Eating Recovery Center In The News: Psychology Today

Eating Recovery Center's Bonnie Brennan, MA, LPC is featured in this Psychology Today article on ten eating disorder signs parents should be vigilant of during their children's summer break. Read an excerpt from the article below or to view it in its entirety click here. They're starting to come home now from college, the weary millennials. If you're the parent or grandparent of college students coming home for summer –especially if your student is female and a freshman—experts from the Eating Recovery Center urge you to pay close attention to possible signs that she has developed an eating disorder at college. Their advice is based on students coming back during Winter break, so I'm sharing it with you in anticipation of similar issues arising again. In an article titled: "Eating Disorders Identified in College Freshmen as They Return Home for Winter Break," the Denver organization reports:  "As college freshmen across the U.S. return home for the holidays, thousands of parents will – for the first time – discover eating disorders that developed during their child's first semester. Because the transition to college is one of the two most common life stages in which eating disorders develop, Eating Recovery Center, an international center for eating disorders recovery providing comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS and binge eating disorder, encourages parents to be vigilant for symptoms of eating disorders as their teens return home for the mid-year break." Is it an eating disorder? Bonnie Brennan, clinical director, explains: "For many young adults, the pressures of the first semester of college can create the perfect storm for eating disorders development, and it's easy for teens to hide behaviors from their families – particularly if they go to school far away from home. …Many parents won't see the outcome of this devastating development until their children return home for winter break." To help parents recognize eating disorders in college students, Eating Recovery Center highlights five winter break warning signs that may indicate their teen has an eating disorder or could be at risk for developing one: 1. Noticeable weight loss or weight gain since he or she entered college. 2. Helping with the preparationof holiday meals but not eating them. 3. Excessive exercise, even outdoors in poor winter weather conditions. 4. Withdrawal from family and friends and avoidance of gatherings, even if he or she has not seen loved ones for months. 5. Discussing college in a "stressed out" or obviously anxious manner or altogether avoiding conversations about school. I'd Add These 5 More:   6. Pay attention to your instincts: If you feel something isn't right or if your kid seems different, sad, lethargic, disinterested or depressed, don't ignore it. 7. Talk to her (or him): Let your child know he or she is safe and loved and that you are not judging them.  8. Notice, but don't discuss what she's wearing: Is she hiding beneath huge sweatshirts and baggy pajama pants no matter what? Is the house warm but she's constantly wearing many layers and won't take any off? 9. Note dramatic changes in privacy issues: Maybe she used to change in front of you or run into the kitchen in a bathrobe after a shower but now she locks her door and seems oddly tense and newly private.   10. Focus on Feelings: Keep the focus on how she's feeling, not how she looks. The more attention you give to her body the more self-conscious and shut down she may become.

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