Since student life brings with it so many new challenges and opportunities, many can start feeling overwhelmed. Of course, it can be difficult to talk about these problems, so you may find some fellow students hiding what is going on with them. It can be quite common – at this age and stage of life – for female students (and sometimes male ones, but it’s usually the females) to develop an eating disorder. In fact, statistics show that this is the time an eating disorder is most likely to begin. So what signs are there to look out for vis-à-vis your fellow students? What, if anything, can you do to help? Anorexia nervosa and compulsive overeating are generally easier to identify than bulimia since the first two disorders have signs apparent in the physical appearance (the first being severe, extreme weight loss and the second being huge weight gain). If you notice something like this, then it is quite likely that the person is suffering from an eating disorder. With bulimia nervosa however, in general the weight stays the same and the sufferer is going to be quite secretive so it is harder to identify. Still, there are some signs like constant retching in the bathroom, vomit, diarrhea, etc. If you feel your colleague may be suffering from an eating disorder, do not attack her with it, just try to talk to her about how she is feeling in her new college environment and open the door for her to discuss any issues she may be having. Tell her about your struggles (if you have any), keep it real and let her know you won’t judge her. Do not attack her and tell her she desperately needs professional help; that will just push her further away. The most important thing you can do for her in such a situation is to let her know you are there for her with a listening, kind, ear.
About Tiffany Brand
Tiffany Brand has a passion for fashion, and has over a decade of experience writing for beauty and fashion magazines. A licensed cosmetician with four children, Tiffany loves to share her insights with fellow mothers. Contact Tiffany at tiffany[at]sunstoneonline.comView all posts by Tiffany Brand