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Midlife Eating Disorders and Divorce

Divorce is often hard on both parties, both emotionally, mentally, physically and economically. The loss of a relationship, the economic consequences normally associated with divorce, and the stress that comes along with the divorce process can lead to myrid health and wellness concerns. Depression, anxiety, and stress related physical symptems are the wellness concerns most popularily linked to divorce. But, there is another wellness concern associated with divorce that may be surprising to most: eating diorders.

When one thinks of eating disorders, the thought that may immediately come to mind is that such disorders are only suffered by highschool or college aged individuals. However, it is not uncommon for men and women to experience such disorders in midlife after dealing with the stress and emotional strain caused by divorce. Many people who get divorced in midlife have not been on the dating scene inseveral years. So, loneliness or fear or rejection may lead to them to engage in unhealthy weight control practices to maintain what they view as an acceptable or more “marketable” appearance. Additionally, the feelings of chaos caused by divorce may also compell individuals to take control of, or order, one of the few areas of life they still feel as if they control, eating.

Because eating disorders are emotionally based, it is imperative for those suffereing with any form of eating disorder to seek professional help to deal not only with the disorder by also with the underlying emotional or stress related issue. If you or anyone you know has gone through a divorce or is currently going through the divorce process, and may be dealing with an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237 for more information and assistance.


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