John Wohlers, Ph.D., Centre Syracuse Clinical Director argues that it may be detrimental for students to be at college because they are more able to engage in their eating disorder.
There is also an argument that individuals with eating disorders may be too unwell to think straight, in which case the whole point of going to class may be a wasted effort... or perhaps universities should just be aware that individuals with eating disorders may need extra help attempting to maintain sufficient levels of concentration to get through their college work.
There is another argument, looking at the problem from the opposite direction. A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2003: CR112) noted that mental health problems can result in isolation and losing out on a good education. Asking students to take a year out of college for their health, is not only asking them to put their lives on hold and wait a year before they can go on to achieve their desired goals, but it isolates individuals and distances them from their peers. Taking a year out is no big deal; after all, it is what we achieve that matters, not when we achieve it. But isolating individuals cannot do any good; in fact it would seem that this might actually aggravate the eating disorder. As individuals cease taking part in everyday normal life, the eating disorder usually takes a stronger hold on one’s life: we all want a sense of meaning, purpose and belonging; deprived of these, the eating disorder will thrive.
There is a further argument, suggesting that leaving students with eating disorders at college places increased levels of stress upon their peers; perhaps even increasing the number of individuals who end up facing mental health problems.
What do you think? Should universities be supporting students to stay at university or insisting they take time out to achieve recovery?