National Eating Disorders Association
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National Suicide Prevention Month is a time when we mourn the loss and celebrate the lives of those who have been taken from us by suicide, as well as raise awareness for the various precursors to suicide: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and other mental health issues. 

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August generally marks the start of school, back to hectic schedules and anticipation of what the new year might bring. To some this may bring about memories of triumphs; however, for others it could serve as a reminder of how far is left on their journey. 

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My childhood and adolescence were marked with milestones of self-destruction.

Content note: Descriptions of self-harm, eating disordered behaviors, substance abuse, and suicide. 

When I was 13 years old, I swallowed a handful of pills; when I was 16, I did the same thing again, but this time an even larger dose, chased down with mouthwash. The first time I was sober; the second time I was drunk. Both of those incidents lead to me being hospitalized, and the latter lead to my spending month of inpatient rehab for substance abuse. 

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Many of us from minority communities, whether it be our race/ethnicity, sexual orientation/gender identity, foreign/immigration status, or any other such factor, share an unfortunately common experience moving through the world: being the only one of your group in a room.

This “room” may be a classroom, a waiting room, a workplace, a party or event, or even a terminal at an airport. It doesn’t really matter what the context is, the experience remains the same.  

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Each year, it is reported that one person in the UK completes suicide every 120 minutes. Most of those people are men. And suicide and eating disorders often intersect; for example, those suffering with anorexia are 31 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. 

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The current movement for self-love has already changed lives. Posts featuring unedited photos and empowering messages or the efforts made by large companies to break beauty standards have installed confidence and validation in many, but is it possible that the positive reception is not the case for everyone? 

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My mom and I carpool to the train station every morning. I often request that we listen to music or her favorite goofy morning talk show, opposed to the morning news because more often than not, there is nothing positive to be said. While I want to be informed about what is happening in the world, there comes a certain point when the news becomes overbearing and even scary.

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I Love My LGBT Body is a Facebook page created by Leon Silvers, an eating disorder therapist in NYC, to spread awareness of eating disorders and body image issues in the LGBT community." Silvers photographs various members of the LGBT community and interviews them about their experience with gender, sexuality, identity, body image and eating disorders.

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An ally is defined by the Human Rights Campaign as “someone who is supportive of LGBTQ people. It encompasses non-LGBTQ allies as well as those within the LGBTQ community who support each other, e.g., a lesbian who is an ally to the bisexual community.”

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Here at NEDA, we find it vital to recognize the unique experiences of individuals from marginalized communities who are affected by eating disorders. In today's difficult climate, we've compiled a list of helpful resources, support posts, and self-care tips catered to our transgender and non-binary friends.

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