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September 26, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-26

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6B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, September 26, 2002

Uncommon disorders often
overlooked, undiagnosed

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine -
BETHANY ROOT - F IT'S NOT SCOTTISH
A ONE PAIR OF PANTSANE
6 A HEFTY DOSE OF HEALINI

By Rebecca Ramsey
Daily Arts Writer
On Saturday afternoon, while many
students were at the football game, a
handful of health-conscious men
worked out in the weight room at the
CCRB. This may strike some as odd,
since people often assume that football
is the greatest love a guy can have. Oth-
ers may think that these guys are just
really devoted to their health.
"Most people think thatguys who
work out a lot are helping their bodies
by making them more muscular and
strong," said Laurence Panglinan, an
Engineering junior who claims to work
out as much as he can, even during foot-
ball games. "But a girl who works out
on the elliptical machine for an hour is
seen to be obsessed with exercise and
harmful to her body."
The definition of "healthy" is heavily
distorted. Eating disorders are misunder-

stood, as most people assume that
women are the only ones who suffer.
Unpublicized problems such as anorexia
and bulimia among males and compul-
sive exercising have recently been recog-
nized as fairly common disorders.
Stacey Pearson, eating disorder spe-
cialist from University Counseling and
Psychological Services, has noticed that
eating disorders among men are becom-
ing more and more common.
"Ten percent of people diagnosed
with bulimia are males," she said. "But
since there are people who do not fall
under the full criteria for bulimia, there
are many more men out there who are
disordered eaters and restrict themselves
from certain foods."
Pearson also noted that the amount of
men seeking help for eating disorders is
increasing at the University. "At college,
there is normal developmental stuff that
leads to eating disorders, such as identi-

ty issues, trying to find who you are.
Eating disorders can help people identi-
fy with themselves and take control of
their body to counter any outside insecu-
rities," she explained.
College forces students to make
adjustments that may be too demanding.
"The competition is elevated so much at-
college that one can feel that if they can-
not control their grades, they need to
control themselves," said Dr. Maria
Beye, an Ann Arbor eating disorder spe-
cialist. "They may not be the smartest,
but they can be the thinnest. However,
this idea can get carried away and one
may then think they aren't thin enough."
The difference between men and
women when it comes to eating disor-
ders seems to be psychological.
"The sense of long-term ineffective-
ness is not present with men, they can
temporarily feel insecure" insisted
See DISORDERS, Page 16B

'm leeeeeeaving on a jet plane
... or two ... or three. Instead
of being dramatically whisked
off to Scotland in one fell swoop, I
get to make a slightly more stress-
ful (and slightly less glamorous)
trip through four airports.
Right now, I'm mostly worried
about how I'm going to navigate
my way through this worldly obsta-
cle course while juggling my horri-
bly overstuffed luggage. I can only
hope I'll show a little more grace
and balance than I did in junior
high Phys. Ed. on gymnastics day
(I was more apt to hurdle into the
horse rather than over it).
It's a wearisome task, trying to
cram your whole world, or at least a
year's worth of stuff, into two
checked bags, a carry-on and a
"personal item." Crumbling under
the pressure, there were many times
that I decided to take a break and
go shopping in order to ease my
nerves and buy a few more things
that wouldn't fit in my luggage.
I couldn't ignore my duties for
long, though. Every time I walked
into my room, I was reminded by
the sight of my suitcase, hunched
on the bed with its mouth agape,
growling "FEED ME!" Eventually,
I succumbed to its hungry protests
and gave it sustenance in the form
of countless sweaters and pairs of
shoes (but according to the OIP
guideline, only one pair of pants). I
hoped I wouldn't end up overfeed-
ing the poor thing. I finally
squeezed as much as I could into
the bag's already bulging belly, and
crossed my fingers that it wouldn't,
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uh, purge its contents before I
arrived at my destination.
However, hidden at the bottom
of my suitcase of worries, under-
neath the lightweight frills con-
cerning packing and
airport-hopping, linger articles of
anxiety that are more substantial.
Tomorrow, I am flying for the first
time since Sept. 11, 2001. The
thing is, I have realized that my.
petty worries about packing have
overshadowed any concern about
personal safety.
One reason for my preoccupation
with trivialities may be that
because of all the additional securi-
ty, I just feel safer. But I think there
is something else involved here.
I can't help but liken it to a situ-
ation in my personal life. My dad
has been in the hospital for more
than five months, and as his doc-
tors like to remind my family
(when they talk to us at all, that is),
he's not out of the woods yet.
So what does this have to do
with anything? Maybe nothing. But
it is becoming increasingly appar-
ent to me that public and personal
tragedies are made from the same
substance.
All I know is that while I'm ask-
ing myself how I can worry so
much more about making my flight
than about my own personal safety,
especially so soon after the
anniversary of the attacks, I feel
somewhat guilty, as if I'm forget-
ting the tragedies.
And while I'm asking myself
how I can leave my family to study
abroad and gallivant across
Europe, I feel even more guilty, as
if I'm forgetting my dad.
I'm an anxious person, and
sometimes I feel like worrying
must be one of my favorite hob-
bies. But I've been thinking a lot
about this lately, and I've come to

echo the conclusion of Robert
Frost: "I have learned one thing
about life: It goes on."
Time keeps flowing, and sooner
or later, people have to flow with it
or risk becoming frozen in a wave
of grief and fear. The world turns,
and Americans have to move with
it, even if they can only do so by
letting everyday trivialities increas-
ingly eclipse memories of tragedy.
My life progresses, and I have to
move with it, even if it means that
my heart will break in the process.
But I don't believe that distance,
mental or physical, precludes
empathy. Millions of people will
be boarding planes in years to
come, and although their minds
may be preoccupied with minor
details of the journey, I believe
that their hearts will be in the
right place. Likewise, soon I will
be halfway around the world from
my dad, but the distance will only
increase my love and concern. We
can't, and shouldn't, forget - but
we also shouldn't let the memories
tie us down and keep us from
achieving happiness in the pres-
ent.
Thus, after a year of hesitation
and sadness, Americans are finally
starting to go on with their lives.
And after a summer of sorrow and
frustration, I'm starting to go on
with mine. It won't be easy in
either case, but America will heal,
and God-willing, so will my dad,
my family and my heart. Because I
fervently believe that if there is
anything that is just as certain as
the fact that life goes on, then it's
the fact the people are strong
enough to go along for the ride.
Or maybe I'm just trying to
make myself feel better.
Despite all of these stresses,
large and small, I am looking for-
ward to my time in Scotland. As I

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finish packing my belongings, an
as I tentatively test the waters o
the life that is waiting for me,
know that underneath the insignifi
cant ripples of worry, and even th
deeper undercurrents of anxiety
lies a strong, solid foundation tha
will endure. Americans will lear
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