Sexual harassment, our teenage daughters, and eating disorders

A recent study from the National Women’s Law Center found that 1 in 6 of the teen girls surveyed said they had been harassed in the last six months. One in 5 girls between 14 and 18 years old reported being sexually assaulted, and 6 percent of all girls surveyed said they had been raped. In a separate survey conducted by the …

maladaptive coping mechanisms are used to keep dangerous feelings from damaging our sense of self. They become destructive when overused such as in eating disorders and addiction

What is a maladaptive coping behavior?

A maladaptive coping behavior is anything that we utilize to soothe uncomfortable emotional states. We also have adaptive coping behaviors that serve the same purpose, but the maladaptive behaviors are overwhelmingly compelling for some of us. Common maladaptive coping behaviors include: Eating disorders Shoplifting/Kleptomania Overspending/Shopping addiction Promiscuous sex/Sex addiction Substance abuse/Alcohol abuse Self-harm Compulsive lying It is very common for …

How stress impacts eating disorder development and relapse, and what to do about it

Studies have shown that many of us develop eating disorders in response to stressful life events. These can be specific events that cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or simply day-to-day stressors common in life today. The correlation between stress and eating disorders is important and statistically relevant, both in eating disorder development and relapse. Since many of our kids …

Alcohol abuse and eating disorders: a common combination

We have all heard about teen drinking, and it’s probably high on the list of every parent’s  greatest concerns – especially binge drinking and drunk driving. But alcohol becomes an even larger concern for parents who have a child who has an eating disorder, as studies estimate up to 50% of people who have eating disorders also have a problem …

When our children act out with eating disorders, cutting, suicide, etc., we should pay attention, not dismiss the behavior as attention-seeking

A teenager’s self-abuse, vomiting, cutting, starvation and suicide attempts are indeed “a cry for help” – and we should respond to them immediately

So many times, when a teenager does something emotional, some behavior that calls attention to themselves, such as starving themselves, carving up their skin, making themselves vomit or trying to kill themselves, people call it “a cry for help.” They say that the person is “just looking for attention.” They say this as if the behavior – the starvation, the …