National Eating Disorders Association
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As a composer, my purpose always seemed (keyword, seemed) straightforward. Even before I dealt with anorexia nervosa, I thought my sole reason for existence was to make music and have it heard. While that is a major goal of mine — as it is for any composer or artist out there — it’s by no means my reason to live.

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The presidential election took place this past Tuesday, stirring up a lot of conflict and difficult emotions for many Americans. As the week moves forward and initial reactions wind down, self-care should still be at the forefront of our minds as we continue to cope with the results of the election. 

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Little bunnies, robust lions and occasional sloths—all is par for the course in Disney’s latest animated hit, Zootopia. I won’t spoil it for you, promise, but for those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s not just about cute animals. 

Themes like racism make Zootopia more an adult movie than a kids’ cartoon, but it’s the fleshed-out characters that really make it shine. This is depicted best in thick-skinned male co-protagonist Nick Wilde, who at one pivotal moment says, “I promised myself I would never let anyone know that they got to me.”

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Millions of fans know Zayn Malik as one-fifth of One Direction, the multiplatinum boy band that took over the world (basically). After breaking out as a solo artist in 2015 and debuting his own hit studio album this year, Malik is now speaking publicly about his painful struggle with an eating disorder during his time in One Direction.

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Penn State kicker Joey Julius publicly disclosed his struggle with binge eating disorder (BED) in a recent Facebook post. From May through July of this year, Julius received treatment at a St. Louis facility that specializes in eating disorders. 

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In his song with Lil Wayne, “Nothing But Trouble,” Charlie Puth sings, “These Instagram models are nothing but trouble.” The song’s about the dangers of judging a book by its cover (i.e. judging someone by their IG pics). It’s about the unhealthy emphasis our generation places on physical appearance. And it’s primarily about women. 

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Chase Bannister is the founder, senior vice president and chief strategy & clinical integrity officer for Veritas Collaborative, a specialty hospital system for the treatment of eating disorders in a gender-diverse and inclusive environment. He is credentialed as a certified eating disorder specialist by the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals and is a licensed clinical social worker.

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The study and treatment of eating disorders is woefully lacking, especially for men. The majority of Americans think this is a woman’s disease, but statistics show that 10 million men in the United States will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. 

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True or false?: Males make up 1 in 10 of those with an eating disorder. Many say false, and think the number is even less. But it’s quite the opposite. Frustratingly, it’s the statistic most frequently quoted in the media. Why? Because this number represents the percentage of males seeking treatment.

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What up Bruh! If you are a man with an eating disorder and you are reading this, you are not alone. No really, 10 million of us actually. Most likely at some point I was over exercising next to you at the gym, or I was in line behind you at the grocery store buying my binge foods. I may have even compared my body to yours due to my poor body image. You probably walked past me when I was morbidly obese. Perhaps what I’m saying is making someone feel uncomfortable. Sorry….”Trigger Warning. These issues may cause discomfort. Please read at your own discretion.

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