Understanding Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their life. Eating disorders do not discriminate – they can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weight.
Eating disorders involve extreme disturbances in eating behaviors- following rigid diets, binge eating -often in secret, throwing up after meals, or obsessively counting calories. It’s not easy to watch someone you care about damage their health-especially when the answer appears to be simple. Breaking the cycle of an eating disorder is not easy. The behaviors and symptoms of an eating disorder carry complex, difficult emotions as well as distorted and self-defeating thoughts. Disordered eating behaviors are a person’s attempt to feel better and relieve their pain. The cycle is life-threatening.
You Are Not Alone
At Toledo Center for Eating Disorders, we understand the complex nature of this illness and provide a therapeutic environment for healing. Our experienced multidisciplinary staff utilizes evidenced-based practices to help patients on their recovery journey. It is important to understand that with the right help, from qualified specialists, true recovery is possible. Eating disorders are not a life long sentence and often people recover and develop a healthier relationship with food and their body than most people who are continuous dieters or shame their body/appearance as part of cultural messaging. At the Toledo Center for Eating Disorders we are dedicated to helping you take the first steps toward recovery, guiding you through the process, teaching you the skills and tools necessary to not only recover from your eating disorder, but to gain the freedom that you deserve.
Worried about someone? Speak out!
If you are concerned – speak up and ask about it! You may be afraid you are mistaken, or that you’ll say the wrong thing or that you might alienate the person. However, it is important that you don’t let these fears stop you from voicing your concerns. People battling an eating disorder are often afraid to ask for help. Many often struggle with finding a way to start the conversation, while others feel guilty or are ashamed and don’t feel they deserve help. No matter the case, without help the problem will only get worse. We understand the hesitation, but the sooner you seek help for your loved one, the better the chances of recovery.
How do you get help for a loved one with an eating disorder?
We know that recovery takes time. There are no quick fixes or miracle cures, so it’s important to have patience and compassion. Toledo Center for Eating Disorders is here to help. Our therapists and counselors know how to have tough conversations that will break through the resistance and move forward to help your loved one heal and change their behaviors.
We help family members:
We Help Your Loved One Find Freedom
What do I need to know about eating disorders?
Understanding your loved ones eating disorder is difficult. You may have many questions – “Why don’t they just eat?” or “Why don’t they stop the behavior?” It is natural for a loved one to have questions, but it is also important to know that eating disordered behavior is not always easy to understand and it isn’t about the food. Eating disorders are a serious mental health disorder. They are about emotions, body image, seeking perfection, and so many different things that may give someone a sense of purpose they may be seeking.
Four years ago, the National Eating Disorder Association posted Nine Truths About Eating Disorders that still hold true today. These may help you to understand your loved ones eating disorder better.