Eating Disorders

Eating disorders defined:

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines an eating disorder as an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also characterize an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. There is also a category of eating disorders called eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). EDNOS includes eating disorders that do not meet the criteria for anorexia or bulimia nervosa. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) up to 24 million Americans have an eating disorder.

Learn more about eating disorders:

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (NAMED)
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

What do I do if I think I or somebody I know has an eating disorder?

Seeking treatment for an eating disorder is critical because according to the NIMH, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Read about the various treatment options from the NIMH and how to seek treatment from NEDA.

Use the locators listed below to find a behavioral health professional:

American Psychological Association (APA) Locator
HelpPro Therapist Locator

Find an eating disorder support group here. Find online support for families and friends here.

Here are some eating disorder-specific hotlines you may call for assistance:

National Association of Anoerxia Nervosa and Associated Disorder (ANAD) 630-577-1330
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) 800-931-2237

Emergency situations:

If you are experiencing a crisis please call 911 or one of the numbers listed below, or go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255
National Hopeline Network 800-784-2433

The above information was compiled for Box of Stars by the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation (TSBHF). The resources listed are not those of TSBHF. The provided information should not replace seeking medical attention.