National Eating Disorders Association
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This blog post was sponsored by Rogers Behavioral Health’s Eating Disorder Center.

They are the most deadly of all psychiatric illnesses, affecting nearly 30 million Americans today. And they are highly misunderstood. Learn lifesaving insights as Dr. Nicholas Farrell, psychologist and clinical supervisor of Rogers’ Eating Disorder services, helps dispel five dangerous stereotypes.

National Minority Mental Health Month may be winding down, but the conversation about mental health in marginalized communities doesn’t — and shouldn’t — stop.

Recovery doesn’t just happen. It’s also not some cliché buzzword tossed around to “inspire” you. Recovery is real. It’s not a luck-of-the-draw deal where you put your name in a hat and hope to be chosen. It’s a grueling, relentless, personal process that will push you beyond your limits over and over and over. Will you choose it?

If you ask my friends in NYC to describe me, you’ll be painted a picture of a boss lady taking on the city as a full-time professor, writer, and consultant, in addition to being a fitness influencer. They’ll also tell you I’m a people person, excitable, and will always make time to help you move apartments and celebrate your birthday.   

The focus in the eating disorders field is usually on diagnoses, symptoms, and related impairment. There has been little research, or even discussion, about negative traits that were present during the illness, which can be positive during and after eating disorder recovery. This is particularly important because, for most people, these traits will persist throughout their lives. In addition, Walter Kaye, MD, has noted that these traits may confer advantages in professions.

We are seeing the days of stoicism begin to crack, and under that tough guy superman facade are living, breathing, young men who struggle daily. When our culture shames men for acknowledging emotions, slowing down, allowing creativity, or connecting with one another, we never get to feel better. 

Exposure to multiple traumas, particularly in childhood, has been proposed to result in a complex of symptoms that includes posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as a constrained, but variable, group of symptoms that highlight self-regulatory disturbances (e.g. depression, anxiety, dissociation). Van der Kolk and colleagues have researched these symptoms extensively, and correspondingly suggested the diagnosis of Complex PTSD for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5); unfortunately, it was left out of the manual due to politics.

We don’t have to tell you that our toxic consumer culture is a major driver of our society’s obsession with weight. You know it. We know it. And the $66 billion diet industry knows it. What the diet industry does not want you to know, though, is that most of what they sell is at best useless junk -- and that could not be truer than for diet pills. Almost all the over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills and powders on the U.S.

World Eating Disorders Action Day 2018 is Saturday, June 2nd and it’s time for us to start talking about stigma in hopes of helping individuals who are struggling to feel brave enough to speak out.

For so long, I existed in what I thought was a gray area. The entity I can now recognize as diet culture was guiding me for my whole life, or at least beginning from the moment I understood that hating my body was commonplace. As a child, I considered the images and perspectives from TV, movies, magazines, and real-life conversations and decided that diets were good. Being on a diet would make me good. Exercising would make me good, and it would all make me smaller.

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