More women approaching middle age are dealing with eating disorders.
At 43-years old, this mother of three still battles an eating disorder.
"I never dealt with anything in my past. It just sort of resurfaced and my first reaction is to stop eating," she says.
She is being treated at the Renfrew Center in Midtown New York City.
Though anorexia and bulimia are typically associated with adolescent girls. Doctors say that this mother is part of a growing population of patients. The eating disorder clinics say that they have recently seen a significant 42% increase in the number of middle age women coming for help.
"We do find that so many women are just coming to terms the fact that they can't go on this way anymore. Many of them started in elementary school," says Dr. Connie Quinn of the Renfrew Center.
Dr. Connie Quinn says anorexia and bulimia can return to a woman later in life if it has not been treated as an adolescent.
"Some of them start specifically at that point in their 30's or 40's when they are experiencing life changes, loss, emptiness, infidelity," says Dr. Quinn.
This mother who asked that we not use her real name for privacy reasons says she was the victim of a childhood trauma and remembers first purging her food at the age of eight-years old. The stress of raising a family and working triggered her destructive behaviors to return recently.
"Once I lose control, I lose control. I lose a lot of weight. I just can't seem to get a grip. And I emotionally eat, so once I'm filled with emotions, I can't eat. I just can't get things under control," she says.