June 26, 2007

Almost July 11th

Posted in Blogroll, Eating Disorder Recovery Resources, Help for Those who Tend Toward Self-Destruction, SUNY at Buffalo Prevention and Treatment Group Updates, Western New York Eating Disorder Resources at 9:56 pm by satsanga

Our next group starts at SUNY at Buffalo on July 11th. If you want to be sure you are on the list email me at cpcook@buffalo.edu and I will be sure that you are all set.

If you are worried, don’t be afraid to email again to be sure : )

 I can’t wait!!!!!


June 25, 2007

What is a high-risk body change strategy?????

Posted in Blogroll, Help for Those who Tend Toward Self-Destruction at 9:40 pm by satsanga

The term body-change strategy is used to describe a disturbance of behavior performed to alter an individual’s body in such a way that it more closely resembles a culturally, or externally, defined ideal (Smolak, Murnen, & Thompson, 2005). Involving more complex etiological and maintaining dynamics than a cosmetic compliance to an ideal (Larkin & Rice, 2005), body-change strategies include potentially dangerous behaviors such as eating disordered behaviors, excessive exercise (e.g., overtraining in weight lifting and/or running), and anabolic steroid (AAS) abuse (Muris, Meesters, van de Blom, & Mayer, 2005). For many years prevention efforts in schools and prevention research has focused primarily on eating disorders and the female experience (e.g., Stice, Shaw, & Marti, 2007) leaving similarly at-risk males and athletes as relatively understudied and under-supported populations (e.g., Dickinson et al., 2005). Warranting attention and resources, research has demonstrated that these often overlooked behaviors can evolve into life threatening patterns of abuse and/or disorder (e.g., Dickinson et al.; Keel & Herzog, 2004).

Symptom Progression

A particularly important feature of high-risk, body-change strategies is that the pathway to disorder can be gradual, seemingly positive, and therefore easily disregarded or minimized. Over time, what were first strategies to accomplish constructive and positive goals (e.g., eating a healthy diet, getting in shape, bulking up for the big game, getting the athletic scholarship) may take on more meaning in a student’s life (e.g., trying to be good enough, achieving acceptance, making things okay; Larkin & Rice, 2005). Further, for students at-risk pursuit of seemingly positive goals can deteriorate into dysfunctional and disordered thinking and behavior (Cook-Cottone, 2006; Dickinson et al., 2005).

It is theorized that the pathway to disorder may begin with the individual student feeling lost and/or overwhelmed within the course of the development of self-regulation, self-care, and self-identity and the development of aspects of self within relationships (e.g., Cook-Cottone, 2006; Elliot, et al., 2006). Notably, relationship subtleties, and nuances in identity can be quite elusive, complex, and intangible (Cook-Cottone, 2006). In some cases, the child or adolescent may forgo attempts to internally process, assess, or manage a sense of self-efficacy or self-within-relationship on his or her own. Instead, the student adopts external, concrete standards of adequacy and success (Elliot, et al., 2006; Smolak et al., 2005). For those who engage in high-risk, body-change strategies, the individual’s stress is experienced within the context of the body, upon which changes and their impact can be physically and tangibly seen and felt (Baum, 2006; Hausenblas & Symons Downs, 2002). Specifically, thoughts and actions begin to increasingly converge on a body-focused goal and set of behaviors to achieve it (e.g., I will lose 15 pounds; I will win the race; I will be perfectly lean and muscular). For some, these concrete and tangible body-related processes can be a very assuring and satisfying way of negotiating stress. At the point of disorder, the body-change strategy behaviors and related thoughts (e.g., goals, plans to accomplish goals and, self-admonishments for failure) become the primary parameters through which life experience is altered and interpreted (e.g., “If I get can get this one thing right everything will be okay;Cook-Cottone, 2006, Reindl, 2001).

It is well established that body dissatisfaction is associated with  body-change behaviors  in the area of eating disorders (e.g., Stice et al., 2007) with emerging evidence in the areas of steroid abuse and excessive exercise (e.g. Dickinson et al., 2005; Sanborn et al., 2000; Strelan & Hargreaves, 2005). The self-objectification theory posits that internalization of the objectified gaze leads individuals to view their body with an external critical, sexualized lens (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). That is, individuals come to believe that their bodies are objects, or commodities, to be looked at and evaluated (Strelan & Hargreaves). In theory, they then expect it to comply with current appearance standards (i.e., excessively thin), experience shame, and believe their body appearance should, and can, be controlled (Piran & Cormier, 2005). Notably, Arbour, and Martin Ginis (2006) argue that the pathway to body dissatisfaction in males may differ to that in women. That is, male body dissatisfaction appears to be related to self-comparison with lean and muscular ideals with achievability potentially playing a moderating role for some (Arbour & Martin Ginis). Further, for the athlete this lens may include performance as well as size and shape standards (Cafri et al., 2005). Unfortunately, in a growing number of cultures many of these external, body-focused standards of beauty, fitness, and perfection are, in fact, unattainable for most, and therefore the pursuit can be endless, efforts extreme and the illness potentially chronic and sometimes fatal (Cook-Cottone; Keel & Herzog, 2004; Smolak et al., 2005).


Cook-Cottone, 2007  https://satsanga.wordpress.com


June 19, 2007

Making my Own Known, by Me

Posted in Blogroll, Help for Those who Tend Toward Self-Destruction at 9:39 pm by satsanga

The events that have happened to us in the past, the overwhelming things that might be happening right now, and the unknowns of the future can all become too much for us to handle. Each of us have our own point at which we just become too afraid of what might happen. That is, the unknown is too frightening.When this happens, sometimes we make our own knowns. We all have different ones. They can be positive like working out, doing homework, writing manuscripts, even blogging. They can be unhealthy like smoking, eating disordered behavior, excessive drinking, and using. They might seem harmless enough…emailing an ex, or writing a check you are not sure is good, buying something you can’t quite afford… but these little knowns can start piling up, or take on speed and intensity. Why do they do this? Why would they do this? They do this because they have energy behind them, they are doing a job for you. Your knowns are a seemingly safe place to battle your anxieties or to avoid them. You might be completely miserable in these knowns…..but somehow this struggle of the knowns feels safer than anything that has to do with those UNKNOWNS.

 ….or it feels like that is true…..that is the the question, maybe it feels like that is true…so you keep          making your own knowns and for sure, you won’t really know.