National Eating Disorders Association
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As a teenager, I’d often be in a group with other girls when the subject of our bodies would come up. My friends traded anecdotes on which aspects of their body they loved least, and what was wrong with them. Because I didn’t chime in, most people assumed I had fantastic self-confidence.

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In the beginning of April, I participated in a NEDA chat about eating disorders, body image issues, and how they affect me as an autistic woman. After the chat, I had so many thoughts swirling around in my brain. The questions and answers brought forth memories long forgotten. 

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There’s been no lack of speculation about the effects of social media on body image and eating disorder recovery. On one hand, social media has fostered a diverse and vibrant body-positive and recovery community. On the other, social media often serves as a platform for anonymous bullying and face-and-body-altering filters. 

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People often say that an eating disorder is about control and not about weight. They say it is about anxiety, not body image. I don’t know what my eating disorder is about. It’s about so many things and nothing at the same time. I do not have anorexia or bulimia, I have autism. 

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This Alcohol Awareness Month, it’s important to carefully consider your relationship with alcoholic substances. Today, April 6, marks National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD), and there’s no better time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the symptoms of substance use disorders, which commonly co-occur with eating disorders. 

According to a piece published on the NEDA website by Amy Baker Dennis Ph.D. & Bethany Helfman Psy.D.:

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"Dear KJ" is a monthly advice column by Dr. Kjerstin "KJ" Gruys, sociologist, author and body image activist. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology with a focus on the politics of appearance and is the author of Mirror Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body By Not Looking at It for a Year (Avery Press, 2012).

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When I was younger, I knew I was different from other people. I never understood why, and this led me to try to amend myself to “fit in.” I mirrored appropriate reactions and behaviors and ended up trying to “look like” everybody else. I changed my appearance in ways involving weight and style, becoming obsessed to a level where I made myself sick, counted calories extensively, and exhibited restrictive behaviors. 

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From the famed Empire State Building in the east to Los Angeles International Airport’s stylish, 100-foot, glass pylons in the west, more than 70 iconic landmarks in dozens of cities were lit in the signature blue and green colors of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to put a spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders.

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There are a variety of myths surrounding eating disorders—myths that can make people unaware of the seriousness of the disease or even prevent people from reaching out for help.

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Eating disorders in type 1 diabetes (T1DM) are rarely understood or recognized outside the T1DM patient and medical community. In fact, there is still a lack of awareness even inside of the world of T1DM. Despite this reality, girls and women with T1DM are close to 2.5 times more likely to develop eating disorders than those who do not have diabetes. This is a serious women’s health problem in diabetes, and it is associated with severe medical consequences.

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