Anorexia Essays College

My pride was compounded by watching the other Y members start and finish their workouts while I was still going strong.I indulged in my usual post-workout meal, my only food for the day: Lean Cuisine herb roasted chicken, the lowest-calorie of any of the frozen dinners sold at my local grocery store.

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I never stared naked at my imperfections in the mirror or griped to myself about being “fat” or “ugly”—at least, no more than any other teenage girl did.

Yet there I sat on my living room couch in early 2012, feeling an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that I had made it to 7 p.m. I had attained complete control over my body, even its most basic instincts.

But college life is substantially more difficult to manage.

It’s not just the increased workload and the disruption of an accustomed schedule.

Douglas Bunnell, clinical director of the Monte Nido treatment center in New York.

“If you have a heavy dose of anxiety and you’re in a social environment, and you’re constantly exposed to the thin body ideal, that’s a perfect storm convergence of factors that can drive a vulnerable individual into an eating disorder.”Full-blown eating disorders typically begin between 18 and 21 years of age, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).When trying to determine if habits are simply disordered eating or something more serious, Dr.Bunnell says it’s important to look at the impact they have in other areas of life.I ate not because I was hungry, but because it was routine.And I, if anyone, had the discipline to stick to a routine.The storm occurs when the realities of college life—increased workload, less structure, and more focus on peers—collide with anxieties, learning issues, or poor self-esteem.A young woman who was able to manage stress and stay afloat during high school with a lot of hard work and support from her parents might find herself drowning in the confusing, complicated world of college.Eating disorders develop when the need to feel control over a stressful environment is channeled through food restriction, over-exercise, and an unhealthy focus on body weight.“College can be a time of a lot of excitement and stimulation and also a lot of stress,” explains Dr.Baker, a child and adolescent psychopharmacologist. “It asks young people who are not yet adults to act in a very adult way, especially if they’re contending with mental illness and suddenly have to begin managing it on their own.”“The stress of a college schedule, managing a new social context, and dealing with independent living can trigger re-emergent anxiety or, in some cases a new mental illness,” explains Dr.“To what extent do the eating, weight, shape, body image concerns really start to dominate?For example you decide not to go to a party because you’re too worried about your weight, or you can’t enjoy any beach activities because you won’t put on a bathing suit.


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