What are the Causes of Eating Disorders: 7 Common Risk Factors

Most people either know someone or know of someone who has struggled with an eating disorder. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), national surveys have estimated that in the United States about 20 million women and 10 million men will develop an eating disorder at some point during their lifetime.

In addition, eating disorders can have devastating effects on a person’s life and the lives of their family and friends. Therefore, prevention, recognition, and treatment of eating disorders are crucial.

As you are likely aware, there are three types of eating disorders that are often discussed in popular media: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. For the sake of simplicity, we will be focusing on factors that contribute to these three diagnoses.

Before we discuss risk factors, it is important to know that eating disorders are complex and multifaceted. We do not see one single cause creating an eating disorder, but rather that there are many factors that contribute to someone developing an eating disorder.

Furthermore, not everyone who displays risk factors will go on to experience an eating disorder. Throughout this article we are going to examine several of the risk factors that have been associated with eating di...

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How Does Marriage Counseling Work? Three Effective Approaches

Many couples find themselves in need of a tune up from time to time. Whether you have been together 6 months or 60 years, fights and growing pains are perfectly normal and natural to experience as you both grow together.

Sometimes that growth occurs in perfect harmony and unison, while at other times you might look around and realize that that “growth” is headed in opposite directions, pulling at and straining the relationship in different ways.

Perhaps the relationship received an injury in the form of a particularly nasty fight, a hidden secret, or infidelity. Sometimes injuries don’t occur in one sudden instance, instead forming around a long-term, low-level stress that was never resolved.

No matter what has occurred, relationships can always benefit from marriage or couples counseling.

How Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Now you might be wondering, How does marriage counseling work? Many people feel intimidated by coming in for marriage counseling, especially if they have never been in any sort of marriage or individual counseling or therapy before.

Well, from here on out I will attempt to outline what you might expect when coming into marriage counseling with me or any other therapist. I will outline some of my own approach, which is lar...

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What is an Anxiety Attack and What Should I Do If I Have One?

You may have heard someone at work or a social function say, “I feel like I’m having an anxiety attack.” Usually if you can say that, you aren’t actually having an anxiety attack.

You may be on the verge of an anxiety attack, but an actual anxiety attack is usually quite debilitating. The symptoms may come on suddenly, like a panic attack, or more gradually, but are no less distressing when severe, and may include:

  • chest pains
  • racing or pounding heart
  • feeling faint, weak, or dizzy
  • difficulty taking a deep breath, or rapid breathing
  • feeling sweaty or having chills
  • a sense of impending doom or terror

Some victims of anxiety attacks say it feels like they are having a heart attack. When experiencing these kinds of symptoms, a trip to the emergency room is a wise precaution, just to make sure something more serious is not happening.

Physical Processes of Anxiety

The human body is equipped with a remarkable defense mechanism—the sympathetic nervous system—that kicks on in moments of crisis. When we are under threat, we may have a split second to decide whether to defend (fight) or flee (flight). At that moment, the entire body prepares to go into action.

Imagine walkin...

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Christ as the Foundation for Spiritual Development

Have you felt a desire to grow and develop spiritually? If so, it is God who placed the desire within you. Have you felt unsatisfied with a faith that lacks the depth and transformational power you long for? God is drawing you closer.

Have you felt helpless and confused in the face of painful situations? God is calling you deeper into harmony with His will for your life. This is not a divine guilt-trip or a sign of heavenly disapproval. As always, God’s motivation for this calling in your life is pure, perfect, relentless love.

As the hymnist George Matheson wrote in 1882,

“O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.”

Why do so many Christians live with spiritual stagnation and defeat? Perhaps many considered the moment of their justification before God (by grace, through faith in Christ) as the pinnacle of their spiritual journey. However, this allows no active role in the life of the Christian for the Holy Spirit, who Jesus said “the Father will send in my name” to “teach you all things” and “remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is also the One who can produce the “fruit” of divine love...

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How a Personal Coach Can Help You Reach Your Goals

We work best when we have a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose engages not just our will, but our best thoughts, our passions and gives life a much needed sense of meaning. In Proverbs it says not having vision can kill you; I would add both physically and emotionally. I’m reminded of the old Disney short cartoons that would include a businessman trudging to work at his soul-sucking day job, rings under his eyes, despondently going through the motions. Life is much better lived when it is about meaningful activity, whether at work or play, to be on purpose and engaged with those around us. If you are dissatisfied with your current job or life path, a personal coach can help you reorient yourself so you have a greater sense of purpose and meaning.

What Do You Want?

Another way to phrase this is, what are my objectives? Too often, people get an opportunity to work at some job or project, and because the money is good, or the prestige, or who is involved, they don’t pause long enough to ask, “Is this something I really want?” If we don’t ask the question, we end up living on impulse, aimless, and our sense of purpose becomes circumstantial. There’s an old business saying, “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.” Brainstorm first. Wave your magic ...

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Grief Stages and Dealing with Death Across the Globe

Birth and death are the two indisputable experiences that we share as humans. Each person has entered the world from the womb and will one day die. We join the world screaming, unaware of self and others and begin, well … being. It is a bright time brimming with possibility. There is a middle, where we are now, and where we focus most of our attention. And then there is death – a universal reality. Heavy, dark, and mysterious.

Despite the hard facts of the life cycle, the way we approach death varies greatly. I wish that I could tell you “There is one way that humans deal with death. Pay attention and I’ll give you the steps to avoiding the pain that accompanies it.” Much to my disappointment, and I’m sure yours as well, that just isn’t the way death works and that is not the direction this article is going.

Consider your own thoughts about death. Probably different from a six-year old’s, right? A six-year-old may realize that when a person dies they will no longer be around, but perhaps the complexity in which they understand the death will develop at a later age.

Similarly, the emotional response to death, known as grief, is different from person to person. Age, environment, and religious beliefs are key factors in an individual’s narrative of death ...

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Do I Have Extreme Anxiety? How to Find Out

Anxiety is an emotion we all experience. We can all point to a time when we got butterflies in our stomach before giving an important presentation or going on a promising first date. We can all remember worrying about bills that are due, getting our Christmas shopping list done, or completing that task list that seems to have gotten a mile long.

In a way, it is good that we have some levels of anxiety – without any anxiety we would feel perfectly content and complacent, never getting anything done! Anxiety is the way we have adapted to take care of sick loved ones or our own well-being.

Did you see the movie Inside Out? In that movie, the mind of a little girl was “controlled” by her emotions: anger, fear, joy, sadness, and disgust. Throughout the course of the movie, we see different emotions taking over her “control panel,” causing her to act out in different ways. Then at the end of the movie, a much more complex control panel is brought in and replaces the old one as she hits puberty.

While a cute demonstration, in some ways this is exactly how our minds work. Our thoughts and actions tend to filter through a sea of emotions, working in balance with each other. However, trouble arises when one emotion tends to override the rest and take complete c...

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