National Eating Disorders Association

As my college-aged daughter was landing on the tarmac after ED treatment away from home, I stood at the stove feeling apprehensive about the sour cream I was stirring into the chicken paprikash and the homemade macaroni and cheese that was baking in the oven.  My mind buzzed with all the concerns she could potentially raise, and I felt keenly aware of the return of mealtime anxiety.

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When our daughter developed an eating disorder at 15, her educational trajectory was suddenly no longer predictable or inevitable.  She stopped completing assignments, and often lay in bed refusing to go to school.  In one year’s time she went from being a straight-A student playing two varsity sports to a student with 21 absences and two incompletes in her 10th grade year.  In addition to making important decisions about our daughter’s health care, we had to rethink her education.

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Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

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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

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For a holiday that surrounds itself around a feast, it can get pretty overwhelming. But I know that I can get up, take a breather, call my therapist or dietician and leave a message, or do some other skill that I’ve learned during my journey towards recovery.  This year will be one of the first holiday seasons in a long time where I - Ashtyn- am at the table, around the Christmas tree, singing at Church…and not my eating disorder. There will be no compensating and “saving up” for the feast; there will be no forced eating.

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Family members play an integral role in supporting their love one's recovery. During the Friends & Family Kick-Off Dinner to open the NEDA Conference last week in San Antonio, TX, this idea was thoroughly explored through a "Friends & Family" panel discussion.

The event was emceed Thomas P. Britton, DrPH, LPC, LCAS, ACS, CCS  from CRC Health Group and the panel was moderated by NEDA Ambassador and author, Jenni Schaefer, and featured individuals in support and treatment roles:

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WordPress has a number of interesting features for bloggers who use its platform.  One of them is the ability to track how many people visit your blog every day and what posts they look at.  Recently, I noticed that an entry I re-posted on Facebook the other day, “A Little Girl, A BIG Red Balloon And A Radiant Reminder of What Being ‘Beautiful’ Is Really All About” , continues to attract lots of attention even though I first posted it more than 3 months ago, which is what prompted me to re-read it myself late Wednesday afternoon.  I s

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Older ladies battling anorexia?

Any other women in their 30's or older here?
I am in my 30's and have been battling over 20 years.

A few months ago, my 19-year old happy, healthy, anorexia-free son handed me a “thank you” card. Inside, Ben had written that his eating disorder had been “a struggle fought together not against each other”. He wrote that I was “a shining example to the world that love can overcome anything” and that “we would not be here today in such a state of contentment” if it had not been for my “sheer strength of willpower and motherly love”. Finally he thanked me “for being the one that never gave up”.

Well, the floodgates opened and I wept buckets!

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