Eating Disorders in the Jewish community

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  • This topic contains 30 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  willi 11 years ago.
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  • #588058

    yoshi
    Member

    I’d like to bring this topic up in the coffee room, having just seen a story on YW news bulletin about it.

    For some reason this topic is not brought up so often, even in the secular communities, when there clearly are problems happening right in front of us. Sadly, this is an issue that most people are unaware of, even when it’s happening in their own homes.

    This problem has a couple factors to it; The girls/guys who are starving themselves &/or vomiting, trying to be a size zero to get a shidduch, the girls/guys who are emotional eaters, and the girls/guys who are very overweight or obese. Yes, I said “guys” this is happening to young men as well. The pressure to be perfect in this world takes a toll on everyone, no gender is excluded from these problems.

    Now, how do we go about addressing these problems? As parents, we try to give our child a healthy self esteem, but some slip through the cracks, maybe from not getting enough attention, being emotionally abused, the list can go on and on. These problems usually strain from psychological issues or insufficient education on the health matter. These kids/adults need serious self esteem boosts. There are a lot of anorexic/bulimic individuals out there, most of whom go unnoticed by everyone, and the obesity rate in America keeps going up, and the Jewish community is not exempt from this.

    There isn’t just one reason why someone has an eating disorder, most cases have to be dealt with differently. We can start by getting the idea of “having to be a size 0” out of these kids heads. We can start informing parents and children the health hazards of eating too little, AND eating too much.

    What are your thoughts on the matter?

    #620867

    oomis
    Participant

    My thoughts on this matter are that 30-40 years ago, people had much more normal lives. It was not considered normal for a young woman to look like a stick, in order to be thought attractive. The average size of a woman was 12-14, and a size 8 or 10 was considered beautiful. Tell a prospective mother-in-law that her son’s potential shidduch is a size 8 (and yes, there are some real dimwits who feel this is an appropriate question to ask), and she is already concerned that the girl is “running to fat..” or potentially going to be obese in the future.I find this preoccupation with girl’s size to be far more untzniusdig than whether or not her hair is cropped short.

    So now our beautiful and healthy girls are trying to starve themselves into a more acceptable dress size, and are setting themselves up for a lifetime of health problems, both physical and emotional. I do not really believe it is such a prevalent problem among boys,but I will accept the poster’s words at face value. If it IS a problem, it also needs to be addressed and not swept under the rug.

    #620868

    Jewess
    Member

    Not every girl who is a size two or zero is starving herself or anorexic or bulemic…Some girls are blessed with a quick metabolism and/or work out to maintain their figure. I’m sure there are a few tragic cases but please don’t think that all or most thin people starve themselves or vomit to stay thin.

    A size two today is much bigger than it was ten years ago. I have a size four skirt that I got about ten years ago that is smaller than the size twos that I buy today (same brand). The companies are making clothing bigger to make overweight people feel better about themselves and buy their clothing.

    I do hope that any guy or girl suffering from eating disorders get help.

    #620869

    I don’t necessarily believe they do this for looks or to get a good shidduch…it’s a much deeper emotional issue. Cuz the real anorexics/bolemics are so oisgedart that they don’t even look good. It’s more like a sickness.

    So I don’t know what issue ur addressing – the sick ones, or all those girls/guys out there who are just plain dieting to look good and feel good and be healthy.

    #620871

    yoshi
    Member

    Obviously not ALL guys and girls who are slim have an eating disorder, I’m simply referring to those who are suffering. By the way you are 100% right about the clothing being made”bigger” they are accommodating the “growing” americans. Anorexia, Bulimia, and Bingeing, or individuals who are mimicking such mental diseases, do it for looks, to fit in, and you are correct when you say, emotional issues, that’s usually where it originates from. I’ve seen people do it because they were being made fun of because of their size, I’ve seen women say to girls as young as 11 to be careful how much they eat, I’ve seen the people who are depressed and can’t help but have one of these problems, or depressed and think that by starving themselves to a malnourished state people will like them more and they will feel happier. It’s so sad how much it goes unnoticed, until it’s too late…

    #620872

    ulisis
    Member

    The sizes are definitely getting bigger, no question about it.

    Very similar to what happened with HP’s RPN.

    #620873

    Joseph II
    Member

    What is RPN?

    #620874

    lgbg
    Member

    oh my this is so true. but a very touchy topic.

    i know this girl whose literally 260 lbs if not more who is bulemic. she throws up all her food, saying her stomach hurts. she admitted to me the reason why she does this: she says she sees all these really thin moldels and she wants to be just like them.

    to make matters worse her mother and sisters are so into their weight, with diets, personal trainers you name it they do it. and she is so pressured and so depressed about it!

    our world is so revovled around losing weight and being thin that guys and girls are willing to kill themselves to be thin!

    now that school and yeshivos are starting every teacher or rebbi should make sure there students are eating! if the parents arent doing anything about it then you should!

    #620875

    bored@work
    Participant

    I think people try to push away the problem, not accepting it about themselves or loved one. when I tried to get help for my friend with an ed, it was very hard because the school doesnt really want to get involved, her mother didtn want to accept this about her daughter, so u know what even though people were aware noone did anything about it.

    like jewess was saying, some girls are blessed to be skinny, so i think people should stop going around giving them names, in seminary there were so many nicknames of skinny girls because in peoples minds obviously if someon is that skinny they must have an eating disorder.

    They must speak to a therapist who gets to the root of the problem, because it stems from major emotional issues, alot having to do with not having cotrol over life so they pick an area where they can have control.

    #620876

    shindy
    Member

    Yoav Cohen, PhD

    New York, NY 10021 US

    Phone: (347) 831-0280

    Child/Adol/Adults/OC Spectrum

    Disorders/BDD/Hoarding/Trichotillo

    mania/Home Visits/Sliding

    Scale/Support Group/Speaks

    Hebrew/ERP/CBT

    This Dr.Cohen is an excellent therapist who has alot of experience with eating disorders. He has hours in Nyack too, I think. He uses cognitive therapy and has a lot of success.

    What is good is that the schools are more aware of eating disorders than they were several years ago. they are trying to speak to the girls about eating healthy and taking care of themselves. For those girls with anorexia or bulemia, they are speaking with the girls and parents and trying to find apropriate nutritionists and therapists for them. While eating disorders are common in the United States even among goyim, the rate is higher among the orthodox because of the shidduch pressure.

    If anyone who is reading this has an eating disorder or knows of someone who does have one, they should reach out for help and go to a therapist, because you deserve to live a long and healthy life. May noone know of this very scary disease. if anyone else knows of good therapists for eating disorders, please post it here.

    #620877

    shindy
    Member

    Bored At Work- Why do you think the school did not want to get involved?

    #620878

    bored@work
    Participant

    because I spoke to them about it, and they did not want to get invovled, when they themselves confirmed that their was a problem

    #620879

    yoshi
    Member

    Shindy, I remember my school years ago “spoke” to us about eating disorders for about 30 minutes, and never elaborated too well on the subject or told where the individuals who were suffering how to get help. It was such a shame, because there were at least 10 kids in my grade who were suffering, & 3 of them went to hospitals from nearly dying. Some schools just like to deny they have “problem children” in their school. They want to keep a good clean record, and having these situations outed was the last thing they wanted. I think by now the rate of kids with everything from anorexia, bulimia, bingeing, or a mix of all 3 has gone up tremendously in my old school and everywhere else. For some reason the Jewish community never thinks any of the so called “goyish” problems can penetrate their perfect little world. The sad thing is, it does happen, and it happens more than we think from drugs, addictions, all types of mental diseases, and much worse I can’t divulge on this forum. How bad do things have to get before communities take action and make awareness of these terrible problems?

    #620880

    oomis
    Participant

    If a school does NOT want to get involved it can only be for the same reason that they refuse to acknowledge a drug problem in the school. They don’t want to admit there are problems in THEIR school.

    #620881

    ulisis
    Member

    Joseph II, RPN is Reverse Polish Notation. It’s just a method of entry that used to be popular on calculators, but has largely been abandoned in favor of modern algebraic entry. The basic idea is that the calculator maintains a stack and all operations are performed on the top two elements. For example, instead of 2 + 2 = to get you 4 on a modern calculator, on an RPN calculator you’d type 2 = 2 +: first the calculator would pop the 2, pop the 2, add them together, and then push the 4 onto the stack. Hewlett Packard is the lone holdout, and all their calculators today still use RPN.

    My point was, though, that there used to be a limit on the elements the stack could hold. Eventually, the memory doubled, enabling one to hold twice as much data, but shortly thereafter, the calculator began using 32 bit numbers instead of 16 bit numbers, so the doubled memory once again held only half as many numbers.

    It reminds me of what a famous philosopher once said (I think it was Plato, but I can’t find the source right now): “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Curabitur luctus congue tortor. Integer vitae dolor.” Roughly translated that means, “That which was once small can become bigger, but it will remain the same size.”

    #620882

    shindy
    Member

    Yoshi:

    Did your school have a school social worker or guidance counselor that was trained to deal with problems kids have?

    #620883

    Joseph II
    Member

    Ulisis, I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. Or rather, I think I do understand it but I don’t understand why you had to bring up RPN and Latin quotes to make it (though you’ve obviously shown yourself to be much more well read than the average poster that all the above average posters complain about). Basically, you are saying that they make things bigger than they used to. I would have used the Big Mac as an example (though maybe not on this site). This is not a particularly flattering thought, when applied to the topic at hand here.

    You’re obviously of the “older” generation (that would make two of us) who likes to see things as they used to be. I am not particularly fond of calulators myself, but I can see similarities between what you bring up and the items on my own soap box. Just do us all a favor and make your point in a separate thread. Eh?

    And I hope that you’re not making fun of anyone by calling it “Polish” Notation. That would be really, really wrong. Maybe I’m Polish.

    #620884

    anon for this
    Participant

    Joseph II, ulisis didn’t make up the term RPN, so please don’t take offense. And HP still manufactures calculators that use RPN.

    ulisis, I hope you don’t find this too personal, but is your username a reference to Ulysses?

    #620885

    ulisis
    Member

    Anon for this: Yes, I know that HP still manufactures RPN calculators. Personally, I find I can do more complex calculations with RPN than with algebraic-entry calculators more easily. Once you understand how it works, it’s definitely quicker and easier to do complex operations than to do it with multiple nested parenthesized expressions. Most of HP’s modern graphing calculators have algebraic entry as an option, though. Can’t fight the tide. At least they come in RPN mode by default. Regarding your latter point, yes.

    Joseph II: Chill out. I don’t know why it’s called Reverse Polish Notation, but that’s what it is. You’re from the “older” generation but don’t like calculators? Still have your slide rule hanging from your belt? Or do you have a compact one and keep it in your pocket protector?

    #620886

    anon for this
    Participant

    ulisis, most people never encounter rpn. Even in engineering school I used TI calculators or computers (by the way, I think spreadsheets are vastly underated as a tool for performing nested calculations, & make checking your work so easy) so I never had to learn rpn, though of course I knew what it was. Most people outside of technical majors have never heard of it though, & if you’ve never heard of it before it does sound odd (it did to me the first time I heard of it), so please take it easy on JosephII.

    #620887

    ulisis
    Member

    I hear you. It’s interesting that TI calculators have become so popular. Almost no power users will deny that HPs are generally more powerful. But TI cornered the university market and, subsequently, when those students graduated, the professional market. Not that TI calculators are bad, mind you, but there are still plenty of holdouts who will insist on HP.

    It turns out that Polish notation was invented by a Polish mathematician in 1920 (basically a prefix notation), and the postfix notation became known as reverse Polish notation (or hsiloP).

    #620888

    squeak
    Participant

    Finally – a thread that has deteriorated to something harmless (though esoteric). Kein Yirbu!

    #620889

    squeak
    Participant

    People use the term “The Polish Method” in a pejoritive manner, but it has a history to it. I found this to be very interesting. The information I am presenting comes from The Code Book, a light and interesting read for the mathematically motivated:

    During World War II, the Polish were quite aware that the Germans would invade their country. The Germans would broadcast radio instructions each day in code that were orders for the army for that day. The Poles set up a team of experts to decode these radio broadcasts so that they could know what the Germans were planning. The British also had an interest in doing this, but it was the Poles who cracked the (Enigma) code first, and then shared their intelligence with the British. Perhaps it was because the threat to Poland was most imminent, and that provided the extra motivation.

    Although the code breakers were working hard each day to crack the code and decipher the messages, the commander of the operation actually had a spy who was giving him the “key” to deciphering each day’s code. With this key, the code breakers could have easily deciphered the messages in a few minutes, but the commander kept the information from them so they had to work from scratch each day. The reason for this was so that they would not come to rely heavily on a source that could easily be compromised. This reasoning was justified, because the spy eventually stopped giving them the keys.

    Thus, the “Polish Method” became a phrase for describing when one labors through a problem even though the answer requires no work. To me, though, the history of it is a shevach to the Poles, who were able to crack the “uncrackable” code without using any “cheat sheets”. So to JosephII and others like that, feel proud when you hear the expression, because you know where it came from!

    #620890

    ulisis
    Member

    Deteriorated? Excuse me?

    I want to be clear: I by no means intended to imply that Texas Instruments manufactures inferior calculators; the people have voted with their wallets, and TI came out ahead. Let no one take this as an opening to accuse me of lashon hara or motzei shem ra. I repeat, Texas Instruments’ calculators are magnificient. HP’s are better, though.

    #620891

    yoshi
    Member

    My father, an old timer physicist had to use a slide rule in his day, but with times changing, and technology constantly rolling, he got himself the TI, and absolutely loved it! He still uses it today. (and he too has a pocket protector & other tools on him all the time) He gave me a few of them, anyone want one? lol, Wait, how did we get on this topic again? from eating disorders to calculators, hmmm.

    #620892

    squeak
    Participant

    ulisis, thank you for your advice. I decided to get myself a Texas Instruments calculator for planning my budget, because you say it is magnificent. I don’t think that you have to worry about motzei shem ra on HP because no one will take this as more than your personal opinion.

    #620893

    shtuyot
    Member

    ok so back to ED’s. i suffered from one not too long ago…it was brought on from emotional damage and the need to feel special (wich i guess is cause and affect)

    the amount of teenage girls with ED,S is insane…i take care of this one girl who is 18 and prob doesnt way more then 50 lbs.

    her family refuses to face the imperfection saying “oh shes just allergic to every thing” the girl will admit to any random person that she has only drank in the past threee days. she is the scariest looking skeleton ever!

    the stories of this crisis are on going,moreand more teens are skipping DAYS of eating at a time.

    i dont know how but this fad MUST stop,its scares me….we can not afford to loose any jewish souls.not now,not ever!

    #620894

    Joseph II
    Member

    Is ED a type of RPN? Which nationality does THAT acronym make fun of?

    #620895

    shindy
    Member

    It is important to refer this girl to a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. All parents must really keep their eyes open and get their children the help they need. If the parents are in denial, then it is very hard to cure this disease.

    #620896

    ulisis
    Member

    Joseph II: I don’t know whether you understood exactly what I was saying before. Yes, the P in RPN does stand for Polish, but it’s not meant to be derogatory at all. It’s not like it stands for Reverse Polack Notation. Polish is just after the nationality of the guy who invented its reverse (prefix notation). It does make me wonder, though, why they picked on his nationality. You don’t see something like Reverse American Vehicular Acceleration for the American who invented the reverse gear in my transmission.

    #620897

    willi
    Member

    In the “olden times” (like a hundred yrs. ago) it was considered pretty to be fat. It was believed that fat meant well nourished, & since the rich had enough money to buy all the food they wanted, a skinny person was viewed automatically as poor. Now what about the people who were thin by nature? Solution: They would stuff pillows into their clothing to appear healthy & well off.

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