With approximately eight million Americans currently suffering from eating disorders (ED), the National Eating Disorder Association has decided to turn this week into National Eating Disorder Awareness Week beginning Feb.26. An eating disorder is a serious illness involving food and weight gain issues that manifests itself in various forms. These include anorexia nervosa, which involves restricting one’s eating habits so as to experience extreme weight loss, bulimia nervosa, which involves binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting and/or abuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, etc., and binge eating disorder.
According to NYC’s Eating Disorder Resource Center, the following are signs to determine whether or not someone is suffering from an eating disorder:
- They have recently experienced significant weight loss or gain.
- They are extremely preoccupied with their weight or eating habits; examples of this preoccupation include skipping meals or frequently canceling plans to go out to eat.
- They don’t stop from engaging in food-related behavior such as bingeing, purging or starving.
- They are extremely focused on food and weight issues.
Here in New York City, the following resources are provided to individuals suffering from an ED:
To receive help right away please call 1-800-LIFENET 24 hours/day, 7days/week. Calls will remain free and confidential.
The Eating Disorder Resource Center is a local NYC-based organization offering individual, group, family, and couples therapy treatments for eating disorders of all types. Besides treatment, the center offers special workshops and seminars related to ED from time to time. It also hosts a support group on the first Monday of every month.
The next upcoming workshop is entitled, “Why the treatment of eating disorders challenges everything we have learned about psycoanalysis-and what do we know” and being held on Friday, March 12, 2012 at 8PM. For location and details, click here.
EDRC is located at 330 W. 58th Street Suite 206 NY, NY 10019
The Columbia Center For Eating Disorders also provides extensive support services to patients and their families living throughout New York City. This includes both day and inpatient treatment. Consultations are conducted by Columbia University faculty members with extensive experience handling eating disorders.
The Columbia Center For Eating Disorders is located at the NY State Psychiatric Institute at 1051 Riverside Drive NY, NY
National resources for combating ED include the National Eating Disorder Association, which can be reached through a special helpline at 1-800-931-2237. NEDA primarily works to raise public awareness about the dangers of ED. It also provides general ED information and resources, supports research efforts, and helps with locating qualified local treatment professionals for individuals suffering from ED.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders is another national resource organization providing essential services to ED sufferers. This includes a helpline at 630-577-1330 from M-F, 9AM-5PM Central Time. It also includes help finding local treatment programs and support groups within one’s state of residence.
ANAD also runs an eight-week course called the Student Bodies Online Program, which serves as a prevention program for women at risk of developing eating disorders. The course is an interactive, web-delivered program that provides information about proper nutrition and exercise routines, as well as help in developing positive body image and self-esteem within participants.