"A fundamental difference between adult and adolescent eating disorders is the impact on work ... [For example] dieting and ... eating and purging can affect concentration and performance." - Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D. from book "Midlife Eating Disorders: Your Journey to Recovery," Waller & Company, 2013. Here you can order the book from Amazon.com.
The struggle with eating disorders may not end with the teenage years and early adulthood. Currently they are continuing or even starting during midlife. Experts speculate about the reasons. Those range from the pressure to look perfect created by advertising to the stresses of multiple roles of worker, spouse, parent and care-taker of parents.
Among the leading food disorders for aging are binge eating and eating and purging. But just as with the young they distract the sufferers from life. When those in the throes of an eating disorder hold jobs or operate their own businesses, they simply can't "afford" that kind of distraction. We are expected to the totally there, focused on the work task. Even though the economy is improving, employers, clients and customers remain unforgiving.
What to do about an eating disorder? Here are 3 tips.
Admit it. Often that provides the platform for ending the destructive behavior.
Seek out help, if necessary. Some people can quit on their own. Others need support.
No-cost help is available at Over-eaters Anonymous. That's an offshoot of 12-step program Alcoholics Anonymous.
There are also outpatient and in-patient eating-disorder therapy programs. Also, some general therapists do have expertise in this niche. Which modality you choose may depend on your medical coverage and how much time you can take away from your work situation.
Don't overshare. Many with eating disorders have managed to keep the problem secret. Best that it remains that way. In professional life, anything negative such as this can be held against you. Also superiors might view this as a form of substance abuse. The stigma against excessive use of alcohol remains.