WHERE IS THE LIFE RAFT? –
February 12, 2021 – Experts warned about a potential increase in eating disorders due to the coronavirus pandemic back in June, noting more barriers to care and less barriers of protection, and it seems they were right. More than 4 in 5 people who self-reported an eating disorder said their symptoms are worsening in a recent survey, facing more stress with fewer available coping mechanisms. The perception of eating disorders as a condition that only affects white women and girls is another reason eating disorders often go unreported, undiagnosed and untreated among other populations. Men and boys make up a quarter of known cases, but early signs are often missed. The condition can also manifest differently in non-white communities — for example, anorexia is less common in Black Americans than white Americans, but Black girls and women are more likely to engage in bulimic behavior or recurrent binge eating. So what can you do if you’re struggling with disordered eating? The first thing is to talk to your physician — whatever your symptoms may be. If you’re already diagnosed with an eating disorder, consider reaching out to a clinician, such as a psychotherapist, nutritionist or dietician, to help manage an eating disorder. Finally, ask for help: from medical professionals, your community and online.
If you or someone you know is experiencing disordered eating, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 for support Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.