National Eating Disorder Awareness week is February 23 – March 1. The National Eating
Disorder Association states that 30 million people will be impacted by an eating disorder at
some point in their life time. These facts are startling. There are many multifaceted inﬂuences
in our culture today that impact the growing number of people who suffer with eating disorders
and body image issues. There are so many we are unaware of amongst us who suffer from an
eating disorder secretly. How can we help more people recover from an eating disorder? And
more importantly, how can we prevent eating disorders? The data tells us that early intervention
is key for long term recovery from an eating disorder Just like any other behavior the behavior
of an eating disordered person becomes harder to interrupt as the pattern of what is perceived
as reward becomes ingrained in the pathology of an individual obsessed with body image. In
fact, the obsession is a mask for what is likely a deeper emotional roller coaster whose bottom
is a dark place the individual works hard to hide from.
If you think you or a family member or someone you care about, might be struggling with body
image issues or any kind of disordered eating don’t hesitate to investigate the problem with both
education, and professional treatment by an eating disorder specialist and team. Compassion,
support, courage and acceptance can offer someone the opportunity to begin a necessary
dialogue that could uncover complicated issues. Early intervention is key to recovery.
Intervention and support from an eating disorder can be life saving.
The National Eating Disorder website provides invaluable information that offers the answers to
many commonly asked questions. How to detect the signs of an eating disorder and how to
offer support to individuals is available on their website along with resources and a toll free help
line at. www.nedawareness.org
At the Birmingham Maple Clinic we have several qualiﬁed eating disorder specialists. We
approach treatment from a multi disciplinary perspective that includes psychotherapy, nutrition,
medical monitoring, and if necessary collaboration with a psychiatrist. If you would like to have
an assessment by a clinician that specializes in eating disorders you can call (248) 646-6659 or
begin the process by visiting www.birminghammaple.com.