Eating Disorders: A Life-Threatening Illness

Eating Disorders are life-threatening illnesses that affects both the psychological and physical well being of the person suffering from the disorder. These disorders are characterized by abnormal and harmful eating behaviors in which dieting moves to extreme measures. It affects all aspects of the person’s life and is caused by a variety of emotional issues. Their self perception becomes so distorted that they have difficulty accepting themselves and their body. They see themselves as being “fat and ugly.” Their judgment is inaccurate and they cannot/will not eat until their underlying issues are resolved.


Signs to look for when one is suspected of having eating disorders:

  • Preoccupation with weight, diet, food, and calories
  • Consumption of large amounts of no-calorie foods
  • Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • Bruises easily
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Socially withdrawn or depressed
  • Low self-esteem, or self-worth based on weight or size
  • Complaints of being “fat” or a distorted body image
  • Withdrawn or “testy” at meal times
  • Rituals at meal time



  • Anorexia nervosa, in which you become too thin, but you don’t eat enough because you think you are fat
  • Bulimia nervosa, involving periods of overeating followed by purging, sometimes through self-induced vomiting or using laxatives
  • Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating

Women Are More Likely Than Men, To Have Eating Disorders / Illnesses

Women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. They usually start in the teenage years and often occur along with depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse.

Eating disorders can cause heart and kidney problems and even death. Getting help early is important. Treatment involves monitoring, mental health therapy, nutritional counseling and sometimes medicines.

How Are Men And Boys Affected?

Although eating disorders primarily affect women and girls, boys and men are also vulnerable. One in four preadolescent cases of anorexia occur in boys. Binge-eating disorder affects both females and males.

Like females who have eating disorders, males with the illness have a warped sense of body image and often have muscle dysmorphia, a type of disorder that is characterized by an extreme concern with becoming more muscular. Some boys with the disorder want to lose weight, while others want to gain weight or “bulk up.” Boys who think they are too small are at a greater risk for using steroids or other dangerous drugs to increase muscle mass.

Boys with eating disorders exhibit the same types of emotional, physical and behavioral signs and symptoms as girls, but for a variety of reasons, boys are less likely to be diagnosed with what is often considered a stereotypically “female” disorder.

Contact Mathers Clinic

Contact us to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist or for more information about our services by calling (815) 444.9999. You may also email us at info@themathersclinic.com. We look forward to helping you meet with a psychologist at a time that works well for you.



Crystal Lake Office
145 South Virginia Street
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014
phone: 815.444.9999
fax: 815.986.1363


Crystal Lake Business Hours
Monday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 7:30pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
Sunday Closed

Woodstock Office
715 West Judd Street
Woodstock, Illinois 60098
phone: 815.444.9999
fax: 815.986.1363


Woodstock Business Hours
Monday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 9:00am - 7:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Mathers Community Mental Health Center Affiliates:



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