Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an international awareness event, fighting the myths and misunderstandings that surround anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and EDNOS.
Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from these illnesses, many in secret. They are of all ages, genders, and backgrounds – eating disorders do not discriminate. Eating disorders include bulimia, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED), and anorexia, which tragically has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, though all eating disorders can be deadly. While this is the worst-case scenario, there are many ways in which eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of both those suffering and those who care about them. They steal childhoods, devastate relationships, and pull families apart. But, with the right treatment and support, recovery is possible.
It seems that everyone knows someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins the last Monday in February and brings education, support, and understanding to a deadly condition. All body types are encouraged to participate, share their experiences and come as they are, not as they think they should be.
Eating disorders are complex mental disorders that cause people to have excessive fear and anxiety. Their fears and anxiety emanate from eating, body image, and weight gain that lead to unhealthy behaviors.
Three of the most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa. Weight-based teasing and bullying have also been identified as typical experiences for youth, particularly for those who may be heavier.
Coronavirus and Eating Disorders
Coronavirus is understandably causing a lot of stress and anxiety, and we know that things may feel very uncertain right now. If you have an eating disorder or are supporting someone who does, you might have specific worries or practical concerns to do with the illness or treatment.
How to observe the Eating Disorder Awareness Week:
Encourage youth to eat healthily and to be active. Talk to your child’s physician or another health provider if you notice signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.
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