Understanding Eating Disorders

If you think you might be suffering from an eating disorder, you need to know...

  • No one chooses to develop an eating disorder and no one causes an eating disorder.

  • Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes and really aren't about what a person looks like. Eating Disorders are about how people feel about themselves. They affect both males and females, all ethnic groups, average weight, overweight, and underweight individuals at all ages.

  • No one should tolerate weight teasing, just as there should be no tolerance for any other form of bullying and discrimination. Weight teasing lowers self-esteem and body-esteem -- two factors that children need to resist to not develop eating disorders.

  • Early intervention for eating disorders is essential. It is important to break the cycle and take action as early as possible. Persons with eating disorders should not give up hope.

  • There is treatment for eating disorders and there are benefits to being evaluated by and receiving treatment from specialized clinicians.

  • A person with an eating disorder may isolate themselves out of shame or embarrassment. People should reach out to the individual or find someone the person trusts and ask her/him to reach out. Recovery happens in connection with others.

  • There are options for levels of care for adults and adolescents including outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential, and inpatient care. Individual, group, family and multifamily therapies are all available.

  • Everyone can benefit from embracing the concept of healthy eating, a positive body image and an attitude of self-care. Eating healthfully and feeling good about our bodies and ourselves helps individuals struggling with eating disorders. We need to practice the changes we would like for others.