Contributed to the Opelika Observer
Feb. 22 – 28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness and support for those affected by Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders – withholding food, purging, binging and over exercising – have the 2nd highest rate of death of all mental disorders. Eating Disorders are a psychiatric disorder that need treatment. The earlier disordered eating is detected, the better the chance for recovery. These disorders are treatable, but some believe the tendencies will always be with the person. The average number of times a person with an Eating Disorder goes to treatment is five times.
Emotional and behavioral signs of an Eating Disorder are:
Dramatic weight loss
Dressing in layers to hide weight loss or to stay warm
Preoccupation with fat grams, carbohydrates and calories
Refusing to eat certain food. Examples – butter, salad dressing
Disappears to the bathroom after eating (to purge)
Create schedules to make time for binge and purge sessions
Abuse of laxatives
These are just a few of the many symptoms of Eating Disorders. For more information, contact the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237 or go online to the www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.