Introduction & Facts

ts eliot

This website was created to bring awareness to the dangers of eating disorders, and to break the stigma many women and men, young and old, face when dealing with this serious mental illness. Nobody chooses to have an eating disorder and recovery can take up to 10 years of active treatment. Sadly, only 1 in 10 people struggling with an eating disorder receive proper treatment. Daily costs of treatment can range between $500-$2,000— upwards of $30,000 a month.

Some important facts just to put things into perspective:

  • The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 164 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds.
  • Twenty years ago, models weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, they weigh 23% less than the average woman.
  • One out of every four college aged women has an eating disorder.
  • Almost half of all women smokers smoke because they see it as the best way to control their weight. Of these women, 25% will die of a disease caused by smoking.
  • Americans spend more than 40 billion dollars a year on dieting and diet-related products – that’s roughly equivalent to the amount the U.S. Federal Government spends on education each year

Eating disorders are conditions that cause a person to spend most of their waking hours thinking and obsessing about food, weight, calories, and/or body image. These obsessions may cause them to binge eat, starve themselves, or binge and purge.

Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder characterized by an unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, and conspicuous distortion of body image. The individual is obsessed with becoming increasingly thinner and limits food intake to the point where health is compromised. The disorder may be fatal. The name comes from two Latin words that mean nervous inability to eat.

Bulimia nervosa is a serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorder affecting mainly young women. People with bulimia, known as bulimics, consume large amounts of food (binge) and then try to rid themselves of the food and calories (purge) by fasting, excessive exercise, vomiting, or using laxatives. The behavior often serves to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Because bulimia results from an excessive concern with weight control and self-image, and is often accompanied by depression, it is also considered a psychiatric illness.

Binge eating disorder is a recurrent eating disorder characterized by the uncontrolled, excessive intake of any available food and often occurring following stressful events.

The most common of eating disorders, and the least researched or treated, is

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS):

There are variants of disordered eating that do not meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. These are still eating disorders requiring necessary treatment. A substantial number of individuals with eating disorders fit into this category. Individuals with eating disordered behaviors that resemble anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa but whose eating behaviors do not meet one or more essential diagnostic criteria may be diagnosed with EDNOS. Examples include: individuals who meet criteria for anorexia nervosa but continue to menstruate, individuals who regularly purge but do not binge eat, and individuals who meet criteria for bulimia nervosa, but binge eat less than twice weekly, etc. Being diagnosed as having an “Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified” does not mean that you are in any less danger or that you suffer any less.

As many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder. Why is this mental disorder so stigmatized and under researched/funded? With so much information made readily available in the last decade and the dangers becoming more publicized, why aren’t more people seeking help? Questions like this are easy to ask but understanding the mentality of someone with an eating disorder is difficult; most are in denial and difficult to reason with.

An estimated 20 percent of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems. Yet their cause of death will not be claimed as “anorexia” or “bulimia.”

For further information and details, visit the National Eating Disorders Association website: NEDA

For inspiring images and quotes promoting recovery and self-love, visit a-recovered-life.tumblr.com

“No one heals without a struggle.”

 

3 comments

  1. Mackenzie · · Reply

    This is wonderful Mel!

  2. iamallisonv · · Reply

    digg it. keep it up.

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