April 30, 2014 Advance Counseling Newsletter

Other Feeding and Eating Disorders: The Recognition of Eating Disorders Part 5

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) and Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorders (UFED) along with Binge Eating Disorder, used to be classified as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), but recent updates have necessitated separate categories as well as reorganization in the criteria for each.

To be diagnosed with OSFED, a sufferer must have eating behaviors causing clinically significant distress and impairment in areas of functioning but they also cannot meet the criteria for one of the other categorized eating disorders. Generally, disorders classified as OSFED mimic the major categories, but come with a specific reason for the variation from the main classification. For instance, someone might binge and then purge (appearing bulimic) but may not do it frequently enough to be considered bulimic.

The following represent examples of OSFED:

- Atypical Anorexia Nervosa: The sufferer meets all the criteria for anorexia but their weight is within normal ranges.

- Binge Eating Disorder (of low frequency or limited duration): The sufferer binge eats and meets all other requirements for BED but they do not binge frequently enough to be fully classified.

- Bulimia Nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration): The sufferer meets all the classification criteria for bulimia except that the binging or compensatory behaviors are at a lower frequency than classifiable.

- Purging Disorder: The sufferer purges to influence their weight or body shape, but they do not actually binge eat (as with Bulimia).

- Night Eating Syndrome: The sufferer regularly eats after waking up from sleep in the middle of the night or eats excessively after the evening meal.

Unspecified Feeding and Eating Disorders (UFED), applies to any eating disorder sufferer who has behaviors surrounding food that cause clinically significant distress in their functioning but do not meet any other category. This category has the most variability for symptoms because it catches all eating disorders that have not been formally categorized to date.

As eating disorders, OSFED and UFED are no less serious than the other more publicized eating disorder categories. They affect people of all ages, genders and races and account for approximately 30% of those who seek treatment for an eating disorder. Although the symptoms of these disorders vary greatly, there are generally noticeable signs of irregular eating patterns, body dissatisfaction, or a general preoccupation with food.

Regardless of the type, eating disorders have a significant impact on a sufferer’s life. But, there is hope. Eating disorders are very treatable diseases and, with help, recovery is possible.  If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder contact the staff at Advance Counseling today.

In our next newsletter we will discuss Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  Previous articles in this series are available at: Part 1: Seeking Perfection, Part 2: Anorexia, Part 3: Bulimia, Part 4: Binge Eating Disorder


Partnering With Your Teen Against Sexual Assault

The problem of sexual assault is a very serious issue in today’s society, particularly in the adolescent age group. Thirty-three percent of the victims of rape, attempted rape or other types of sexual assault fall between the ages of 12 and 17.

Parents, coaches, family and friends often want to know what they can do to support and foster a safer environment for teens. Most adults know the importance of honest communication with teens however, when the topic turns to anything related to sexuality, adults can quickly become as squeamish and reluctant to talk as the teenagers. Even though these barriers exist, it is important to communicate with the teens in your sphere of influence in an effort to become a trusted adult mentor.

Here are a few words of guidance:

- Teach: Teach biblical principles related to sexuality. The Bible has many illustrations of God’s design for intimacy and these should be taught from an early age. By learning God’s design for intimacy teens are more likely to feel confident in setting boundaries and will also know immediately when someone is acting inappropriately.

- Listen and Learn: Listen to your teen’s experiences and life situations. Often adults tune out the chatter of teens thinking it is unimportant, however, spending time listening attentively and asking questions to gain further insight will encourage teens to share more serious conversations when the time comes.

- Respect: Monitor your tone of voice and avoid a judgmental attitude. When a young person is sharing their concerns be respectful and encouraging and expect the same in return.

- Be Honest: Honesty is important and inspires trust and courage in young people. While adults should be selective as to which events from their past are shared, often teens need to know they are not the only ones facing certain issues. Allow them to learn from your experiences both positive and negative.

- Provide Boundaries: Parents frequently hear the phrase, “but everyone else’s parents are letting them do …..” Often teens are hoping their parents will set boundaries to keep them from being embarrassed. It’s much easier for them to tell their friends, “Mom and Dad won’t let me go” than to say, “I don’t want to go” or “I think that’s a bad idea.”

- Provide Safe Options: Being the “Kool-Aide’ mom doesn't stop when they hit middle school. Although teens can be loud and may go through your kitchen like a swarm of locusts, isn't it nice to know where they are, who they are spending time with, and what they are doing? Providing a safe, supervised, gathering place for teens whether in your home, a community center, church or school is an important step in keeping them safe.

- Observe: Be observant of the people spending time with your young people. Most instances of sexual assault occur with a person known by the victim. Get to know the people spending time with your young people.

- Seek Guidance: Find other parents, teachers and youth leadership and share in discussions about keeping teens safe. In addition, if you become aware of a sexual assault victim, encourage and go with them to seek professional guidance. If they have shared with you, they are seeking your help.

If you would like more information or are struggling to talk with your teen, please contact the staff at Advance Counseling and we would be happy to help you work through these issues and form a stronger relationship with your teen as they mature into adulthood.


Stopping Child Abuse: What You Can Do

Each year over 3 million reports of child abuse, involving over 6 million children, are filed within the United States, about one report every 10 seconds. In fact, between 4 and 7 children in our country die every single day as the result of abusive activities.

The responsibility for reporting abuse is primarily left to the adults in the child’s life who notice that something is wrong. Often this is a teacher, extended family member, or other youth leader, but it can also be a family friend or a parent of one of the victim’s friends. If you spend time around children, here are some warning signs to be aware of:

- Injury: You may see burns or bruises in the shape of objects or hear stories that are not convincing or do not properly account for an injury.

- Behavioral changes: Abuse may cause a child to become scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive than usual. Abuse, however, can also cause a child to revert to behaviors that are more fitting for a younger age group (thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, etc.).

- Fear of going home: Abused children may be frightened or anxious about leaving safe places (such as school or a friend’s home) to return to their home. They may also be anxious about going places with their abuser.

- Weight disturbances: The stress and anxiety related to abuse may lead to a change in a child’s eating habits. This can often lead to weight gain or loss.

- Sleep disturbances: Abused children may have difficulty sleeping, be afraid to sleep, or suffer nightmares as a result of their abuse. This can cause a victim to appear tired or fatigued on a regular basis.

- Learning disruptions: An abuse victim may have poor attendance or have difficulty concentrating in school which can lead to poor grades.

- Hygiene difficulties: An abuse victim may appear uncared for, look dirty, have severe body odor issues, or potentially lack weather appropriate clothing.

- Inappropriate responses: Children who are abused may tend toward risky behaviors such as substance abuse or carrying a weapon. Additionally, they may display overly sexualized behavior or vocabulary (particularly if being sexually abused).

If you suspect a child is being abused, stay calm and let the child know that you are there for them. Show interest, concern and support while reassuring the child. Additionally, it is important to take action, as your actions have the ability to improve the quality of the child’s life, if not save it. You can report child abuse to the local or state police or child protective services.

If you or one of your children has suffered from abuse, professional counseling is usually necessary to sort through the issues associated with abuse which can often include guilt and self-blame. Contacting a professional counselor can be the first step in recovering an unhindered life.


9 Attitudes to Develop Healthy Relationships

Developing healthy relationships is important to our ability to function in society with our friends, family members, coworkers and spouse. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped with the proper tools to build strong and healthy relationships. If you find it difficult to develop and maintain personal relationships contact Advance Counseling to get started on the path to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Even if you think you have great relationships, there’s always room for improvement. Here are a few attitudes and behaviors to consider as possibilities for improving your relationships:

- Be open and spontaneous with communication: Keep in mind this includes listening as well as sharing.

- Seek balance in doing things for personal benefit and the benefit of others.

- Prioritize having fun and joking around when circumstances allow.

- Approach others with a sense of humility.

- Build up one another’s confidence.

- Resolve conflict quickly with discussion, compromise and understanding.

- Be open to constructive feedback.

- Be both trustful and trustworthy.

- Conversations and decisions should rely on input and ideas from all people involved.

With these ideas in mind, you’ll have the ability to engage in more fulfilling relationships with friends, family and co-workers.


Bible verses about Caring for Others

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:4

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. ~Galatians 6:2

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience ~Colossians 3:12

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; ~Romans 12:10

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. ~James 1:27


News Article Archive

April 10, 2014

March 27, 2014

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February 24, 2014

February 10, 2014

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December 13, 2013

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