meehan in 1976 after her daughter developed anorexia nervosa. The organization was created to provide information about eating disorders and allow the opportunity to people to join a community of people who were experiencing the riggers of these rare disorders. The ANAD provides a full list of clinics available for people to get treatment as well as offers candlelight vigil to remind people of those who are fighting for recovery, those who have lost their lives to the fight, and simply to support one another in their fight. 


Kaye, Walter, M.D., Director, Eating Disorders Program, Professor, UCSD Department of Psychiatry, University of California, La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 534-8019

Dr.Kaye is one the of the world's leading experts in the research and treatment of anorexia and bulimia. Dr. Kaye is mostly involved with these disorders in the aspect of research and developing treatments; he offers clinical trials for those who qualify for treatment. He is the program director of an eating disorders program located in California; the program does adult and teen intensive outpatient treatments. The program specializes in several different types of therapy from art therapy to group therapy and even nutrition education. 

Boutelle, Kerri, Ph.D.,L.P., Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Director of Behavioral Services, Weight and Wellness Clinic, University of California, La Jolla, CA92037 (858) 534-8019

Dr.Boutelle is a colleague of Dr.Kaye who also works at the UCSD eating disorders program in California as the Behavioral Director of the Weight and Wellness Clinic. She has been working with people with eating related issues for over 12 years; and continues to treat the youth, young adults and their families who struggle with weight issues. She specializes in therapy and treatment.

Forsyth, Leigh Ann, Ph.D. Specialist in Behavioral Therapy, Director of Private Practice, 12429 Cedar Road, Suite 9, Heights, Ohio, (216) 407-7257  

Dr. Forsyth is an expert on the topic of eating disorders and psychiatry. She has an individual private practice, which specializes in counseling, family therapy, couples therapy, group therapy, as well as outpatient treatment and treats all children, adolescents and adults.  Dr. Forsyth’s treatment model includes Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, Non-Diet Approach, and Family Systems. 

Mark Warren, MD, MPH 
Clinical Psychiatrist, Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders, 23240 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 270, Beachwood, OH, (216) 765-0500 

Dr.Warren is the medical director for the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED). He is a distinguished member of the American Psychiatric Association and a two time recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award of the National Alliance for the Mentally ill. He works at the CCED with the mission to apply the most up to date research to treatment while also individualizing the treatment to work for each patient specifically. CCED deals with anorexia and bulimia as well as binge eating disorder and other eating related issues. 

Laura Hill, Ph.D., CEO/CCO, The Center for Balanced Living, 445 East Granville Road, Building N, Worthington, OH 43085, (614) 293-9550

Dr. Hill is the creator and developer of the Center for Balanced Living; she has been treating people with eating disorders since 1979 and has been researching eating disorders since 1984. The center has a vision to create strength through balanced living and a mission to specialize in evidence-based treatment, education and prevention. The center has an educational outreach section, which is completely focused on the education of eating disorders. It also provides therapy for hospitalized patients as well as outpatients and prides itself on support groups that allow people to heal together.