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Appetite for Eating Disorders in Women over 35 Continues to Grow

Posted Oct 26 2009 11:04pm

It’s not just teens and college students. Although most of the statistics we hear are focused on the younger set and the numbers of women struggling with eating disorders later in life is growing. Sadly many of these women have been hiding their secret for years. Others were in recovery from an eating disorder in their youth and relapsed due to a stressful event(s) later in life such as divorce, job loss or death of a love one. But there are also women who develop an eating disorder for the first time later in life. Sometimes it’s starts from something as simple as trying not to gain weight while they are hurt and can’t work out.

 

Most of these women who are bulimic are “functional” and live their day-to-day lives with their little secret. Many have never even told their husbands, children or immediate family and live a life a deceit carrying a huge burden of guilt strapped to their backs. Others who shared their secret with loved ones may have supportive spouses who are confused by the behavior and want desperately to help them find recovery. Sometimes the behavior causes difficulties in their marriage and raising children. To outsiders the behavior doesn’t make any sense and loved ones are often frustrated by the individual’s lack of ability to change or stop their behaviors. Because anorexia is more difficult to hide these women are capable of “great story telling” to hide their secret. But for anyone hiding an eating disorder there is pain and too often hopelessness.

 

Some of these women have been in and out of treatment for years. Many have lost the belief that they will ever recover or they feel that eventually they will figure it out on their own. Getting treatment requires admitting they have a problem which is a painful and a seemingly insurmountable first step, incredibly to do when your life is surrounded by the guilt and shame of your behaviors.

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