Not Just For Teens

There is a widespread belief that eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are confined solely to women in their teens.  In the popular imagination once the sufferer had left his or her teens behind his or her symptoms miraculously disappear.  Sadly, this is not always the case.

A very good friends of mine, Liza O’Neil, is a twenty five year old example of someone whose eating disorder did not cease when she reached her left her teenagers years.  After a brief period of anorexia when she was in her early teens, Liza developed bulimia.  Liza says, ‘My problems with my body began when I was about twelve and people made comments about the extra weight I was carrying.  In hindsight I realized that I was never clinically overweight just carrying a little puppy fat but I was made, as a result of the insensitivity of others, to feel as though I was elephantine.’

Liza has oscillated between anorexia and bulimia for most of her adult life. She is now on the borderline between anorexia and bulimia and is clearly deteriorating rapidly.  And there seems to be nothing we can do about it. Just stand on the sidelines and watch her decline.  And the hand with which she reached out to the medical profession for help was simply brushed aside.


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3 Responses to “Not Just For Teens”

  1. Bippidee Says:

    Many of my friends are in their 20s and have very severe eating disorders – one is 26, and was bulimic all through her teens, and then developed anorexia a couple of years ago, which is quite unusual – it is far more common to go from anorexic to bulimic than it is the other way. Another friend is 25, and very severely anorexic, and has been for many years now. I don’t think EDs in your 20s are in the least uncommon, although there are less people in their 40s/50s etc with EDs – there are of course still some, but nothing like the number in their teens/twenties. I sometimes wonder why that is. I suppose if you consider the average onset age for eating disorders it is fairly young, so by middle age I suppose most people have either recovered to a large extent, or if it is particularly severe then died. I always think there is something particularly poignant about seeing older people with eating disorders.


  2. Mental Disorders 101 Says:

    Not Just For Teens…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


  3. gorgeouskim Says:

    hi there hows it going


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