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questions about eating disorders? Here's where to find the
Roommate Is Driving Me Crazy!
My roommate is on the basketball team and takes laxatives to lose
weight. Does she have an eating disorder?
See page 156
I've seen my roommate eat a whole pizza, then go into the bathroom
and vomit. I'm concerned, but I don't know what to say.
See page 157
My roommate weighs less than 100 pounds. I've tried
talking to her about eating more, but she denies having a problem.
What can I do?
See page 164
Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
Weight fluctuations are common
in college. Gaining the average fifteen pounds, or
the "Freshman 15," is easy to do between cafeteria
food, all-night study sessions, too much beer, and
not enough exercise. But when food and weight becomes
an obsession, it can turn deadly. Eating disorders
affect both men and women. They include anorexia nervosa
(self-starvation) and bulimia (binging and purging).
Eating disorders are not about
food. They are expressions of perceived social pressure,
poor body image, feeling a lack of control, extreme
stress, and emotional needs. The illness can be devastating
and warps the way a person sees herself. Those with
eating disorders often experience enormous feelings
of guilt and shame. Some may exercise compulsively,
avoid social situations involving food, lie about
how much food has been consumed, or only eat in private.
Eating disorders are treatable,
and the sooner a person gets help the better. Anorexia
nervosa can lead to death from cardiac arrest and
electrolyte imbalance. Here are the warning signs:
of Anorexia Nervosa
to maintaining a weight that's considered normal for
age and height
fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though
women, absent or irregular menstrual cycles
eating (eating a large amount of food within a two-hour
a lack of control while binging-like you can't stop
by self-induced vomiting, laxatives, or diet pills
blood vessels in the eyes, tooth decay (from vomiting)
If you recognize any of these signs
in yourself, know that there is help! Make
an appointment with your campus counseling center
and talk with a professional about alternatives.
If you suspect your roommate or a friend has an eating
disorder, encourage her to seek professional help.
Discuss your concerns in a sensitive, supportive way.
Keep your comments focused on her health and how it's
affecting your relationship rather than on weight
or appearance. Avoid assuming the role of "food police."
This will only make her more secretive. If you feel
her weight is dangerously low, report your concerns
to your RA and the campus counseling center.
For additional help with eating
disorders, contact the National Eating Disorders Association
DateHookUp.com also offers helpful information on anorexia with additional links.
For more information about campus mental health visit
College Survival Tips