When an Eating Disorder Runs Your Life

When an Eating Disorder Runs Your LifeMost people’s thoughts about food consist of what they want to eat at that particular meal and where they can get the food. Parents and caregivers may spend a bit more time thinking about food in regards to its nutritional value and to prepare a grocery shopping list. Even the best “foodies” who love to cook or eat will have several hours a day where they are not focused on food. A person with an eating disorder will spend every moment of the day thinking about food, fitness or appearance. Some people with an eating disorder will think about food in terms of the nutritional value or focus on caloric intake. Food is often perceived as the enemy, because it has ultimate power over a person’s life and thoughts.

While food is the primary focus for a person with an eating disorder, there are often other aspects that further impact the person’s life such as preoccupation with exercise or appearance. A person with an eating disorder may spend an excessive amount of time exercising or modifying his or her appearance.

What to Do If You Suspect Someone Has an Eating Disorder

A person does not wake up one morning and decide to have an eating disorder. Eating disorders are gradual and are often hard to initially diagnose. Once you do recognize an eating disorder, you can help a person by identifying strategies for treatment and recovery. You can call our toll-free helpline to explore treatment options, learn about local resources, explore your insurance coverage or simply get some support to help you talk to the person with the eating disorder. We are here 24 hours a day to help you or a loved one break free from an eating disorder.