In our weight-biased culture, when a fat person loses weight, it is almost always seen as a good thing. Even when that weight loss is caused by an eating disorder. — Alexis Conason Psy.D.
The best and most important way to begin recovery is to educate yourself. There are tons of helpful books and articles about eating disorders that can really help you to understand what to expect. If you have a local library, be sure to take a trip and check out some books about eating disorders. There are many books about what to expect, stories of recovery, changing the way you look at yourself, and more. Here are some of the most helpful and popular books that you can read:
- “Answers to Binge Eating – New Hope for Appetite Control” by Dr. James M. Greenblatt
- “Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image” by Ophira Edut
- “Goodbye ED, Hello Me” by Jenni Schaefer
- “Life Without ED” by Jenni Schaefer
- “The Eating Disorders Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Eating Disorders” by Carolyn Costin
Feelings of shame and guilt about one’s self image can cause individuals to continue on a cycle of stress if they do not have a productive outlet. — Greta Gleissner LCSW
Online Resources: Screening Tools
Other than this website, there are numerous different websites that have support opportunities. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, many websites have screening tests that you can take to determine if you have one. Of course, please remember that this is not a diagnosing tool. It is simply a resource that one can use to reinforce any suspicions that they have. Here are some of the many screening tests available for free:
Thanks to the many accessible video-sharing websites out there, videos about different kinds of eating disorders are very simple to access. YouTube, Vimeo, and Daily Motion are just a few of the many different websites that can be used to educate yourself on eating disorders, mental health, self-injury, and more.
Eating disorders are not a choice. No one chooses to lose all of their friends, because they cannot go anywhere that there will be food. — Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C
Finding other people with similar experiences and situations can make it much easier to cope with the stress and weight of having an eating disorder. By sharing experiences and hardships, eating disorder support groups provide a support system of understanding individuals who are free of judgment and can relate to what you’re going through. Finding people in your community to talk to can really lift the weight of your circumstances. Many areas have local eating disorder support groups. To find one near you, here’s a comprehensive directory that is organized by state:
Hotlines and Helplines
There is an array of free, accessible phone numbers available that have nonjudgmental, understanding individuals on standby who are dedicated to help anyone in need.
The most common and popular are the National Suicide Hotline. Although the main purpose is for those who are feeling suicidal, it can be accessed by anyone who is going through any kind of crisis, eating disorders included. This confidential hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
National Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-TALK (8255)
More specific to those inflicted with eating disorders, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Information and Referral Helpline is available Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This helpline is dedicated to providing those who contact them with information about their eating disorder, how to help a loved one, and where to find help.
NEDA Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237
For anyone who feels uneasy about talking on the phone about their disorder, there is a Crisis Text Line that is free and confidential. Those who text the number will receive help and emotional support from a counselor for any type of crisis, including eating disorders and mental illness.