May 9, 2016 by Castlewood Treatment Center in Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Co-occuring Disorders, Eating Disorder Treatment May 8 through May 14 has been designated as 2016’s National Women’s Health Week—a great opportunity to elevate the dialogue regarding the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of all the ladies out there. This dialogue must include a frank discussion of eating disorders, which continue to pose a lethal threat to women of all ages and backgrounds.
Eating disorders are all too common among women. In fact, it is estimated that some 20 million American women struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their life. There are many different types of eating disorders that impact women—anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and more—and all of them lead to adverse, at times fatal health effects.
Moreover, eating disorders are often accompanied by other, related disorders. Substance use disorders are four times more common in the female eating disorder population than in the general population; depression and anxiety disorders frequently occur along with eating disorders; and the risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder is markedly higher.
The bottom line, though, is that the mortality rate for women with eating disorders is perilously, heartbreakingly high—but what women with eating disorders need to know is that hope exists, and recovery is always possible! Talk to a friend or loved one about your struggle and ask them for their support as you seek treatment, then reach out to the staff at an eating disorder treatment center like Castlewood.
One thing all of us can do for National Women’s Health Week is to be more mindful of eating disorders—to remember that anyone can struggle with an eating disorder. If you witness the signs of an eating disorder in a woman you know, make sure to reach out to her with compassion and care; let her know that you love her—and that recovery is possible.
Share your story of eating disorder recovery with us.