Eating Out Of Order?

"Dear Eating Disorder,
I didn't even know you existed in my life. Not mine. Maybe in the lives of other people, but not mine! Someone tried to tell me you were there, but I ignored them, even got angry at them. Then one day without warning, I saw you. You were staring back at me...in the mirror. Only I didn't recognize who either of us were, but that we were. That day, I knew I could no longer submerge you but had to bring you up to be looked at, to be considered, to be identified, to be purged forever out of my life." ~anonymous~

What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating habits out of control. Eating habits that rob, kill, and destroy. Habits that are created from something other than just cravings of food. Indeed this isn't about groceries. As one person once said to me, "People reject me, but food never rejects me."
  • While there are milder forms, the most potent are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia refuses to eat. Bulimia refuses to quit eating. Bulimia then purges what's been eaten.
  • Anorexia has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness.
  • Of the newly identified cases of anorexia, 40 percent are in girls 15-19 years of age.
  • Since 1930, there has been a continued rise every decade of anorexia in this same age group.
  • Just a mere 1/3 of people with anorexia receive proper mental health care.
  • Bulimia follows close behind. Only 6 percent of people receive proper mental health care.
  • Between 1988-1993 bulimia tripled in 20-39 year old women.
  • Each of these creates great challenges in the health condition of the person suffering from its fangs of death. Not only are pounds being shed, but so is the immunity system, creating fertile ground for disease, then death.
Of the 11 million people with eating disorders, up to 20 percent of the total will die from the disease (Elise Project). That's hundreds of thousands of people just like you and me.

So what is an eating disorder? It's something out of order. Eating. While it's results are meant for the surface, i.e., to change ones looks, it's roots are deep within the psyche, hiding and often not found until it's too late.

What causes E.D.s to be epidemic? Society. Family. Friends. Lack of awareness. Minimal help mentally, spiritually, emotionally from the community.

What are root causes to the disease? Again, society, family dynamics, misguided images of who we are supposed to be and look like to name just a few.

Who does it affect? All ages, all genders, all social classes. Yes, some more than others, as we will discuss later this week, but bottom line is its affects have no boundaries.

So what is it? It's a killer.

What are we doing about it? What can we do about it? Let's begin this week by simply educating ourselves. Take a minute to learn one new fact about E.D.s and with that fact decide what we can do with it to make a difference. Just sharing this blog with someone is a way to help. Or sharing that one seemingly small bit of info/fact with one person may save a life.

More to come this week: Interviews with people who have suffered from this challenge and survived. The dynamics of the family dealing with this disorder. The affects on society. Ways for helping this cause. HOPE!

PHOTO: What are your thoughts?

Resources: NEDA, Elise Project, DMN

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