Nat’l Eating Disorders Awareness Week: How, Where & Why to Get Help
February 22nd through the 28th is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
And according to the NationalEatingDisorders.org website, in a "typical" or "normal" period of time in the world, eating disorders are a definite problem, and one that is often stereotypically attributed to what one researcher called 'thin, white and reasonably affluent girls and young women."
But lately, in a world contending with a global pandemic and issues of food insecurity, eating disorders can be even more prevalent. In fact, according to some recent research done by Carolyn Becker, PhD, ABPP during the Covid pandemic, we will likely be seeing an increase in eating disorder issues as a direct result of people not having access to adequate food sources. "What we found is that as the level of food insecurity increased, so did pretty much all forms of eating disorder pathology." (she explains in details in the video below)
That is why it's important to educate folks on the warning signs and symptoms of eating disorders, and to help spread the word that there is help at the local level.
While treatment for Eating Disorders can be tough to come by in Maine, we're lucky here in our area to have a program available that can provide options and resources.
"I think a big message we’re trying to send is that this isn’t a disease that affects teen girls as is the stereotype. Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, ability, or socioeconomic status."
Director of Marketing and Communications for Northern Light Acadia Hospital, Rebecca Parent, says "we’re the only outpatient eating disorders program of its kind north of Saco. We’re excited to spread the word that our program is offered 100% virtually through secure telehealth allowing us to reach patients in need all over Maine."
According to NorthernLightHealth.org, there are a number of options to choose from when seeking help for yourself or a loved one with an eating disorder:
"Our experienced medical and clinical team work closely with patients, their families, primary care teams, and others to provide care focused on the individual needs of each patient. Treatment options include: individual, family, and group therapies or a combination of these options. "
You can also reach out to the National Eating Disorder Association Hotline by calling