Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorders’

People talking to each other in a group therapy session

An Overview of Day Treatment at Veritas Collaborative

At Veritas Collaborative, we offer a full continuum of care for people with eating disorders of all types. Ranging from inpatient to outpatient, the levels of care vary according to the level of support and structure they provide. These diverse and distinct levels support our individualized approach to treatment.

In this article, we provide an overview of day treatment options at Veritas, including both our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Learn the components of day treatment for adults, adolescents, and children and how day programs differ from other kinds of treatments on the care continuum.

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Man looking out window

What is Compulsive Overeating?

Compulsive overeating is eating an excessive amount of food but not because of hunger. When someone compulsively overeats, it is often an unhealthy and ineffective way of avoiding or distracting from difficult emotions or situations. Though engaging in the eating behavior may provide some short-term relief, ultimately it often brings physical and emotional distress, as well as feelings of shame, anger, anxiety, or fear related to food. This blog describes compulsive overeating, including its relationship to eating disorders and its common characteristics.

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Betsy Brenner

Episode 64: Healing Has No Age Limit with Betsy Brenner

Episode description: 

Betsy is a long-time tennis coach, retired hospital attorney, and the author of a memoir titled The Longest Match: Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife. Her inspiring message is that it is never too late to be a work in progress. Betsy is also an eating disorder recovery speaker, advocate, and peer support mentor who shows that it is possible to heal from past trauma and become healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Betsy discusses how she was taught to suppress her emotions growing up, how dealing with her trauma was the only way to recover from her eating disorder, and how you’re never too old to start healing. She tells us how the food she consumed as a child was completely controlled by her mother, and how that prevented her from learning how to eat intuitively. She also covers the combination of events that led to her developing an eating disorder in midlife. Betsy shares that telling her story in her memoir lifted the weight of her trauma and made her feel empowered and free. She emphasizes that you can recover, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and deal with the trauma you’ve experienced.

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Male looking in mirror

The Difference Between Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

In any individual, eating disorders can be tough to notice or diagnose, especially because they are so common. Diet culture and the glorification of over-exercise may leave many warning signs of eating disorders unnoticed and are sometimes mistakenly seen as positive instead of worrisome.

It can be confusing to distinguish the difference between disordered eating and eating disorders. There is a gray area which disordered eating sits because of the potential less severe or less frequent restricting, purging, overeating, or irregular eating patterns. These patterns are usually much more frequent, and sometimes obsessive, in eating disorders. In this blog, we will dive into the differences between disordered eating and eating disorders.

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Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween with an Eating Disorder Can Be Scary

Along with cozy sweaters and pumpkin patches, fall also brings Halloween, which, like many other holidays, can be triggering for individuals struggling with an eating disorder. Food that is considered by diet culture to be “bad,” like candy and cookies, are often a huge part of celebrations, and choosing a costume may be fraught with body image concerns and the pressure to look a certain way.

In this post, we’ll discuss why Halloween can be difficult for anyone actively coping with an eating disorder as well as those in recovery. We’ll also cover how to navigate those anxious feelings and how to find alternative ways to enjoy the holiday if you’re not feeling up to traditional activities.

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A woman in a larger body sitting on her balcony with a book and a glass of wine

Weight Stigma and Weight-Based Bullying

We are completely entrenched in diet culture, a society obsessed with thinness and dieting. Weight and food bias are so commonplace, contributing to our thoughts and actions in ways that they are hard to even recognize. No one is immune to these biases, and if they’re left unchecked, they can manifest in interactions that play a part in the development of an eating disorder.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, an awareness event created to prevent childhood bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. The best-known environmental contributor to the development of eating disorders may be the sociocultural idealization of thinness, but weight-based bullying or even just appearance-based comments is another important environmental contributor. In this article, we will cover weight stigma and weight-based bullying, their impact, and what we can do to make a difference. 

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A medical provider conversing with a patient

The Importance of Screening for Eating Disorders

Oftentimes, primary providers are the first line of defense against eating disorders. They can be the first to notice the early signs and discover an eating disorder since they see their patients regularly. Identifying these symptoms can help interrupt these mental disorders from developing further. 

With October being National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, it is important to focus on mental health education and share why and how to screen for eating disorders and other mental health conditions. In this article, we will discuss the importance of early screening and detection, the warning signs of eating disorders, and what to ask your patients when conducting screenings. 

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Clothes shopping in a larger body

The Challenges of Clothes Shopping in a Larger Body

Clothes shopping in eating disorder recovery is tough. Eating disorders are frequently accompanied by negative body image, including general body dissatisfaction, body image distortion, overvaluation of weight and shape, excessive body comparisons, and body checking behaviors. The negative body image that is often paired with eating disorders can naturally make clothes shopping difficult. The challenges of shopping can be compounded for those shopping for clothes labeled as “plus-size” by the fashion industry, as our society is often not as accommodating to people in larger bodies.

Although there are many people in larger bodies who are on a journey to body acceptance, not everyone is at the same point in their journey and very few journeys are a straight line. Therefore, shopping in a culture with weight bias and stigma is not always an easy task, no matter how far you’ve come in your recovery journey. One step toward embracing body acceptance is to be aware of the challenges of clothes shopping in recovery and to identify strategies for navigating the task.

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Kathryn

Episode 59: Choosing Recovery with Kathryn

Episode description: 

​​Kathryn is a 31-year-old woman who enjoys cooking, hosting friends, teaching music, and getting lost in nature. Best known for her big heart and passion for life, she lives in a larger body and advocates for people to take up more space. Kathryn joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to share her eating disorder story, including how living in a larger body has impacted her recovery. 

For over 20 years, food was the center of Kathryn’s life. She kept trying to figure out what was happening on her own, blaming herself for her struggles. After talking with the people closest to her, she decided to seek help even though she didn’t have a lot of hope that anything would work. 

As soon as Kathryn reached out for help, however, she says it felt like a “warm hug.” In speaking with an eating disorder specialist, she discovered that she did, in fact, have an illness. It was not her fault. While she experienced many barriers throughout her recovery living in a larger body, she grew to learn that all food is good food and that you should take up as much space as you need. With the support of her treatment team, friends, and family, she learned how to take care of herself, live as the most authentic version of herself, and make sure all her needs are met.

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Emily Layden

Episode 55: Eating Disorders in Fiction with Emily Layden

Episode description:

Emily Layden is a writer and former high school English teacher from upstate New York. A graduate of Stanford University, her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, The Billfold, and Runner’s World. She joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss her debut novel All Girls. We explore the depiction of disordered eating and anxiety in the book and society more generally, using Emily’s experience with the co-occurring concerns as context along the way. 

We center our conversation on one of the characters of All Girls, Macy, who struggles with clinical anxiety and an eating disorder resembling ARFID. Emily tells us about her decision to write Macy as she did, eschewing graphic descriptions of behaviors to highlight Macy’s anxious thoughts instead. She describes what she hopes All Girls adds to the larger conversation about eating disorders and the adolescent females among whom eating disorders are particularly prevalent. Emphasizing the importance of taking both eating disorders and young women more seriously, we explore how society tends to think similarly of both.

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Katie Whipple

Episode 67: Pursuing Your Joy with Katie Whipple

Katie Whipple is a Certified Public Accountant who co-led a $7 billion business deal as the youngest and only female on her team. After moving from New York to Indiana, she now participates in community involvement through Junior Achievement, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and her own podcast “Cup of Common Grounds.” Five years into her recovery, and after a seven-year hiatus, Katie decided to return to pageantry and will be competing for Miss Indiana USA in April.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Katie explores the factors that led to the development and worsening of her eating disorder, as well as those that now keep her strong in recovery. As a home-schooled Christian who grew up in purity culture, she says she was unaccustomed to the cultural and social pressures she encountered at college. The dramatic transition triggered her eating concerns, as well as a feeling that she was living a double life: a high achiever confidently facing business partners and pageantry judges in public but struggling in private. In recovery, Katie has learned to find worth beyond her appearance and better name her emotions, a skill that has deepened her relationships with family and friends. She has also been able to reignite a passion that provided self-confidence and self-development when she was younger, pageantry. Acknowledging that pageantry can be a significant trigger for those with eating disorders, Katie shares how she protects her recovery while doing what she loves. 

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Hannah Howard

Episode 65: Honoring Your Hunger with Hannah Howard

Episode description: 

Hannah Howard is a writer and food expert who has spent her career in the food industry serving, bartending, cooking on a line, flipping giant wheels of cheese, managing restaurants, and now writing about food. She is the author of two memoirs, Feast: True Love In and Out of the Kitchen and Plenty: A Memoir of Food and Family. 

In this episode of Peace Meal, Hannah tells us about her complex relationship with food, describing how she once feared her own appetite. Food had been the center point of her career–her professional passion–and also a source of anxiety as she struggled silently with an eating disorder. Hannah describes how sharing her story in recovery has not only connected her to others with similar experiences, but also allowed food to be a source of joy and passion once again. In addition, she discusses the  “good” and “bad” labels often applied to food and encourages everyone to approach eating with self-compassion and kindness. She reflects on her experiences of pregnancy in recovery, naming how she set boundaries at the doctor’s office and strives to set a good example for her children. Recovery is a process, one Hannah says she is still learning.  

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Person holding a transgender flag behind them as it blows in the wind with a blue sky behind it.

Eating Disorders in the Transgender Community

According to an analysis based on federal and state data, 0.6 percent of individuals (roughly 1.4 million people in the United States) identify as transgender. Identifying as transgender means that someone’s gender identity or gender role differs from those typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. The number of people coming out as transgender has gone up in the past 10 years and it is believed to be because these individuals are finding it increasingly safer to do so. 

The LGBTQ+ community is at higher risk of developing an eating disorder, which can be associated with the likelihood of past trauma and difficulties of coming out. Research shows that transgender children are at greater risk for developing eating disorders than their cisgender peers (individuals whose gender identity and gender expression match the sex they were assigned at birth). In this article, we will discuss body image issues in the transgender community, why transgender individuals are more likely to develop an eating disorder, how transgender people may experience limited treatment options, and how we can help.

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Amy Gardner

Episode 63: Healing from Compulsive Exercise with Amy Gardner

Episode description: 

Amy Gardner, MS, CEDRD, RYT, is the creator of the program iMove and the author of the book iMove: Helping Your Clients Heal from Compulsive Exercise. The book discusses the difference between movement and exercise, and how each relates to eating disorder recovery.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Amy breaks down what compulsive exercise and movement are, both in and out of the recovery space, how to notice when exercise turns into a compulsion, and what to do when compulsive exercise starts to become the only way some individuals feel a sense of accomplishment. Amy provides insights based on her and her clients’ experiences with movement and offers different approaches to changing compulsive exercise routines.

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Lucie Waldman

Episode 62: Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community with Lucie Waldman

Episode description: 

Lucie Waldman is the author of The Jots of Becoming, a book that features insights about recovering from anorexia and includes multiple Jewish excerpts. Lucie also runs an eating disorder recovery awareness and support account on Instagram, enjoys speaking for multiple platforms about the intersection between Judaism and mental health, and is deeply passionate about mental health, eating disorder recovery, and equity in the treatment setting.

In this episode of Peace Meal, Lucie discusses how Jewish culture and religion should be considered in eating disorder treatment, how sharing your recovery story can be beneficial, and how small steps in recovery add up to a longer and stronger recovery. Reflecting on her own experience, Lucie shares that she had trouble finding recovery content that resonated with her, so she decided to turn her story into such a resource for others. Among the messages she wanted to share is that not everyone has a “magic moment” where they feel ready to start eating disorder treatment. What’s more important, she says, is being willing to take small steps toward recovery. Lucie also examines the complex relationship between Judaism and her eating disorder recovery, underscoring the need to take into account intergenerational trauma and other cultural considerations during treatment. She concludes the episode by telling anyone struggling that every time they defy their eating disorder, it adds up to a longer and stronger recovery. 

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A man sits on the couch with his hands clasped under his chin and looking contemplative

Eating Disorders and Depression

October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, which brings awareness to the need for depression and mental health screenings. Along with other mental health conditions, depression frequently overlaps with eating disorders. In this article, we will cover common myths about depression, how to support a loved one with depression and an eating disorder, and how to notice the signs of depression in order to get someone help.

Depression and other mood disorders co-occur with eating disorders quite frequently. Research shows that 3239% of people with anorexia nervosa, 3650% of people with bulimia nervosa, and 33% of people with binge eating disorder are also diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The relationship between depression and eating disorders is complex. Depression can make people more likely to feel negative about their bodies, which can put them at risk for an eating disorder. Eating disorders can make people more at risk for the development of depression, particularly if they experience rapid weight loss or starvation.

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A mother speaking to a professional with her child.

Eating Disorders in Adolescents

For parents, it can be frightening and taxing to discover your child may have an eating disorder. This blog breaks down eating disorders in adolescents, including warning signs, contributing factors, health consequences, and ways to support those affected.

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Dr. Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez

Eating Disorders in Latinxs: Lessons Learned From History

The 10th Annual Veritas Collaborative Symposium on Eating Disorders, co-hosted by The Emily Program, will unite healthcare professionals and eating disorder experts around this year’s theme, “Engaging Science, Unifying Voices, and Transforming Access.” In this article, Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez, PhD, FAED, a speaker at this year’s Symposium, discusses the prevalence of eating disorders in the Latino population and underscores the need for culturally competent care.

Eating disorders do not discriminate based on race or ethnicity. Actually, data from different national studies have shown that eating disorders in the Latino population are at similar or higher prevalence when compared with non-Latino Whites (Alegria et al., 2007; Marques et al., 2011; Udo & Grilo, 2018). However, due to the historical emphasis around European White females in the eating disorder field, most of the assessments and treatments have been developed and tested with and for this population. This is problematic because it has contributed to clinician bias and stigma, which are some of the barriers preventing Latinas to seek treatment for eating disorders (Reyes-Rodríguez et al., 2013). Moreover, the research about service utilization among individuals with a history of eating disorders reveals that Latinxs with bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) are less likely to seek treatment when compared with non-Latino Whites (Coffino, Udo, & Grilo, 2019; Marques et al., 2011). This health disparity is concerning because BN and BED are the most prevalent eating disorders in this population (Perez, Ohrt, & Hoek, 2016). Other factors such as lack of health insurance, lack of bilingual services, and lack of information about services can be associated with this underutilization of services (Ali et al., 2017; Reyes-Rodríguez, 2013). The long history of misconception and negligence has negatively affected the early detection, prevention, and treatment for eating disorders in the Latino population.

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Cynthia Bulik

Genes and Environment: Embracing Complexity in Eating Disorders

The 10th Annual Veritas Collaborative Symposium on Eating Disorders, co-hosted by The Emily Program, will unite healthcare professionals and eating disorders experts around this year’s theme, “Engaging Science, Unifying Voices, and Transforming Access.” In this article, Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, a speaker at this year’s Symposium, explores the complexity of the genetics of eating disorders.

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Christmas blog photo

Episode 21: Eating Disorders and the Holidays

Episode description:

Kezia Reeder is a former Emily Program client and staff member and a continual advocate for eating disorder recovery. In this episode of Peace Meal, she joins host Dr. Jillian Lampert to describe her holidays with an eating disorder.

“I feel like I was constantly stressed from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve,” Kezia says. “It’s supposed to be a time of celebration and… in the United States, a lot of our celebration centers around gathering for a meal.”

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