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In most people's minds, "eating disorder" (ED) conjures images of a thin, white, upper-middle-class teenage girl. The ED landscape has changed. Countless men and women in midlife and beyond, from all ethnic backgrounds, also struggle with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, purging disorder, and binge eating disorder. Some people have suffered since youth; others relapsed in midlife, often after a stressor such as infidelity, divorce, death of a loved one, menopause, or unemployment. Still others experience eating disorder symptoms for the first time in midlife. Primary care physicians, ob-gyns, and other practitioners may overlook these disorders in adults or, even worse, demean them for not having outgrown these adolescent problems. Treatments for adults must acknowledge and address the unique challenges faced by those middle-aged or older. Midlife Eating Disorders-a landmark book-guides adults in understanding "Why me?" and "Why now?" It shows a connection between the rise in midlife ED and certain industries that foster discontent with the natural aging process. It also gives readers renewed hope by explaining how to overcome symptoms and access resources and support. Renowned eating disorder specialist Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., helps partners and family members develop compassion for those who suffer with ED-and helps health professionals appreciate the nuances associated with detecting and treating midlife eating disorders.
Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. She has been featured or quoted in Vogue, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She is author of The Woman in the Mirror: How to Stop Confusing What You Look Like With Who You Are and Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop. Bulik lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.