Don’t send your child to college with an eating disorder
It’s that time of year again when young people head back to college and school. Unfortunately many of them take more than their bedding and books with them; up to 25% of college students also return with an untreated eating disorder.
To give you an idea of how prevalent the problem is, take a look at the following real-life comments and questions I found on the subject after just five minutes of searching the internet:
“I’m going away to college with an eating disorder. I think I’llstop because Ithink it would be so hard to get away withit when Ihave a roommate... so is it possible to stop just like that? I’mnot really sure I want tostop... so what should I do?”
“I think the college way of drinking is contributing to my eating disorder. I can’t eat at all before I go out, or I'll end up throwing up before I start drinking. I want to drink because I hate not having a drink in my hand when I’m out because I’m shy around people I don’t know.”
“I am heading off to college in a month and am wondering what is going to happen to my anorexic/bulimic tendencies. Are they going to get worse due to stress, or will they get better because maybe I will have more fun in college? Any advice?”
“I am sooo stressed out about college apps/ SATs/ essays/ grades/ etc., that over the past 5 months I've developed an eating disorder. I've always had body issues (mostly just like thinking I'm too fat- I like myself other than that, even though I'm a normal weight). But, once all of this stress is over, sometime in March, will my disorder go away?”
“I was recently diagnosed with an eating disorder. I'm not sure how severe it is, but I am 5'7, 95 pounds, and I eat anywhere from 800-1000 calories a day. I want to get better, but I also want to stay in school. How time consuming will treatment be? Will I be able to stay and do well in college while dealing with my eating disorder?”
“I’min college and have an eating disorder,and it’sgetting worse. I don't have anybodythat I can really trust here. My friend back home says I need help, but I’mscared. Anyonehave any advice?”
Statistics: The Prevalence of Eating Disorders in College
Of women surveyed on a college campus, ninety-one percent had attempted to control their weight through dieting. Twenty-two percent dieted in all these cases. Here is the most sobering statistic of all:
Twenty-five percent of college women engage in binging and purging as a weight management technique.
I didn’t even give you the statistics on boys and men, because they suffer from eating disorders too. In this book we’re going to talk about particular signs to watch out for if you’re a young man or if your son is in college and might be prone to an eating disorder.
As you can see from the young people quoted above, many college students have untreated eating disorders before they leave for college, and they leave home without fully planning ahead. They may be recovering from an eating disorder but can’t adequately handle the stresses at college without relapse. Or they never had an eating disorder but developed one in college because they didn’t have the support, knowledge, and tools to avoid it.
As I said, twenty-five percent of college students will suffer from an eating disorder. Your child doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s not something that’s just a fluke, and there are definitely many steps you and your child can take to prevent and shield themselves from eating disorders.
How to Prepare for and Achieve a Positive College Experience
Your child’s college years can be either the very best years of their life or the worst, especially if they have an eating disorder. I can teach your child how to make them the best. I’ve counseled many college students who went through school trying to handle their eating disorders symptoms and succeed academically at the same time, and it did not work out very well at all.
For lots of advice and information on how to help your high school or college-aged child, please consider getting a copy of my book How to be Eating Disorder FREE in College.
In the book, I cover a variety of topics including:
- How to plan before you even leave for college in order to be free of eating disorders.
- Foolproof ways to avoid the freshmen fifteen and reveal ways to keep up joyful exercise in college.
- Secrets to making fabulous friends in love relationships in college.
- How to learn to be alone.
- How to take good care of yourself.
- What all that has to do with eating disorders—and it’s a lot.
- Partying and its close relationship with eating disorders.
- Tools to rock their grades without spending life in the library or using eating disorder symptoms to cope with stress.
If the book is just not enough, remember that we can help your high school or college student recover from an eating disorder, so they can fully participate and enjoy their college years. Please don’t hesitate to call me at 904-737-3232, or fill out an appointment request form. I answer all calls personally, and will help you come up with a treatment plan specialized to your child’s unique situation.
To your recovery,