Hot Topics, News and Research

Eating Disorders, Shame and Tools for Recovery

Shame is part of the definition of all eating disorders, from the anorexic who never feels thin enough to the bulimic who carries shame about out-of-control cycles of binge eating and compensatory behaviors, to the shame experienced by those diagnosed with BED and obesity, which is heightened by social stigma.

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Ground-Breaking New Research on the Genetic Origins of Anorexia Nervosa

Researchers have identified genetic susceptibility for anorexia and bulimia, binge eating disorder and obesity as well as for substance abuse, anxiety, and major depression. Family and twin studies have shown that relatives of someone with an eating disorder are at increased risk for developing a disorder because of a genetic component present in all eating disorders. Studies have shown that 58% - 76% of the incidences of anorexia may be due to genetic factors.

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Are Eating Disorders Hereditary?

The high incidence of eating disorders in families has led researchers to think that there might be a genetic influence in the development of them. Studies have shown that 58% to 76% of the occurrence of anorexia nervosa can be attributed to genetic factors.

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Are Arizona Teen Eating Disorders Caused by Climate?

Arizona ranks second in the United States for teens who have purged as a method of weight control and has twice the incidence than the U.S. average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Why Do Beauty Contests Still Exist?

What do you think? Do beauty pageants empower or disempower women? Are they harmless fun, or manifestations of lingering sexism and misogyny?

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The Best Present: The Neurobiology of Giving

Numerous longitudinal studies provide compelling evidence that acts of giving, kindness and generosity improve physical and emotional health across the lifespan.

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Myths and Realities About Binge Eating

Do you have some deep beliefs about binge eating? Deep beliefs lead to depression and despair in binge eaters.

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Brain Fuel, the Omega Boosers

What if some of the depression and anxiety that surfaces with the eating disorder could be alleviated by improving nutrition?

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Brain Stimulation Shows Promise for Eating Disorders

It's beginning to look more and more like brain-based interventions will be a hopeful frontier for eating disorders recovery.

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Breaking the Silence

A mother struggling to save her daughter's life becomes a powerful advocate for the Anna Westin Act

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The Impact of Childhood Trauma and Neglect on the Brain

A sample of the best articles and videos in this area.

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New Study Highlights Dangers of "Fat Talk"

"Fat talk" includes everyday exchanges between women that are intended to reassure each other, but may actually contribute to women's dissatisfaction with their bodies.

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Dramatic Decrease in Depression Levels

Mirasol statistics from surveyors for The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

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Increase in Eating Disorders with Dual Diagnoses

At Mirasol we have been admitting many more patients recently who are considered to be dual-diagnosis patients, meaning that they have more than one serious diagnosis.

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Eating Disorders and Addiction: A Mirasol Panel Discussion

There is a very high correlation between eating disorders and addiction. According to NEDA, nearly half of individuals with an eating disorder also abuse drugs and/or alcohol. Is an eating disorder a form of addiction? If not, what are the differences? And more importantly, how can we effectively treat co-occurring eating disorders and substance abuse?

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Gut Reactions: Eating Disorders and Digestion

The digestive tract is directly affected by binging, purging and restricting. The discomfort from digestive problems is a common obstacle to recovery.

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Does Someone You Know Have an Eating Disorder?

Knowing the symptoms and signs to look for will help you see when you or someone you know has an eating disorder before it is too late.

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Eating Disorders May be Misdiagnosed

Individuals with undiagnosed eating disorders often present with a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms/

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Elder Eating Disorders: Is Recovery Possible?

Much has been written about a spike in eating disorders among middle-aged and older women, but there's very little information on their prospects for recovery. A group of Mirasol clinicians got together to compare notes on their experiences with older clients.

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Esquire Magazine's Recipe for Male Anorexia

Esquire Magazine has just released an article entitled, "The Rise and Rise of the Spornosexual" that essentially provides step-by-step instructions for men on how to develop an eating disorder.

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Fat Avoidance Can Hinder Brain Functioning

Fats are one of three of the major macronutrients the body requires on a daily basis to function optimally.

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Food is the Best Medicine for Anorexia

There is no FDA-approved medication for the treatment of anorexia. Psychotherapy combined with nutritional support remains the foundation of effective eating disorder treatment.

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Health Insurers Profit While Clients Postpone Care

Despite the current recession, is there any industry where workers aren't squeezed between higher health insurance premiums and reduced coverage for medical expenses?

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Is Our Society Manufacturing More Depressed People?

A dominant theme in our society is that you should be happy, and if you're not, there's something wrong with you.

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Men Experience Eating Disorders Too!

The truth is that while 20 million women experience eating disorders, 10 million males do as well. Men have been stigmatized in recent years for coming forward, and others may be unaware that they have an eating disorder.

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Metabolic Fitness

Everything in magazines talks about weight and looks — never about health.  We have a big disconnect between body image and true physical condition.  

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Changing the Brain: Neuroplasticity and Eating Disorders

Until recently, it was thought that the brain stopped developing after the first few years of life, and that if part of the adult brain was damaged, the nerve cells could not regenerate or form new connections. However, ongoing studies are demonstrating that the brain continues to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life in response to changes in our feelings, thoughts, experiences and the way we use our bodies.

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New "Miracle Drug" to Treat Binge Eating Disorder?

Shire Pharmaceuticals is now promoting a drug originally approved for the treatment of ADHD as "an effective option to help curb episodes of binge eating."

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New Research on Differences Between With and Without Eating Disorders

The wonderful newsletter that edreferral publishes every month had some very interesting new research on the differences between women with and without eating disorders.

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The Cost of Treating Obesity

The medical costs of treating obesity now approaches $147 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The medical costs of obesity have essentially doubled since 1998, and now account for 9.1% of all medical costs in the US.

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Obesity: A Growing Problem

The CDC said that only one state, Colorado, has a prevalence of obesity of less than 20%. 32 states had prevalences of 25% or greater, and 6 of those states had 30% of their population qualifying as morbidly obese. Statistics also show that almost 63% of all Americans, while not obese, are overweight!

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Older Women with Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are on the rise among middle aged and older women. And they are often misdiagnosed -- not only because they're unexpected -- but because weight loss and changes in appetite can also occur as a result of illness or medication.

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Orthorexia: A New Kind of Eating Disorder

Orthorexia is an unhealthy obsession with what the person considers to be healthy eating. The sufferer may avoid certain foods, such as those containing fats, preservatives, animal products, or any other kinds of foods that the person considers to be unhealthy.

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Orthorexia: The Dirty Downside of "Clean" Eating

Vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, raw, paleo — all claim to be the "ideal" diet, and adherents preach the benefits with the conviction of religious converts. But the current obsession with "clean" or "healthy" eating can have very unhealthy consequences. Mirasol clinicians gathered to talk about the roots of orthorexia, how it differs from anorexia, and the red flags that help health professionals and family members distinguish between selective or "picky eating" and an eating disorder.

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Pregnant and Bulimic

It's very dangerous, but it's not at all uncommon. Women in their twenties have the highest pregnancy rate; they also have the highest incidence of bulimia nervosa.

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Recognize Signs of an Eating Disorder Relapse

When a person is living with an eating disorder, the effects of the disorder can be felt by everyone in his or her life. It can be extremely difficult to break old habits that lead to developing an eating disorder, which is why it is critical for patients seeking treatment to understand how to recognize the signs of a relapse.

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Relapse Prevention

I truly believe that as professionals we need to be working, researching, and developing new ways of treating eating disorders which are (as you all know) extremely complex conditions.

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Straight Talk on Body Image: A Mirasol Panel Discussion

Development of a more positive body image is often used as a yardstick for eating disorder recovery, but it's one of the most difficult issues to address in treatment. In honor of Valentine's Day, Mirasol staff got together to discuss the challenges body dissatisfaction. Can you really improve your body image by gazing into a mirror, or shouting from the hilltops that you love yourself just the way you are?

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Ugly as Sin?

One of the ways we can protect our self-esteem and body image from the often narrow definitions of beauty and acceptability is to become a critical viewer of the messages we are bombarded with each day.

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Vegetarianism and Eating Disorders

There are many valid reasons to be a vegetarian (see: the environment, your health, and the dismal state of the meat industry, for starters). But what if you go vegetarian to help disguise and aid an eating disorder? New research suggests a large percentage of women with eating disorders may be doing just that.

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Eating Disorders with Complex Trauma and PTSD

10 Signs That Hint at Abuse

Some signs of violence that may indicate a child may be physically or sexually abused at home are readily apparent to many educators and counselors.

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Complex Trauma in Patients with Eating Disorders

At Mirasol we have been seeing much more serious trauma in clients who are currently admitting for treatment. In fact, we're seeing so much trauma that we're having all clinicians trained in EMDR, one of the most effective trauma interventions.

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Domestic Violence and Eating Disorders

Domestic violence (DV) and eating disorders (ED) have enough repercussions by themselves, which may contribute to why they are not often thought of as related. However, troubled family and personal relationships and a history of physical or sexual abuse are two of the greatest interpersonal factors which cause people to develop eating disorders (National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), 2012).

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QEEG Neurofeedback in the Diagnosis and Treatment of PTSD

QEEG guided neurofeedback has given us the ability to diagnose and treat serious disorders such as PTSD through concrete evidence of neural activity.

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The Physiology of Trauma

Our brains store both unconscious and conscious memories. The conscious ones are the ones that we can access at will. Our unconscious memories — the ones that we aren't aware of — have a strong link to the emotional center of our brains. If a traumatic memory is stored here and the memory is triggered, the brain can process the experience as if the person was still in the traumatic situation.

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Trauma Conference was Informative, Inspiring and Reassuring

As the field expands and integrates neurological research findings into the best practices in the treatment of trauma, Mirasol will continue its commitment to providing a treatment experience that is solidly evidence-based, highly individualized, proven effective and always on the leading edge.

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TRE (Tension + Trauma Releasing Exercises)

TRE® is an innovative series of exercises that assists the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension, and trauma.

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Trauma Resiliency Model: A Portal to Healing

Learning to stabilize the nervous system by managing sensations is at the heart of the TRM model.

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Treating Eating Disorders with Co-Occurring Trauma and PTSD: A Mirasol Panel Discussion

In this video interview, Executive Director Diane Ryan and Trauma Therapist Ann Twilley describe how and why Mirasol Eating Disorder Treatment Centers developed its specialization in treatment of eating disorders with co-occurring complex trauma and PTSD.

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Helpful Information for Families

Are Parents to Blame for Eating Disorders?

I think parents do take on guilt, shame, and blame. "What did I do wrong? How could I have done this differently?" Ultimately parents need to learn to let these feelings go and know deep within themselves that they have done the best they could!

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Does Bullying Cause Eating Disorders?

Bullying is dangerous and can even lead to suicide. The internet has exposed the terrible truth about the effects of bullying.

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My Child is Coming Home. Now What?

If you're nervous about your child's return home after residential treatment, you're not alone. Transitioning to life in the real world can be very challenging. You want to recreate everything that worked during treatment, but how do you do that and still live a normal life?

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How Do You Tell Your Family?

When you have an eating disorder, the first and most difficult step to take is to admit to yourself that you have an eating disorder. The second hardest step is to tell another person.

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Why There's No Maudsley at Mirasol

Imposing greater parental control over eating is not the best approach for a child who already feels powerless to take her place at the table. So long as the solution always comes from the outside, the teen cannot find the solution within.

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Beyond "He" and "She": Teens and Gender Identity

Gender identity has become a hot topic in the mental health field. It's of special concern for eating disorder professionals, since new research indicates a far higher incidence of eating disorders among transgender and gender fluid young adultse

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