It's national eating disorder awareness week

30 million people in the U.S. are suffering from an eating disorder. That's according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Posted: Feb 26, 2020 5:18 AM
Updated: Feb 26, 2020 5:24 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - An eating disorder is actually classified as a mental health disorder. The scary part is just how deadly these can be. That's why this week is one dedicated to educating others about the disease.

Mental Health Clinical Supervisor, Rhonda Keith from Empower CTC, explained eating disorders can be very isolating and can impact more than just the one dealing with the health issues. The more common forms of eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia, but Keith said binge eating is happening more frequently and many don't even know they are showing symptoms. "Often times, it becomes such a coping skill and it's played over and over in your brain," said Keith. "So often times, you resort to that stuff in times of stress and you don't even realize that's happening."

Keith said because the success rate is low, the relapse rate of an eating disorder is high. She explained the importance of knowing how to properly bring up the conversation to someone you think is struggling. "It's a shame based disease, so just coming at someone is probably going to get them pretty reactant and they're going to shut down and isolate even further," said Keith. "So doing it in a kind, gentle way with guidance is best."

Keith explained it's important if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you encourage them to seek a therapist who understands what they're going through to get the correct treatment. For more information on eating disorders, you can click here.

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