February 23, 2016

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

e779c8a6d035a51d_NEDAW.xlargeThis week, February 21 – 27, is National Eating Disorder Awareness week, and Be Well USC wants to educate you on some of the causes, signs and symptoms of common eating disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines an eating disorder as a disturbance in a person’s eating patterns, and according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 10 million men and 20 million women in the United States suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life. NEDA also cites a correlation documented in Swanson et al.’s 2011 article “Prevalence and Correlates of Eating Disorders in Adolescents,” which states that eating disorders in adolescents are prevalent and “are highly related to significant co-morbidity, functional impairment, suicidal, and health service usage.” This same study also documented a mortality rate of 4.0% for anorexia nervosa, 3.9% for bulimia (this is also associated with a high suicide rate), and 5.2% for disorders that are not specified.)

Starting tomorrow, we will be covering the three most common types of eating disorders in one blog post a day: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. We will be defining what each disease is, what characterizes it, what the symptoms are, describing common causes/risk factors, and detailing the possible treatments for each. Early intervention is key: catching an eating disorder in the beginning stages can help prevent it from progressing into a full-blown eating disorder, and the earlier it’s caught, the more likely it is the person suffering will make a full recovery.

If you think that you, or a loved one, may be suffering from an eating disorder, please do not hesitate to get help. Below are some links to reach out to, which we encourage you to do. Additionally, if you are curious about your risk of developing an eating disorder, take NEDA’s survey that assesses your risk: it’s short, quick, and while it does not provide an actual diagnosis, it can help provide some insight and give you helpful information about yourself.

On campus:
Engemann Student Counseling Service’s “Eating Disorder Treatment” webpage.
“Peace with Food” group: Mondays from 3:00-4:00pm in Engemann, Suite 304.
Counseling Center: call (213) 740-7711 to set up an appointment.

Eating disorder risk screening
NEDA Helpline: call (800) 931-2237 between 9:00am-9:00pm Mondays-Thursdays, 9:00am-5:00pm Fridays

Recovery is always possible: click here to visit NEDA’s recovery page, which includes helpful tips for moving past your eating disorder and stories of success.

Check back tomorrow for our first blog post!