Underestimating Eating Disorders Can Be a Fatal Mistake
Eating disorders are the most lethal category of psychiatric disorders, taking the lives of up to 1.4 million people in the United States alone. Despite this, eating disorders are also one of the least talked about mental disorders due to a combination of myths and stigmas.
One of the biggest issues preventing better understanding of eating disorders is the notion that you can “call it when you see it.” Many believe all people with eating disorders show obvious signs such as massive weight change or unhealthy appearance, but the truth is most people know someone who will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime without ever knowing.
Cassandra Arpin, a 21-year-old senior majoring in nursing at the University of Connecticut is all too familiar with this problem. Arpin shared the story of a close friend who struggled with an eating disorder for years while those closest to her ignored all the warning signs and cries for help.
Despite struggling with the disorder for 6 years, her parents told her, “You don’t have an eating disorder. You’re at a healthy body weight, and you’re definitely not sick enough to need help.”
Far too many people with eating disorders experience similar situations brought on by the misrepresentation and cultural misunderstanding of eating disorders throughout the world.
Because of this, only 1 in 10 people with an eating disorder will seek treatment throughout their lives.
Cassandra’s personal experience with eating disorders helped her learn how the poor understanding of eating disorders and lack of funding and research are preventing millions from receiving the help and treatment they need. Now, she is putting that knowledge to work to increase awareness of eating disorders and better inform the public.
Read more from Cassandra Arpin in the Hartford Courant, here.
If you think you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, give us a call at (888) 298-4673 and we can find the right treatment plan for you.