A fashion piece called “Celebrities Without Makeup” can make an effective social education for young girls at risk for eating disorders. I first saw something like this from a ad put together by Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and posted about it.
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Here is a heads up for parents of kids vulnerable to eating disorders. There is a growing support network on the Internet to help young girls “improve” on their eating disorders. Connecting with others feels supportive, especially those who are like minded. But in fact, the “Pro-Ana” (Pro-Anorexia) groups encourage unhealthy behavior and feed the preoccupation with being thin and losing weight. About 15% of those diagnosed with Anorexia die from complications of starvation.
This is a sad story. But it’s simplistic to blame the abandoned children solely on poor mental health care. While the statistics are stunning about the incidence of mental illness in these children, another problem involved is the insufficient income of the parents, likely an inter-generational history of neglect and abuse, as well as the stigma of asking for help. Iowa Independent “The state of Nebraska faces a situation most parents can’t comprehend.
A major researcher from NIMH, Ellen Leibenluft, MD, Chief, Unit on Affective Disorders, Pediatrics and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Branch, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, has made an unequivocal statement about bipolar disorder in children. Not surprisingly, she asserts bipolar disorder is “rare” in children. This article is a follow up to this one. Psychiatry Weekly
““Clearly,” Dr. Leibenluft says, “some children do meet the DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder. However, these children are relatively rare.
I think it is most unfortunate that so many people suffering from acute mental health symptoms are treated with medication only. Often, there is the time and the resources to provide psychotherapy first. Some problems, are best treated with psychotherapy, and in some situations, such as anxiety disorders, psychotherapy has been identified as the treatment of choice in many cases. Medication actually interferes with the effectiveness of psychotherapy of some anxiety disorders.
Sort of contagious. You see, there are a lot of symptomatic behaviors that are subject to imitation. Drug abuse, cutting, suicidal behavior and eating disorders are just a few examples. When like minded people get together, they inspire imitative behavior in each other. It is unlikely that they are sharing the behavior in each other’s presence, but they are seruptitiously comparing notes. Therapists are very much aware of this potential for contagion.
Eating Disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binging Disorder. Unfortunately, most often, eating disorders, even with rigorous studies, have been studied as if they are related disorders. While there appears to be some relationship, between them, there are important differences. Anorexia is one of the most deadly forms of mental illness. The mortality rate is about 10%. Stice (2002)
Eating disorders are one of the most common psychiatric problems faced by women and girls and are characterized by chronicity and relapse.
Isn’t it sad that our most effective and pervasive education sources (TV) and other media is full of images that are not real, raise expectations for ourselves and others, and sets us up to feel inadequate. Those feelings help create in some girls a frenzied obsession with appearance that sometimes leads to eating disorders, some of which are deadly. And they make a few people rich. Thanks to Isn’t it sad that our most effective and pervasive education sources (TV) and other media is full of images that are not real, raise expectations for ourselves and others, and sets us up to feel inadequate.
[Psychological Interventions Can Reduce Child Abuse And Neglect]
“Although the prevention and eradication of child abuse and neglect is a high-priority societal goal, the fact remains that an overwhelming number of youth will become victims,” Skowron said. “Results of the current study indicate that psychological treatments for child abuse and neglect are effective and can assist children and their families to regain their functioning and facilitate the development of healthy, productive lives.