5 Eating Disorder Warning Signs in College Freshmen

College-Stress-Female-StudentThis blog post is adapted from an original blog post here:  Eating Disorders Identified in College Freshmen as they Return for Winter Break, originally posted Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 11:45 PM by user rhcsg’s Place at Parents.com

The first semester of college can be a huge transition for most young adults.  Often they are going to a new town, without the friends that they grew up with in many cases, and with loads of stress from a full academic load.  Because of this, “the transition to college is one of the two most common life stages in which eating disorders develop.”  Since their children are often far away and may not keep in contact as closely with parents once they move away to college, eating disorder symptoms are usually not as obvious to parents until break time.

“To help parents recognize eating disorders in college students and appropriately intervene, Eating Recovery Center highlights five winter break warning signs that may indicate their teen has an eating disorder or could be at risk for developing one:

  1. Noticeable weight loss or weight gain since he or she entered college.
  2. Helping with the preparation of holiday meals but not eating them.
  3. Excessive exercise, even outdoors in poor winter weather conditions.
  4. Withdrawal from family and friends and avoidance of gatherings, even if he or she has not seen loved ones for months.
  5. Discussing college in a “stressed out” or obviously anxious manner or altogether avoiding conversations about school.”

If your son or daughter is experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, we encourage you to seek help for your child.  Many parents hope that sending them back to school will normalize their lives and they will “grow out” of the eating disorder — however this is rarely the case.  At the Inner Door Center® we offer many eating disorder treatment options.  Please contact us at (248) 336-2868 or office@innerdoorcenter.com — we would be happy to help answer your questions and guide you in the right direction to help your loved one.

Courtesy of Inner Door Center Blog. Please check out their wonderful new and interactive blog.

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  1. Eating disorders are indeed a huge issue on college campuses and stress and transitions (holidays) tend to aggravate them. We have over 60 pages of resources for parents, college students, and university staff if you are concerned about a loved one but aren’t sure what to do. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

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