Editorial–Eating disorders: Make it your business

By Michael Kazanjian
March 29, 2001

There are movies about them. The Lifetime channel presents miniseries dealing with their implications. Dramas are run on major networks about their effects on an important person’s family.

Eating disorders.

Eight million Americans have them and most often the victim is in denial, which complicates support and diagnosis.

The list of disorders ranges from anorexia to compulsive overeating. Though there are many disorders, there seems to be one common reason for their existence: to gain control.

The victim’s life might be a whirlwind of confusion and dismay. Perhaps their homelife is not going well and they are having trouble being responsible. Or maybe it is just a lack of self confidence. They now turn to other sources to feel as if they are still in the driver’s seat.

They feel release when they are able to binge eat and then vomit. This is the control factor: they control their consumption and then what will happen afterwards, usually bringing it right back up, so as not to gain a pound.

College is a time when there is little-to-no certainty and the most steady things can become confusing. These four tumultuous years can be filled with anxiety and stress. Eating disorders are easily born in these conditions.

Women, ages 12 to 25, are the most common victims of eating disorders. Four percent of college females have an eating disorder. What are the chances that you know someone with an eating disorder? Do the math.

Be prepared to fight denial and still remain compassioante. Report a suspected case to the nurse. Eating disorders can result in death.

A Hollywood celebrity’s life models perfection. Millions of people sit on their couches watching the awards’ shows, fantasizing about being in the celebrities’ shoes. However, there is no realization of what goes on behind the closed doors. The actresses are also women in need of control. Eating disorders are rampant in the so-called Tinsel Town.

People are infatuated with the perfect image and constantly think they are competing. Perhaps this is a lesson of awareness for all of us. Take the responsibility to not be oblivious to comments such as “Oh, I’m not hungry…” or “I already ate…before I came…” or consistent trips to the bathroom or even compulsive exercising. Although people are hesitant to get involved, these individuals may need your help. So make it your business.

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Michael Kazanjian

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