As I have said in the past, Dr. Phil is my guilty pleasure. I was catching up on his shows from the week tonight. Yesterday's episode sparked this post...
Eating disorders are a serious health problem. There are three recognized disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Each of these disorders has it's own symptoms and treatments.
I have done some research on eating disorders tonight. The statistics are scary...
- It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men
- One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia
- Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia
- Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.)
- An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
Here are some other links that explain more about eating disorders. National Institute on Mental Health and National Eating Disorder Association
As I was looking over the symptoms of these different eating disorders, I got to thinking about the people I know. I'm sure I know someone that is suffering from an eating disorder. Am I the person that someone knows?
I know you can't self diagnose but if you were to look at the symptoms of binge-eating disorder, I think I fit a lot of the symptoms.
Without a doctor looking at me and telling me that I have a disorder, I can't come out and say it. However, I can say that this is something I feel is a part of me.
Not enough people think that eating disorders are real or they have misconceptions about them.
As human beings, we need to keep our eyes open for those around us. If you see someone struggling, regardless if it's an eating disorder or if it's something else, please take the time to offer help. Many times I would have liked someone to say to me, "How can I help?" Please offer unsolicited advice or try and tell you what you are doing is wrong. To me, that is wrong! Offer help, if it is not accepted, know that the person knows you want to help.
Don't give up but don't harass, bug or annoy. Remember to be there for the person and know that when the person is ready, (s)he will let you know.
Because I am putting my life out there on the line, I know that I will get "unsolicited" advice. Feel free to throw out all the advice that you want! Someone will listen and it will change the life of someone.
Thought of the Day: