Eating disorders are common among teens and young adults. Seminary students in Israel are not exempt from these dangerous conditions. Awareness, recognizing the signs, and early intervention are essential to prevent these conditions from causing permanent damage to suffering students.
Ten million people in the U.S. have an eating disorder. It is the third most common and chronic illness in the U.S. More women than men suffer from this illness, and while the numbers are climbing in the Jewish population, the exact number of Jewish people with eating disorders is unknown.
Most people know about two eating disorders: anorexia and bulimia. Not known to most people, the most common eating disorder is actually EDNOS – or “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.”
Control is the keyword. Most individuals with an eating disorder will tell you it began because they wanted to control their lives. They wanted to be happier, prettier, better liked, and in charge. Like coming to Israel, away from home for the first time, any type of transition may trigger a feeling of loneliness and insecurity. What ends up happening is the disorder takes control over their life! The eating disorder becomes an addiction.
In the short term, a lack of nutrition can result in medical emergencies, including low blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. Not eating makes it more difficult for the brain to work. People become foggy and apathetic, not very good for students in their Gap Year! Eating disorders are a major reason why gap year students leave before the end of the year.
In the long term, eating disorders cause fertility problems. We had a client who had infertility as a result of adolescent bulimia.
Don’t ignore the signs! Ideally, a person with an eating disorder should be treated as early as possible. The earlier the treatment begins, the easier it will be to gain control over the disorder.
If your child has an eating disorder and is coming to Israel, you must alert the administration to the issue even if your child has completed treatment. It is in your child’s best interest to have the administration be on the lookout for a relapse. It could be the difference between life and death!
If you have concerns and would like your child to get treatment in Israel or continue treatment that has been started, EMA Care is here for you. We can arrange appointments with a doctor, nutritionist, and therapist. EMA Care can monitor how your student/child is doing and help optimize their care.
EMA Care provides case management, medical concierge, and health advocacy services for students, tourists, and residents in Israel. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to see how EMA Care care helps you meet your health goals and needs in Israel.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.
Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!