The “central and cardinal feature of the eating disorders is the distorted attitude toward weight, eating and fatness that breeds the characteristic fear of fatness.” (Hsu, L.K. G. (1990). Eating disorders: New York: Guilford Press, p.12)
While the characteristics of different eating disorders vary (see below), disordered eating occurs on a continuum. Even if an individual does not meet all of the criteria that mental health professionals use to diagnosis these specific eating disorders, there still may be a problem to be addressed.
If you become so involved with the person who has an eating disorder that your own needs are not met, you have less to offer that person. If you begin to experience some of the following signs, it could be an indication that you need to pull back a little.
BEING A SUPPORT IS IMPORTANT, BUT KNOWING YOUR LIMITS IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT
NIU has a nationally recognized treatment model for those with eating disorders and utilizes a multidisciplinary team approach. This team’s philosophy is that individuals with eating disorders are best served by having caregivers from a variety of disciplines who can address the psychological, medical, nutritional, and other aspects of the eating disorder. To this end, students seeking services for an eating disorder are encouraged to utilize the assistance of the therapist(s), physician, nutritionist(s), and psychiatrist on the team. Aspects of treatment can be initiated in the following ways:
In addition, students may seek assistance through residence hall staff and, for student athletes, through the Athletic Trainers in Intercollegiate Athletics, 753-1957.