By: Cyndy Muchine
Eating disorders are common, especially in the United States, but there is a national campaign that runs from February 25th to March 3rd every year to expand conversations and share stories not often shared by individuals and families of those are affected with eating disorders. This year’s theme is “Come as You Are”, a more inclusive way of unifying eating disorders.
Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder encourage and empower people to act immediately. Some examples of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). There are so many myths and misunderstandings surrounding these disorders. Some of the causes range from body image, poor self-esteem, dieting fads, and fat shaming. Social media does not help any when it comes to body shaming!
During this week, families are encouraged to locate a disorder site or visit an online screening website such as mybodyscreening.org. These online screenings enable everyone to take a series of questions that determine whether they carry any symptoms of an eating disorder. If so, these services can recommend getting clinical assistance. Immediate response is offered with referral information for evaluation, resources, support, and the most important of all, treatment.
Why online? Think about it, some people prefer some sort of privacy when it comes to matters such as this. Online services are a first step to intervention and in the privacy of your own home. The sooner people seek help, the quicker the recovery process.
Based on statistics, an average of 149 weeks elapse before individuals with eating disorders seek help, and it effects more than 1 in 3 adults. When asked, most were not able to identify any symptoms on their own.
Some people have created awareness walks, legislative events, and community center events to help those affected. Workshops and seminars are an added method of reaching more people and anyone can get involved.
For more information on how to get involved, visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness