February 26 to March 4 is recognized as National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. This topic hits home for me as many of my loved ones and friends have battled with this disease for decades.
Did you know that 30 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives? (source NEDA) To put that statistic in perspective, four in every ten of your friends has been dealing with body dysmorphic disorder, bulimia or anorexia since college or even younger.
To speak more on the subject of eating disorders, dietitian Jamie Basak RD/LDN shares her how to recognize the symptoms and how to get help in the following guest post.
National Eating Disorders Awareness week has a significant meaning for many people. Some people are fighting their own battle towards recovery, others are supporting someone they care about in their journey towards recovery. Then there are those currently engulfed in the daily battle against that voice in their head. That voice that tells them they aren’t good enough, that their life isn’t worth fighting for, that no one cares.
Contrary to what many may think, eating disorders are not a choice and they do not discriminate. They affect all ages, genders and races. Eating disorders are a true mental illness, many times triggered by trauma in someone’s life. Things like being bullied by peers, parents not being supportive of choices, sexual abuse or assault are all traumas than can trigger eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia and Binge-eating disorder seem to be the three that our society is most familiar with. There are more- Night Eating Syndrome, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, PICA, Rumination Disorder, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder.
Here are thirteen signs of eating disorders:
- Constant, restrictive dieting (counting calories, skipping meals, etc.)
- Increasing criticism of body
- Isolating from family, friends and social events
- Compulsive or obsessive exercising
- Change in mood, most likely seeming more sad or depressed
- Development of food rituals (cutting food into very small pieces, strange food combinations, etc.)
- Strong focus on body shape and weight
- Sudden or rapid weight loss
- Use of laxatives
- Trips to the bathroom following meals
- Sensitivity to cold temperatures
- Wearing large or baggy clothes
Most importantly, RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE!
If you or a loved one are suffering and need help, help is available!
Text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with someone immediately who can help or call the NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) helpline at 1-800-931-2237.
You can contact Jamie directly via email at [email protected] with any questions or for more information.
Find solidarity and support in Tampa on Sunday, March 5 at the Walk for Eating Disorders Awareness – Celebrate EveryBODY. Learn more about the walk and register here.