New Study: 1 in 4 teenage girls engage in self-harming behavior, which frequently co-occurs with eating disorders

A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that nearly 1 in 4 teenage girls ages 14-18 in the United States engages in non-suicidal self-harming behavior. Self-harm or self-injury is the act of hurting oneself on purpose. The most common methods are cutting and burning. Self-harm is a behavior pattern that indicates a lack of adaptive emotional …

People Who Have Experienced Trauma and Have an Eating Disorder Require Specialized Treatment Plans, by John Levitt, PhD

Estimates tend to vary, but data suggests that from approximately 68%-98% of people who attend eating disorder treatment programs report histories of sexual, and other, abuse or trauma. This suggests that when we treat eating disorders we need be prepared to treat a potentially underlying trauma history and even, possibly, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When I work with someone …

loneliness is a serious health risk in kids

Loneliness: what parents should worry about instead of their kids’ weight

So many parents feel they can and must strive to control their kids’ bodies. This impulse comes from the best place. From everything we have been told, our kids will live longer, healthier lives if we teach them to keep their body weight low. But here’s the thing: controlling our bodies is actually harder than we have been lead to believe. …

Childhood trauma and sexual abuse frequently underlie eating disorders. Parents must help children process trauma to heal.

Childhood trauma and eating disorders

Unfortunately, a parent who has a child who has an eating disorder must also look for possible childhood trauma. Childhood trauma is incredibly common and is often an underlying factor driving in eating disorders. When childhood trauma has occurred, it needs to be treated. What is the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study? The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) was conducted by Kaiser …

The fear parade: a simple mindfulness trick to help kids manage anxiety and stress

Anxiety is a common co-occurring condition with eating disorders, and both anxiety and eating disorders are on the rise for our kids. It’s important that we learn some tools to help them manage their anxiety so that they can avoid triggering eating disorder behavior. The reasons our kids are more anxious are real and pervasive. Our kids today are facing …