Eating disorders triggered by traumatic events

According to a new study published in next month’s issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing eating disorders in young people are often caused by traumatic events ranging from bereavement to moving house. The study, which was carried out at the University of Minnesota, USA, spoke to 27 participants from the ages of 17 to 64 years who had been suffering from eating disorders for an average of 20 years and receiving treatments for between ten months and 18 years.

Six key causes of eating disorders were identified by the researchers:

  • School transition
  • Relationship changes
  • Bereavement
  • Home/job transition
  • Illness (losing weight during hospitalisation/illness made patients feel good and receive positive comments)
  • Abuse or sexual assault or incest

The researchers found that a lack of support was a common theme across all of these six triggers and lead author, Dr Jerica Berge, wrote that “…knowing what causes [eating disorders] can help us to develop more effective treatment and support.”

If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from an eating disorder and would like further help and information click here to read about the latest cognitive treatments for a range of eating disorders.

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