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February 24 – March 2 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

If you think you may have an eating disorder, you’re far from alone. Hundreds of thousands of students on America’s college campuses exhibit one or more symptoms of eating disorders. Female and male.

There are different reasons why eating disorders happen, and different forms they can take (bulimia, anorexia, over-eating, over-exercising etc.). But the one thing they all have in common is that they can have very serious consequences – not just for your studies but for your physical and mental wellbeing.

In addition to abnormal eating and weight  issues, people with eating disorders have an increased risk of developing other psychiatric illnesses. Studies show that depression occurs in up to 50 percent of people with eating disorders and appears to be strongly linked to the abnormal eating behavior. (Read more on this from Rogers Memorial Hospital.)

If you suspect you may have an eating disorder, you can take one of our free, anonymous screenings that will give you a better sense of whether that’s the case. Simply go to the Campus Center, room 148 between 10:00AM – 4:00PM or Ball Residence Hall from 12:00 – 4:00PM on Monday, February 25th — it doesn’t take long at all. While the screenings are not diagnostic, they will leave you better informed and clear on whether a visit to a clinician is warranted.

How do you know when there is cause for concern? Look for the following warning signs from Eating Recovery Center, which may indicate an eating disorder.

Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

- Dramatic weight loss; a preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams and dieting; denying hunger.

- Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss and withdrawal from usual friends and     activities.

- Development of food rituals and excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food. An excessive, rigid exercise regimen – despite weather, fatigue, illness or injury.

Warning Signs of Bulimia Nervosa

- Evidence of binge-eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time and evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting and presence of laxatives or diuretics.

- Creation of complex lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions and/or an excessive, rigid exercise regimen – despite weather, fatigue, illness or injury.

- Unusual swelling of the cheeks or jaw area, a discoloration or staining of the teeth, and/or calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting.

 Eating Recovery Center

Rogers Memorial Hospital

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