National Eating Disorders Association

The Butterfly Foundation, an Australian organization that provides support for Australians who suffer from eating disorders, recently released findings from their report, Investing in Need: cost effective interventions for eating disorders.

If the images you saw in magazines, on television or on the internet looked more like you would you feel more confident about your body?

Does every woman really have an eating disorder? Of course not. I wrote my book, and started the blog that inspired it, to shed light on the incidence of subthreshold eating disorders, now called Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) and subclinical presentations, commonly referred to as disordered eating. One thing I had noticed in fifteen years of working with patients with eating problems was that just because someone didn’t meet full criteria for anorexia or bulimia (or now binge eating disorder) didn’t mean that her struggle wasn’t real.

This NEDAwareness week was a huge success and we could not have done it without the love and support of all of you out there. Starting with the theme “I Had No Idea” we were able to share our knowledge with the world about the truth of eating disorders and for many people, start the conversation. 

There is no ‘quick fix’

There’s no easy solution to an eating disorder, and the road to recovery can be exhausting. Prepare for it like you would any journey: build a good team, educate yourself, ask for help when you need it, and always remember that recovery IS possible.

Learn, read, research and educate

We are blown away by the creativity and enthusiasm of everyone who participated in the 2015 NEDAwareness Week! It's amazing to see pictures from all of the events and individual actions people took part in across the country. In this Storify, we tried to collect as many #NEDAwareness images as possible. If we missed yours, please send it to [email protected]!

During NEDAwareness Week, we asked parents to share messages of hope and encouragement about supporting your child through the process of recovery from an eating disorder by using the hashtag #NEDAwareness so parents everywhere can benefit from the words of wisdom! 

What has helped you most? What advice would you share with a parent who’s child is currently struggling? What was the best advice you ever heard when you were going through a tough time as a care taker? Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that has been helpful for you?  

Our daughter was in high school when, in what seemed like out of nowhere, an eating disorder crept into her life and slowly took over. Gradually it strengthened its insidious hold on her and as it did, it pushed happiness away and her joyful spirit was replaced with emptiness and sadness. It stole our daughter away from us for three-and-a-half years and in so doing, it smothered our family as we grappled with the seriousness of what was happening to her.

Eating disorders can be terrifying, confusing, and, perhaps worst of all, lonely.

First comes the diagnosis, and probably some scary news from the doctor. In our case it was Anorexia Nervosa. Nothing about dealing with it is remotely intuitive. But, with the help of a good medical team, we turned the corner.

NEDAwareness Week 2015 was a huge success! In addition to events across the country, we had buildings and landmarks across the nation light up in recognition of this week. These buildings are not only a light at the end of the tunnel that is an eating disorder for many people, but also an enlightening of the world of the truth about eating disorders. The theme this year, I Had No Idea, is a way for us to all speak about Eating Disorders without fear of not understanding---it is a week dedicated to learning and spreading our knowledge.