National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Focuses on Eating Disorder Myths and Education
Clinicians say the tell-tale weight loss is not the only indicator of severe illness
At Moriah Behavioral Health, we are proud to support the National Eating Disorders Association Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 27 through March 5.
Now in its 39th year, #EDAW 2023 is an opportunity to center on lived experiences and eating disorder education, which are the essential catalysts for awareness and change. A list of this week’s events is online at nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Clinicians at Moriah Behavioral Health say that a rise in eating disorders is one of the most deadly mental health issues to surface in recent years, specifically during the ongoing COVID pandemic. According to CDC data, the proportion of pediatric emergency department visits among teen girls with eating disorders doubled during the pandemic. Moriah Behavioral Health’s Eating Disorder Program Director Joanna O’Neill says, with proper treatment, a full recovery from an eating disorder is possible.
“The key to intervention is knowing what to look for, and when to seek treatment from an eating disorder professional,” O’Neill said. “Beyond the physical signs of weight loss, which may not always be present, other signs may include self-isolation, a withdrawal from daily activities, engaging in substance use, self-harming behaviors, or suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Although anyone can be at risk for developing an eating disorder, some of the more at-risk populations we see include athletes, teens and young adults, and individuals in the LGBTQ+ community,” she said.
Common signs of an eating disorder include:
- refusal to eat certain foods or entire categories of food
- restriction of food consumption resulting in not meeting one’s daily intake needs
- behaviors to try to expel consumed food to prevent weight gain (such as purging, laxative abuse, and excessive exercise)
- discreetly eating an amount of food in a short amount of time that is significantly larger than what most individuals would consume in similar circumstances
- disturbance with body image
- intense fear of weight gain
- preoccupation with food
- disruptions to sleep
- loss of concentration
The best way to identify an emerging eating disorder is to seek an assessment from a mental health clinician.
Moriah is dedicated to the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders as well as eating disorders, offered in warm, homelike residential and outpatient office settings. Moriah offers both gender specific and gender inclusive environments to allow all persons, their loved ones, and communities access to the resources needed. Moriah provides a full continuum of care, from residential through outpatient treatment to alumni services after discharge. Moriah programs include specialized treatment for adolescents and teens of all genders struggling with mood and anxiety disorders as well as adult and adolescent females struggling with eating disorders. The assessment line is always free and available at 866-624-1722.
For more information about eating disorder treatment or Moriah Behavioral Health, please contact:
Moriah Behavioral Health