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Physical & Mental Health of Women in the Military to be Addressed at 2013 iaedp Symposium
Date:2/5/2013

PEKIN, Ill., Feb. 5,  2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the ban recently lifted on women serving in military combat and women making up 11 percent of the U.S. forces currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, the unique challenges facing women in the military has become an important topic of conversation. The 27th annual iaedp (International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals) Symposium, held on March 20-24 at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort, will feature an exclusive workshop addressing eating disorders, substance abuse and sexual trauma in women in the military.

Military sexual trauma (MST) is a growing problem among military women, and many times it is associated with eating disorders, substance use disorders and/or history of early life trauma. In her workshop, "Women in the Military: Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse and Sexual Trauma," Dr. Kim Dennis will identify the types of MST, challenges to reporting it and barriers to seeking treatment.

The development of eating disorders from MST is a major concern. When identifying and treating eating disorders in the military, Dr. Dennis advises clinicians to have knowledge of the physical demands on the soldier, weight requirements of each branch of service and risk category depending on branch of military. Clinical decision-making upon return to the military requires communication with military case worker and/or chain of command, especially when recommending a patient return with exercise limitations and clear guidelines about protected meal times.  

"Dr. Dennis' presentation really couldn't happen at any better time," said Bonnie Harken , iaedp's Managing Director. "Her experience with those suffering from their military involvement is preeminent in our field."

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