Risk Factors for Eating Disorders


Trilogy, Inc. pic
Trilogy, Inc.
Image: trilogyinc.org

For the past several years, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers has been concurrently serving as a consulting psychiatrist at Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS) and the nonprofit Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare in Chicago. Through these positions, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers works with a variety of people with serious mental illnesses.

Anorexia and bulimia nervosa are both categorized as serious mental illnesses. These types of eating disorders, along with binge eating disorder, are all extremely complex and researchers don’t fully understand what causes them. However, it’s believed that eating disorders are influenced by psychological, biological, and social factors.

Biologically, research has discovered a link between eating disorders and families. Usually, having a close relative with an eating disorders means someone is more likely to also develop an eating disorder at some point in their life. Certain genotypes are also associated with a higher risk of developing an eating disorder, as is a history of dieting and type 1 diabetes.

In terms of psychological influences, people with particular traits have a higher chance of developing an eating disorder. These traits are often inherited, thus adding a deeper genetic component to the disorder. But some are learned, such as being unhappy with one’s body image or having a strong pull toward perfectionism. Obsessive thinking and neuroticism are other temperament factors that often exist in people with an eating disorder.

Finally, a person’s social environment may predispose them to an eating disorder. About 60 percent of people with an eating disorder cite teasing and bullying as a significant contributor to the development of their condition. Weight stigmas are also significant contributors to eating disorders, as is intergenerational trauma.


HAS Addresses Substance Abuse Among Women


Healthcare Alternative Systems  pic
Healthcare Alternative Systems
Image: hascares.org

Board certified by the American Society of Addictions Medicine, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers serves as a consulting psychiatrist at Trilogy Inc. Simultaneously, Dr. Carol Lynn Childers works at Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS), providing services in its residential substance abuse treatment center.

Healthcare Alternative Systems envisions a society that benefits from sustainable programs that aim to improve the total health and recovery efforts of individuals with behavioral health problems. This assistance empowers and extends to the individual’s families and communities.

Founded in 1972, HAS now operates nine facilities located around the Chicago area. One of the highlights of its almost all-inclusive services is the enhancement of outpatient substance abuse programs. HAS specifically developed a substance abuse treatment program for women.

The Women’s Program acknowledges that adult women go through unique challenges during the addiction experience. Patients participate in gender-specific activities and group counselling sessions that are tailored to a woman’s individual needs. Issues addressed in the program include domestic violence, trauma, and other addiction-related problems. Thousands of women have broken free from addiction with help from the Women’s Program at HAS.