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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – Understanding the Misconceptions

Are you or someone you care about struggling with an eating disorder? Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can be life-threatening for the young and old. February 23 to March 1 is the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and it was started to support families and
communities who are struggling with this disease. It also brings awareness and helps to overcome the misconceptions following these mental health disorders.

This disease does not target just adolescent women, it is an illness that strikes all age groups, genders and demographics. One person in every hundred people in the United States struggle with an eating disorder* and there are many misconceptions surrounding this mental illness:

  1. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are the most talked about eating disorders, but there are actually 9 different illnesses ranging from food intake to exercising issues.
  2. Eating disorders are not just food restriction issues, but can also be over-exercising, overeating, and even night eating.
  3. Eating disorders are considered life-threatening mental illnesses and can be fatal.
  4. Eating disorders do not discriminate. While younger women are more commonly affected, and talked about in the media, eating disorders impact older women too. Plus, millions of men and boys battle all forms of the illness*.
  5. One of the biggest misconception with an eating disorder is that people do this on purpose. In fact, they don’t. An eating disorder is a mental disorder. It is a significant health problem that to date, doctors do not know its origin.

At FirstLight Home Care, we understand the struggles of both mental and physical illness and we focus our support on families in need. Our in-home personal care services work with families to help with special diets, eating schedules, and meal preparations. We work with clients, families, and nutrition professionals to plan and prepare meals according to specific needs of our clients. Our personal care services are customized purposely for you.

If you are concerned that a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder and you don’t know where to turn, you can contact Just Ask FirstLight or reach out to the National Eating Disorder Association Hotline: (800) 931-2237.

*National Eating Disorders Association, 2015

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