Eating Disorders and Midlife Crises

Eating Disorders and Midlife CrisesEating disorders are often seen as a problem that only affects teenage girls. However eating disorder symptoms can manifest in any one of any age group. A midlife crisis is difficult period in a person’s life. People often take it upon themselves to undergo major life changes in order to cope with what they are feeling, and methods of change and coping may involve eating disorders.

Eating Disorders in Adults

There are several types of eating disorders including the following:

  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Compulsive overeating
  • Binge eating disorder

Each eating disorder will have characteristics that differ from the other, bit there are a few commonalities between all people who struggle with them. These may include the following:

  • Recent life changes that may have triggered instability or insecurities
  • Recent trauma that may include physical or sexual assault
  • A strong desire to feel in control of one aspect of a life otherwise in chaos
  • A sense of shame, humiliation and embarrassment

An eating disorder can be difficult to identify especially in an adult who has become adept at hiding unhealthy behaviors. However you can look for the following signs in yourself or an adult loved one:

  • Secretive behavior
  • Lies about having eaten, or about where missing food went
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain that cannot be explained by an illness
  • An obsession with food and eating
  • Excessive working out
  • Using alcohol or drugs as a substitute for food

There are dozens of other signs of eating disorders, and each will greatly depend on the type of eating disorder and on the person who is living with this debilitating mental health issue. Eating disorder effects go far beyond physical appearance, and the following are life-threatening concerns related to disordered eating habits:

  • Type II diabetes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Infertility in women
  • Increase risk of blood clots
  • Malnutrition

Many who live with eating disorders also tend to develop addictions to alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse only adds to the potential risks of eating disorders.

Getting Help for Eating Disorders

If you or a loved one has developed unhealthy eating or substance abuse patterns and is struggling with a midlife crisis or other life change, get professional care. We are here to answer your questions and help you find resources that match you individual needs. Call our toll-free helpline today.