On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, the first-ever Eating Recovery Day will take place. This awareness event—designed and supported by Eating Recovery Center—is dedicated to building greater awareness of the pervasive nature of eating disorders and to inspiring hope for recovery. Starting conversations about eating disorders and available treatment options is an important first step to empowering patients and their families to fight back against these potentially lethal illnesses and truly recover their lives.
Through live events, webinars, social sharing and even celebrity inspiration, Eating Recovery Day aims to spread a much-needed positive message to let patients, families and communities know that lasting eating disorder recovery is possible—and worth it. Everyone is encouraged to join the conversation on Eating Recovery Day by sharing stories and showing support on social media channels using #EatingRecoveryDay. Your story could be an important catalyst for someone that is struggling, giving them the courage to reach out and get the help they need and deserve.
Eating Recovery Day marks an important awareness effort, building on the momentum started by National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, put on each February by the National Eating Disorders Association. Awareness initiatives are not a new phenomenon, but they have become more organized and wide-reaching in recent years, thanks in large part to advancements in technology and social media. At a foundational level, awareness events seek to foster improved understanding of eating disorders and remove stigma caused by misconceptions about these serious illnesses. However, they also serve another important purpose—they bring people together that have been touched by these illnesses for support and collaboration.
Additionally, awareness serves the important function of supporting early identification of eating disorders. When it comes to lasting recovery, the importance of early intervention cannot be overlooked. Awareness efforts like Eating Recovery Day help patients and families to get help sooner. When diagnosis and treatment occur earlier in the course of the illness, it generally results in fewer physical complications, a lower likelihood of hospitalization and less risk of long-term disability and death.
Many people don’t realize that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Conservative estimates suggest mortality rates of four percent for anorexia nervosa, 3.9 percent for bulimia nervosa and 5.2 percent for eating disorders not otherwise specified. Despite these shocking figures, it is possible that eating disorders are responsible for even more deaths than these statistics reveal. In celebration of Eating Recovery Day, take this opportunity to learn about eating disorders and available treatment options and reach out to others for support.
From one survivor to the community of patients, families and professionals touched by these serious, life-threatening illnesses, recovery is possible with information, support and hope.
How have you been touched by an eating disorder? Share your insights and experiences in the comments below—perhaps your insights can inspire others to focus on restoring health and hope to their lives, or help a loved one begin on the path to lasting recovery. Be sure to use the hashtag #EatingRecoveryDay!
Crow, S.J., Peterson, C.B., Swanson, S.A., Raymond, N.C., Specker, S., Eckert, E.D., Mitchell, J.E. (2009) “Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 1342-1346.