Sunday, February 21, 2016

Eating Disorders: Early Intervention Can Save a Life

As many as 30 million people in America will struggle with an
eating disorder at some point in their life. With statistics this
high, it is likely that you, or someone you know, 
has dealt with this mental health issue. Family members, 
friends, and even coworkers can struggle with anorexia, 
bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Despite their prevalence, 
eating disorders are treatable. As with most illnesses, the earlier 
an eating disorder is detected and treated, the better chance exists
 for successful recovery.
What is an eating disorder? An eating disorder is a mental illness 
that causes a serious change in your diet. It can lead you to eat 
a very small amount of food or even and binge. 
Sometimes eating disorders begin as diets 
over time, spiral out of control. 
Eating disorders can also be characterized by an obsession with 
weight, body shape, and even depression.  
Eating disorders often begin in the teenage years. 
In fact, eating disorders represent 
the third most common chronic illness (after asthma and                         
obesity) in adolescent girls. 
Although eating disorders are less common among adults, 
they can easily persist past the teenage years. 
Because of this, early intervention is important. 
Parents, classmates, and teachers are in a crucial position 
to notice the first symptoms.
The changes that may indicate the onset of an 
eating disorder are not always obvious. 
Those who struggle with bulimia or binge-eating disorder,
 for example, will not necessarily be underweight. 
Parents and friends may instead notice a depressed mood or 
withdrawal from things once enjoyed. 
Obsessive exercise habits, frequent trips to the 
bathroom following meals, or physical complaints 
including dizziness, headaches, and constipation can also be signs.  
Concerned about someone you know but not sure how to help? 
Online screenings are a great place to start.
 Online screenings consist of a series of questions designed 
to indicate whether symptoms of an 
eating disorder are present. 
After completing the screening, participants receive immediate,
 confidential feedback and referral information to 
local resources for further information or treatment.
As part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 
(February 21 -27), screenings are available online 
and in-person at organizations across the country. 
Screening for Mental Health is proud to partner 
with the National Eating Disorders Association to 
The website provides anonymous online 
eating disorder screenings and information on
 participating organizations where you live.
Spreading eating disorder awareness can save lives. 
Join us during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
 as we work to provide screenings and information 
to those who need it most.
 with someone you care about. Early intervention can be 
the key to recovery.
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