Although I don’t discuss it on the blog particularly frequently, if you have been reading for a while you may have seen it come up.
I have a personal history with eating disorders that goes back in various forms to when I was in middle school. I’ve discussed it here and there on the blog, but I think it’s taken me a while to really open up and feel comfortable talking about it more openly. I use to be embarrassed. I’m not any more, and I feel very strongly about freely discussing it, raising awareness that it is a MUCH bigger issue than many people realize, and for those that are currently struggling, that you CAN recover.
I love yoga for a countless number of reasons, but one of the top is that it’s what truly allowed me to recover. Or perhaps better said, it is what gave me the tools to heal myself. I look forward to paying what yoga has done for me forward by working with others still in recovery. I am also currently volunteering with the Austin Foundation for Eating Disorders (we’re always looking for more volunteers so please contact me if you’re interested!)
But unfortunately, there are a lot of hurdles for those still working towards recovery.
A few stats:
11 million + people are currently battle eating disorders in the U.S. (more than breast cancer and AIDS combined) – that is a conservative estimate, some are as high as 24 million.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder (4% for anorexia, 4% for bulimia and 5% for other)
Only 1 in 10 people receive treatment
Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents
As high as 20% of people with anorexia will die prematurely from complications (suicide, heart problems, etc)
In short you almost CERTAINLY know someone, or many people, who are struggling.
For those suffering, recovery in and of itself is just one hurdle, finding resources for support can be difficult and treatment is expensive and often inaccessible. On top of that there is currently NO federal money going to research for prevention.
The FREED Act
FREED stands for the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorder. Here is a more detailed summary but in short the bill aims to increase research, treatment and education & prevention. This bill passing will make a big difference for people currently fighting and reduce the numbers in the future.
Please take a minute to watch this inspiring video: