How Stressors Can Contribute to Eating Disorders in College Students
Eating disorders frequently develop during college, often occurring between the ages of 18 and 21. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 10 to 20% of women and 4 to 10% of men in college suffer from an eating disorder.
“A combination of college life challenges and mental health issues creates a perfect storm for these disorders, the most common being anorexia and bulimia,” says Lauren Reisman, Clinical Director at Eating Disorder Solutions.
During college, an increased workload, less structure, and increased focus on peers can trigger the storm, exacerbated by anxiety, learning difficulties, and low self-esteem. As college students experience stressful times and significant life transitions, eating disorders are more likely to develop. Among the other factors that influence college students’ eating habits are:
- More independence
- Limited access to affordable healthy foods
- Lack of knowledge of nutrition
- Less participation in organized sports, which leads to less exercise
- Alcohol intake
- Social factors
- Busy schedules
- Lack of parental control/influence over diet
“College life, adjusting to a new social context, and managing independent living can trigger re-emerging anxiety or, in some cases, a new mental illness,” says Bryan Pickryl, COO, at Eating Disorder Solutions. “Many factors can drive a vulnerable individual into an eating disorder if you suffer from anxiety, are in a social environment, or constantly see thin body ideals.”
Although eating disorders are more prevalent in females than males, the prevalence among males has increased over time. The problem affects approximately 10% to 20% of female and approximately 4% to 10% of male college students. College students who experience eating disorders can suffer life-threatening consequences. “The stigma of eating disorders is woefully underreported,” according to Lauren Reisman. “These are not just extreme diets; they are real medical illnesses.”
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Eating disorders are treatable. Call us now to begin your journey to a happier, healthier you!
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Request a free consultation from an Eating Disorder Coordinator.
Where Do I Start?
Take action and reach out for help.
If you are struggling, let those around you know. It may seem scary to talk about mental health, but a trusted friend, family member, or advisor can support you and help you decide what course of action to take. They can help you find providers, discuss your best options, or listen to you when needed
Get in touch with your university.
Reach out to those who can help you on campus. These include academic or residential advisors and counseling centers. Learn about the mental health support services offered on campus, including class schedule modifications and on-campus counseling for after recovery.
Put your focus on recovery.
College can be an amazing time for personal growth, learning, and building relationships. Moreover, it can also be a time of high stress and mental health challenges for many students. Focusing on your mental health and self-care will help you have the best experience possible.
Eating Disorder Solutions Can Help You Balance School and Treatment:
It is easy to become debilitated by academic stress and anxiety, especially when trying to manage an eating disorder. Our priority: Make treatment realistic for you so that you can come immediately and stay as long as you need in your recovery. Our accommodations are very individualized and allow clients to take their recovery into their own hands.
Flexible options for college students during eating disorder treatment:
- Due to the unique nature of everyone’s recovery journey and needs, we remain flexible and make accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
- In addition to mealtimes, therapy sessions, one-on-ones, and outings, clients have an hour and a half daily to access computers and attend online classes.
- If your professor can only meet at a specific time, we will make accommodations so you can do so. We don’t want clients to believe there are only a couple of times a day when you can work on something if you need to, as that’s not the case.
- We offer computers, desktops, and laptops. Clients are welcome to bring their laptops, but we will always provide equipment if needed.
- Additionally, we provide a comfortable, quiet space for you to work, such as an office or bedroom.
Keep in mind:
- PHP: 6 hours of treatment per day
- Residential: 1-3 hours of treatment per day
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What We Offer:
Expert clinicians and comprehensive care
Our team of compassionate practitioners provides clients with world-class treatment, including one-on-one treatments with licensed clinicians at the master’s level. We have a low client-to-staff ratio and are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At Eating Disorder Solutions, we treat eating disorders spanning the entire spectrum, such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and other disordered eating behaviors and body image issues. With a range of services, from residential eating disorder treatment to outpatient programs, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of each individual client. Every step of the way, we offer guidance and support from our team of experienced physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, therapists, dietitians, and recovery coaches.
Location easily accessible from anywhere in the U.S.
Eating Disorder Solutions is centrally located in Weatherford and Dallas, Texas. With two airports – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field – our center is easily accessible via a direct flight from most parts of the country.
Helpful and healing amenities
Within our homelike setting surrounded by acres of land, you’ll find everything you need to feel safe and comfortable. Well-appointed rooms are furnished with flat-screen TVs and high-quality linens. Our onsite chef prepares healthy and delicious meals with the freshest ingredients to rejuvenate your body, working with our registered dietician. You can participate in guided wellness programs like yoga or enjoy easy and calming hikes on our walking trails. It’s the perfect environment to relax and recover privately and confidentially.
We understand the importance of your academics and how quickly you want to return to your daily routine. Our treatment team will provide the most effective recovery plan and help you develop a re-entry strategy to return to school. We maintain complete confidentiality and can help you recover in a safe, comfortable, and discreet environment.
Start your recovery today.
In the event that treatment is delayed too much, eating disorders can irreversibly damage your future plans and health. Get the professional care you deserve to get your collegiate journey and life back on track. Contact us at 855-808-4213 for a confidential conversation about your situation.