Despite the seriousness of eating disorders, many are unaware of the extreme risks and devastating consequences that come with these complex mental illnesses. Anorexia has been and continues to be the deadliest mental health diagnosis. However, all eating disorders are dangerous, and it is imperative that those struggling have support and help from caregivers, friends, loved ones, and sometimes professionals and a full treatment team.
Individuals cannot be diagnosed by their body size or overall appearance, as these disorders involve behaviors, emotions, and thoughts that inhibit the ability to have a healthy relationship with food and physical movement. Even within the professional community, a person's body size often dictates the need for treatment or how ill a person is perceived to be. People needing help are often overlooked because they are not sick enough or do not classically fit the "criteria" for an eating disorder. Society has created a stereotypical idea of what an eating disorder looks like, and we are here to break that stigma. Eating disorders do not discriminate! Anyone who struggles with the devastating effects of an eating disorder deserves treatment and compassionate support.
If you need more information about eating disorders or disordered eating there are wonderful resources within our community, as well as nationally and internationally. Educate yourself and those you know, and seek assistance when appropriate. Check out www.nationaleatingdisorders.org to get started.
With our full hearts, we believe recovery is possible! People have the ability to heal and integrate new coping skills and strategies into their lives. While eating disorders are indeed serious, there is hope and beauty in overcoming the daily struggle with food, bodies, and activity. Embrace the hope that comes with the idea of exploring the dynamic journey of recovery.