National Eating Disorders Association
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Understanding Eating Disorders

In the world of public health prevention, we have an idea called “strategic science.” Basically, the idea is that when we set out to design a new study, we ought to be thinking about how the study findings could be used by policymakers and communities to make change happen to benefit people – real people, like you or your children, your friends and neighbors, or the people in a neighborhood across town. It’s a simple idea, but it demands a pretty radical departure from the more typical way that study ideas get out of the gate.

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Delaware (July 27, 2022) – The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is pleased to announce the election of four new members to the NEDA Board of Directors. New board members include Jen Rionda, Executive with Morgan Stanley, Kristen Chin, Attorney with Aiken Gump, Maryam Khorasani, Attorney with the State Bar of California, Benjamin Lennon, Executive with RBC. 

 

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When it comes to treating eating disorders, one of the most important steps is receiving a diagnosis. That diagnosis informs what type of treatment and what level of care (e.g., outpatient, day treatment, hospitalization) are needed to treat the current symptoms. One challenge, however, is that eating disorders often go undetected and people may struggle for years before receiving a diagnosis and specialty treatment.

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Leah Stiles is a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer. Since her retirement from the Navy in 2021, she has been raising awareness of eating disorders in the military and the need for insurance coverage and resources for service members, retirees and their family members. Below she discusses her struggle with an eating disorder that began when she was 12 years old and was exacerbated by career and personal demands.

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Looking back on when I first received treatment for my eating disorder as a teenager, my memory is riddled with thoughts of “I’m not sick enough” and "Is my struggle not as bad?”. I was unaware of the paradoxical twist of worries that I was not struggling enough, and therefore did not deserve help, even though I "followed the demands" of my eating disorder. I followed the eating disorder so much that I refused help for long stretches of time and deeply suffered during my many self-exiles.

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This blog post is sponsored and contributed by Veritas Collaborative.

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Editor's Note: CW - This post includes the mention of specific eating disorders thoughts/behaviors.

It was another fun Saturday night dinner with the guys. Everyone had paid their bills, and it was time for us to go our separate ways. Before taking off, I grabbed my friend Adam’s dinner receipt, and put it in my back pocket. 

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It was the summer of 1977. I had just graduated from college, summa cum laude with honors. I had gotten accepted to an Ivy League graduate program and decided to take a year off before enrolling. I had applied for an internship in Washington DC with my congresswoman and planned to spend the year in DC.  Unfortunately, the internship did not come through. With DC off the table, I did not really have a Plan B for my “gap” year. 

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This blog post is sponsored by Rogers Behavioral Health.

Being out in nature, enjoying the warmth of a greenhouse, and working with plants all have a positive effect on someone’s mood and can also reduce anxiety. Because of this, horticultural therapy has been a valuable component of care across a variety of treatment settings, and is an especially good fit in eating disorder recovery.

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1. People with atypical anorexia are a normal body size, or juuuuust over the weight limit for an anorexia diagnosis.

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