Eating disorders impact a wide range of students from heterosexual men, women of color, international students, and sexual minorities.
Involves an attempt to control ones weight by restricting the amount of food eaten. Anorexia tends to begin during high school or college with an attempt to "lose a few pounds” which then may lead to a tremendous fear of becoming fat. Individuals struggling with anorexia may lose their menstrual periods, feel physically cold often, suffer from dry skin and hair, low blood pressure, and experience heart difficulties. Concentration can become diminished, impacting a student’s ability to learn and do well in classes. The malnourishment associated with anorexia may lead to death.
Involves a cycle of uncontrolled eating, or "binging", followed by purging behaviors. Purging behaviors may include vomiting, the use of laxatives, and excessive exercise. The physical effects of bulimia can be quite serious including damage to tooth enamel, stomach, esophagus, kidney problems, and seizures. Electrolyte imbalances can result in sudden cardiac failure and death.
A condition in which people binge on large numbers of calories at one time, but do not purge. Compulsive overeaters feel out of control with their eating habits, and may suffer from low self-esteem and body image. They may eat when they feel stressed, or may binge after attempting to eat normally for a period of time. Because of the secretive nature of their eating, compulsive overeaters often feel isolated, but they may fear being ostracized if others were to find out.