- Maybe you’re not sure if they have a problem
- Hear from others who are feeling the way you’re feeling
- Learn the basics about eating disorders
- Find when your loved one should see a doctor
- Understand your risk factors
- How to take preventative measures
Concerned about eating disorders?
We’ve got answers
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness.
Eating Disorders are a type of mental illness in which a person’s life is negatively affected by disordered thoughts and behaviors about food, body and weight. While the onset of many eating disorders is common around the age of puberty, they can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status or background.
Begin Exploring Signs and Symptoms
Does my loved one have an eating disorder?
Eating disorders have a range of complex attributing factors. They can be biological, psychological and cultural. In addition, new research is suggesting genetic correlations to eating disorders.
What are some causes and symptoms of eating disorders?
Genetics and psychological conditions are the two primary root causes of eating disorders. Research shows that people with a close relative who has an eating disorder are nearly 60 percent more likely to develop an eating disorder of their own.
What are the risks associated with eating disorders?
There are many influences that may elevate the risk of developing an eating disorder. Key risk factors are family history, certain mental health disorders, improper dieting and starvation, and stress.
Learn Ways to Help Your Loved One
What are some ways to prevent eating disorders?
Although eating disorders involve serious conditions requiring professional help, there are many ways in fact to reduce the risk of serious health issues.
Are there any helping strategies for eating disorders?
Although there are some basic ways to help yourself, professional guidance is always recommended. A great place to start would be to have your loved one take this free online screening.
When should I suggest seeking medical treatment?
Please know that the support of your loved ones can be critical to a healthy recovery. Never hesitate to reach out to your doctor or mental health professional to find out the most effective ways to cope with your eating disorder.
Investigate Eating Disorder
Although there are many ways to improve your patient’s chances, professional help is always recommended.
- Open lines of communication
- Avoid focusing on diets or losing weight
- Encourage good mental health hygiene
- Be mindful of body image and self esteem
- Don’t go it alone – encourage them to seek help
Understand Diagnosis & Treatment Options
How can I urge a loved one to seek treatment for an eating disorder?
Do your best to be a good listener, and to remain understanding and empathetic. Recognize that it may take some time for them to open up and share their feelings with you.
How are eating disorders diagnosed?
If your healthcare provider suspects an eating disorder, he or she might perform additional tests to accurately diagnose the disorder (or lack thereof), but most often a family doctor will refer the patient to an eating disorder treatment center for a diagnosis.
What treatment options are available for eating disorders?
A thorough evaluation is an important piece of the recovery process. Very generally, eating disorder treatment can include individual and group therapy, family therapy, nutrition and exercise education, and monitoring physical health.
Learn About Eating Disorder
Diagnosis & Treatments
There is such a wide variety of treatment options due to the complexity of eating disorders and related mental health conditions.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Somatic Experiencing (SE)
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
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