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When mom has an eating problem
Date:3/17/2010

ngs of being trapped in their own bodies of which they are ashamed to boot.

Their obsession with their bodies expresses itself in many ways. Women may feel their bodies are swelling out of proportion from the tiniest piece of food, and some compare their bodies with everyday objects that surround them. One woman thought she had become too big to be able to pass through the doorway.

Others report that they get a kick from their illness. One woman said she enjoyed the excitement of planning her food orgies, and compared them to doing drugs.

Training health workers

Rrtveit, an experienced psychiatric nurse, thinks it is necessary to understand these women's mindset in order to help them define their problems.

In her opinion, health personnel could be better skilled in spotting pregnant women with eating difficulties, knowing what treatment they could offer them, and how to organise supportive measures such as group therapy.

She believes medical staff is reluctant to address sensitive issues with their woman patients, like mothers taking their children to health control.

Good to talk

Often when Rrtveit is giving lectures to psychiatric nurses taking further education, students ask for advice on what to do if they suspect a woman patient is suffering from an eating disorder.

She suggests they embed it into a general enquiry into their patient's sleeping pattern, activities and meals.

"Although eating difficulties are associated with shame, I believe a lot of women would like to be able to talk about their problems. Increased awareness and better care may mitigate the stigma, and inspire more women to seek help," Rrtveit concludes.


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Contact: Leiv Gunnar Lie
leiv.g.lie@uis.no
479-207-7057
University of Stavanger
Source:Eurekalert

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