Although eating disorders are generally thought of as a teen struggle,
an increasing number of middle aged women are seeking out treatment for
disordered eating that began in their youth. These women have either had
an eating disorder when they were younger, or experienced some sort of
disordered eating, and were never fully treated.
When unhealthy eating patterns are determined during adolescent years,
these set behaviors often linger into adulthood. A University of Minnesota
Study, which followed 2,287 kids as they grew into adults, found that
more than half of the girls continued their unhealthy eating patterns
into their mid to late 20s. It is entirely possible for these behaviors
to be treated with therapy, although they seem to be resurfacing as adults
when triggered with stress or personal crisis.
Unfortunately, our bodies are much less resilient during middle age, and
the physical damage of an eating disorder can be devastating. Ed Tyson,
an eating disorders specialist in Texas, explains the added risks of battling
an eating disorder during middle age. He reveals that health issues transpire
in a much more rapid manner, with a longer lasting impact on health. “Older
bodies do not have the plasticity that younger bodies do,” he says.
“They can’t tolerate the stresses and risks”. At this
point, we are more vulnerable to osteoporosis, chemical imbalances, and
many other serious health issues.
This information suggests the importance of early intervention and treatment
of eating disorders in teens. Eating disorders need to be properly diagnosed
and treated at an early age, so that disordered eating behaviors can be
corrected, underlying issues addressed and worked through, and patients
given the tools and skills for making it through triggering moments (as
teens and adults) without relying on eating disorder behaviors. Additionally,
patients should be knowledgeable about what to do in the event of a relapse,
regardless of what their age is, and seek support without feeling shame
No matter what your age, or how long you’ve been struggling, you
need to get treatment for your eating disorder
. A friend and colleague of mine expressed this beautifully:
”If you are someone struggling to eat consistently well, to nourish
your body truly well, to stop exercising to work off food, to stop purging,
to love your body, etc., PLEASE do every single thing you need to do to
make that happen starting TODAY. It’s never too early to recover,
but it can be too late –before you know it, it can be too late.
…And I know no one ever thinks that they will be the next person
to succumb to under-nutrition…but that thinking is often the reason
people die. Realize that every day needs to be a healthy day. And if you
need help, then reach out for it today. If you need to take yourself by
the hand and lead yourself into healthy, then do it. Don’t wait.”
About Kantor & Kantor, LLP, LLP
Don’t let insurance issues be a roadblock to your treatment! If you’re
having trouble getting your treatment paid for, WE CAN HELP.
For more information about Lisa Kantor and legal assistance for eating
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www.kantorlaw.net, or follow Lisa Kantor on
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