Denial of symptoms may be a feature in some cases, and as such, a challenge in the treatment process. Ackard, D. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 74 2 , Baker, J. Maturitas , 85 , Beck, D. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 20 4 , Cumella, E.
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We often associate eating disorders with teenage girls but a growing number of adult women are suffering from these complex conditions. By Kirsten Braun. While women are most at risk of an eating disorder between years of age, there are other times in women's lives when they are also susceptible. The birth of a baby, menopause or a relationship breakdown can all be a trigger for body images issues and eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa This eating disorder is characterised by self-starvation and an intense fear of gaining weight.
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Adults with anorexia often have distinctive traits that lock them into a destructive relationship with food. Carrie Arnold discovers how those same traits could help them escape it. Heather Purdin had run out of options.
Typically associated with adolescents and young women, eating disorders also affect middle-aged or elderly women — although, until fairly recently, not much was known about prevalence in this older age group. Secrecy and shame are part of the disorder, and women may not seek help. This is particularly true if they fear being forced to gain unwanted weight or stigmatized as an older woman with a "teenager's disease. Despite underdiagnosis of eating disorders in older people, clinicians at treatment centers specializing in such issues report that they've seen an upswing in requests for help from older women. Some of these women have struggled with disordered eating for decades, while for others the problem is new. The limited amount of research on this topic suggests that such anecdotal reports may reflect a trend. In community surveys conducted in and again in , for example, Australian researchers found that while younger women reported eating disorder behaviors more often than older women did, the rate of these disorders in older women increased dramatically between the two surveys, while it remained stable for young women.