BEACON TRANSCRIPT – On Wednesday, Los Angeles students attended a workshop meant to raise awareness on eating disorders. The workshop was organized by the Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (JADE) together with Bella Vita organization.
Bella Vita is an organization based in Los Angeles that helps people overcome eating disorders by offering them different programs and services, as well as residential treatment or, when the need be, hospitalization.
Meg Stradley, a marriage and family therapist, is part of this initiative. She declares that quite a big number of Americans are battling with eating disorders, especially in Southern California. Nine million people from the United States have been diagnosed with such diseases.
She agrees that these people cannot help engaging in such destructive behaviors, since they act as addictions. This is one main reason why they should be helped and supported and she took part in this initiative to make students aware of the dangers of eating disorders.
During the workshop, she provided statistics to convince people how widespread these disorders are. The statistics show that anorexia nervosa is the third most spread chronic disease among teenagers. Also, 95 percent of all eating disorders are met in people with ages between 12 and 25. Besides anorexia, other widespread eating disorders are bulimia and binge eating.
Stradley suggested earlier that these people need help, but the treatment is not going to be successful if they are not willing to undergo it and if they do not take personal responsibility. Thus, they need to be convinced that they are engaging in a destructive behavior.
Vanessa Birdsong, another marriage and family therapist, warns that starvation has a powerful impact on the patients’ minds. The brain has to suffer and patients have difficulties in concentration.
You can identify a person suffering from an eating disorder from certain behaviors. They are perfectionists, anxious, have obsessive-compulsive traits, and express their feelings with difficulty. Also, others might be abusing of diuretics, laxatives, or purging methods and might drink water excessively.
The experts are trying to offer help and they understand all the emotional and physical difficulties that these people are struggling with and which others might not notice. They are also fighting against the media portrayal of such disorders, trying to make people comfortable and willing to receive help.
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