National Eating Disorders Association
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Note: this piece uses identity-first language (autistic, disabled, etc.) based on the preferences of many of our community members. 

When I started watching Atypical, I was hopeful. Finally, there was a show purportedly centered on Sam, an autistic teen. Sure, Sam is the white, intelligent, relatively affluent, and male autistic person we’re all used to seeing. I was prepared for that. What saddened me was the realization that Sam’s character embodies many autistic stereotypes and further stigmatizes autism

Yesterday marked the final day of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)’s National Conference in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Titled “Building Resilient Communities Through Collaboration,” the conference united survivors, caregivers, and treatment professionals for vital conversations about binge eating disorder (BED), body image and weight shaming, and marginalized communities. 

The day I began treatment for my eating disorder was the August before the start of my sophomore year of high school. It was also the day my season of cross country track was scheduled to start. After my pediatrician was unable to sign off on the medical clearance forms, I was forced to go talk to my coach about how I wouldn’t be able to run with them this season. I was anxious when I walked into his office, expecting an angry response. 

The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) in partnership with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) kicked off its 2017 National Conference in New York City. Titled “Building Resilient Communities Through Collaboration,” the day united survivors, caregivers, and treatment professionals for vital conversations about binge eating disorder (BED), body image and weight shaming, and marginalized communities. 

The world, at times, can feel like an overwhelming place and it so critical for those in the public eye to speak out against the daily injustices committed against the most marginalized.

You’d expect politicians, activists, and even celebrities to speak out, but over in Peru, beauty pageant contestants used their time in the spotlight to call attention to violence against women. 

Exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury or threat to one’s physical integrity is included in the description of the diagnosis for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sexually traumatic events for children may include developmentally inappropriate sexual experiences without threat of actual violence or injury. Physical and/or sexual abuse, incest, and rape are all included in the events hailing the diagnosis of PTSD, according to the DSM-IV. 

Halloween can be a difficult time of the year for those who are struggling or who have struggled with an eating disorder. The overwhelming presence of candy and attention-grabbing costumes can often make the night feel as though it’s fueled more by tricks than treats. It can be especially difficult since it is so ingrained in our culture and thus, difficult to avoid. 

“Dear Melody” is an advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor, and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness, and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

Halloween is right around the corner. While the smell of cinnamon and carving pumpkins can be exciting, costumes are sometimes a cause of offense. In previous years, Halloween costumes have had a tendency to veer more toward offensive than fun by parodying race, religion, mental illness, gender, and disabilities. As you start to pick out your costume, keep these things in mind.

When I think back to my high school years, it was a series of rituals. The same foods, the same habits, the same clothes; everything was a routine because in my mind, that’s when things were in control. The truth is, I was anything BUT in control. 

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