Tag Archive | "eating disorders"

Brian Cuban Recounts Battle With Eating Disorders And Addiction

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Brian Cuban Recounts Battle With Eating Disorders And Addiction


(George Washington University) B_GovIKWoAEyhAN“The author and activist tells GW students “empathy” is the best tool to offer friends who are struggling with body image.

A pair of shiny gold disco pants, and the bullies who pulled them down, haunted Brian Cuban for more than 30 years.

His brother Mark, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, gave them to 13-year-old Brian when they were growing up in Pittsburgh. One day, while walking home from junior high, his classmates taunted Brian Cuban, commenting on how tightly the pants hugged his overweight body. They ripped the pants to shreds and ran away laughing.

Read the rest here.

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When Should Advice Columnists Just Shut Up?

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When Should Advice Columnists Just Shut Up?


BrianCuban  10313386_10203712699568284_9077630497438978776_nIn her July 12, 2014 column, syndicated advice columnist “Ask Amy”, Amy gave advice to a teen who was worried both about her father having anorexia and her own increasing unhealthy thoughts about her weight. (Ask Amy: Daughter worries about dad’s unhealthy eating), Frequently, when a young person “Asks Amy”, or another columnist, for advice on a complicated medical topic, he/she is encouraged to seek further counsel and disclose the concern to a trusted adult. Instead, the response to this letter left the teen with no more information than when she wrote in (other than advice to protect the family’s pets from the food restriction which is a symptom of the father’s illness) and a directive to share her concerns with her parents then move on.

It is appropriate for any advice columnist to consult an expert when faced with a question that is outside his/her scope of knowledge, as this question seems to have been for Amy. Most people, not just advice columnists, assume they know what causes eating disorders. The research in the field of eating disorders is ever changing and has exploded in the past decade with the advent of new technologies such as functional MRIs and conventional wisdom has been turned on its head. It is unlikely that any layperson would be able to offer solid advice in this situation.  This is not the first time an eating disorder related question has been posed to Amy.  In a June 18th column, “Parents Undermine Eating Disorder Recovery” Amy did in fact reach out to someone with specialized knowledge in in the Eating Disorder field as part of her answer.  Why not this time before giving dismissive, and frankly ridiculous input about the effect on the pets.

If this daughter is correct, her father has anorexia, a biological, brain-based mental illness with a mortality rate in the neighborhood of 20%.  Eating disorders in themselves, have the highest mortality rate of any psychological illness. Not something in which advice should be given dismissively or without a specialized background. Sadly, eating disorders are often accompanied by anosonogsia, a medical term which means the sufferer doesn’t recognize that he/she is ill. Additionally, these illnesses have a strong genetic and psychosocial interface, so both her genetics and a childhood spent in an environment of disordered eating and other symptoms of anorexia increase her risk of developing an eating disorder exponentially.

In order to prevent giving out medical advice which is off the mark or potentially damaging to the point of terminal, standard practice for any advice columnist should be to consult an expert and disclose who they contacted.  If no expert is available, they should just shut up.

 

Brian Cuban

Eating Disorder Activist and survivor

Author: Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder

 

Jennifer Denise Ouellette

Mothers Against Eating Disorders

UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment Program Parent Advisory Committee

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Eating Disorders: The Men’s Issue No One Talks About and Why That Has to Change

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Eating Disorders: The Men’s Issue No One Talks About and Why That Has to Change


brian_cuban.ashxMy 27-year journey struggling with anorexia and bulimia started when I was 18 years old and a freshman at Penn State University. At 45,  recovery finally began. I know now that I was lucky to survive, but sadly that’s not true for many. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder — a fact that doesn’t surprise me after nearly taking my own life at age 44. I could no longer take looking in the mirror and seeing the image of a “fat, stupid child” born of fat shaming at home and weight teasing and bullying in school. So much has changed since then.

Read the rest of my Op-ed on Greatist.com

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Why I Speak Out On Male Eating Disorders And Body Image

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Why I Speak Out On Male Eating Disorders And Body Image


Brian-Cuban-8193-1As a backdrop, I was anorexic, then bulimic for twenty-seven years.  I am the author of Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  Below are a few of the reasons I have chosen to “out myself’ and speak out on eating disorder awareness.

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Sadly, this is just a small sampling of the neanderthal attitudes on male eating disorders. It becomes a Catch-22 when these stereotypes and this type of stigma are the main reason so few men seek treatment and even fewer out themselves publicly. On the flip-side, I owe each of these individuals a debt of gratitude for  providing the platform to illustrate the issue.   The hard fact are that over 800k men have suffered from bulimia at some point in their lives. Over 10 million males will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their lives. We need more men to come forward. There is incredible acceptance from both men and women despite those stuck in the stone age.  Awareness happens one person at a time. Join me.

Brian Cuban

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