The concluding week of February annually marks the National Eating Disorder Association’s (NEDA) eating disorder awareness week. For each of the seven days of this week, NEDA encourages persons struggling with and who have struggled with eating disorders to speak out against the stigma that surrounds them and furthermore mental health.
I thought I could contribute to this movement by composing a post on the awareness week and offering my own thoughts and experiences in regards to eating disorders. I created a post quite a while ago outlining my encounter with an eating disorder in detail, so please feel free to check that post out here: https://ontheedgeofeverything.com/2016/03/29/mental-illness-body-image/
I struggled with a combination of Anorexia and Bulimia in high school, and once I had began to recover from both I developed Binge eating disorder. To provide some context, the following are basic definitions of the three major types of eating disorders:
(1) Anorexia: An emotional/mental health disorder in which a person decreases their food consumption or refuses to eat
(2) Bulimia: An emotional/mental health disorder in which a person purges food they have ingested via laxatives, excessive exercise or vomiting
(3) Binge Eating Disorder: An emotional/mental health disorder in which a person consumes copious amounts of food in a limited duration of time
The above explanations offer limited insight into what each type of eating disorder consists of both emotionally and physically. Eating disorders impact each victim differently, and it is impossible to categorize them in such a generalizing manner.
I personally feel as though NEDA’s advocacy for an awareness week is a positive approach to such a crippling disorder. While I not personally feel as though a persons who have encountered an eating disorder ever fully and completely recover due to lingering mental and physical trauma, I undoubtedly support an effort to abolish the stigma that surrounds the topic.
NEDA is active on various social media websites, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They provide useful information regarding how to provide aid to someone with an eating disorder and furthermore offer support and guidance for persons experiencing any type of eating disorder individually.