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About Eating Disorders

What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious physical and mental health conditions that can have life-threatening consequences for the people who suffer from them. The causes of eating disorders are complex, and result of a combination of societal, interpersonal, and psychological factors.


Signs and Symptoms

The following are physical, behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms of eating disorders. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering, it is important to seek professional help. 


How to Talk with Someone Who May Have an Eating Disorder

What if you suspect or know that someone has an eating disorder? Should you say something? What would you say? Should you talk to the person who has the problem or someone else?


The most important thing to remember is that bringing up the subject of an eating disorder with a person who is suffering from one can be a tremendous help. It plants the seed about your concern for what she/he is doing and brings her/his focus to the issue. Even though it may be difficult, saying something is better than ignoring a dangerous and painful behavior.


Treatment of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are both psychological health and physical health issues, and require more than just weight gain and nutritional counseling to overcome. Complex family, social, and individual psychological issues or biochemical predispositions often impact eating disorders. These complex factors may cause an individual to turn to starving, binge eating, purging, or compulsively exercising as a means of coping.


The most important thing to know about eating disorders treatment is that early intervention makes a difference in success! The sooner an individual suffering from an eating disorder receives treatment, the more likely she or he will be to recover.


Choosing An Eating Disorder Treatment Center

If you, or someone you know, have a serious eating disorder, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you can. Eating disorders can be fatal, but the risk of death or permanent injury decreases with prompt and aggressive treatment.

The term “eating disorder clinic” can describe several types of treatment, but the likelihood of full recovery is higher for inpatient and residential eating disorder treatment programs.

Treatment in an eating disorder clinic will be designed not just to reduce the symptoms of the eating disorder, but to treat the possible causes, and learn about body image, healthy exercise, family dynamics, and relapse prevention (among many other things!)


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