“Secrets keep you sick.”
Wise words from an amazing woman. A recent article in Salem, Massachusetts’ local paper is bringing awareness to eating disorders thanks to an incredibly brave family:
I am grateful to know Ema and I am so proud of the work she and her family are doing to advocate and educate about eating disorders.
“People don’t understand eating disorders so I tried to pretend like I was normal,” she says. “But having to keep everything in check and trying to participate in normal life activities was pretty much impossible. It took away any chance of me having a normal, functioning life.”
Complicated and often misunderstood, eating disorders are the deadliest of all mental illnesses – yet access to treatment is gravely inadequate, doctors are uninformed and research is underfunded.
Ema was fortunate to have a safe place for treatment at Mirasol, where I met her. But it was interrupted when insurance decided it would no longer cover treatment – she had gained life-sustaining weight, so her eating disorder was no longer deemed “immediately life-threatening.”
“Just when the person is getting their footing, they’re done,” said Ema’s mom, Linda. “Weight restoration is only part of it. It’s a much, much bigger, more complicated illness.”
I cannot stress enough that the weight issue is only a fraction of the battle in an eating disorder – recovery is not about physical benchmarks determined by an insurnace company. It’s maddening that the main criteria of the disease could be weight, and it’s evidence that there is still so much work to be done in the education of and raising awareness for eating disorders. I am personally so thankful for the support I’ve received over the years in my own recovery journey. That’s why, on Giving Tuesday, I am contributing to Eating Disorders Coalition.
Their work to advance the recognition of eating disorders as a public health priority at the federal and state level is imperative: they’re raising awareness among policy makers and the public about the serious health risks, promoting federal support for improved access to care, and increasing resources for research, education, prevetion and improved training.
I am proud to help the fight in bringing incredible souls back to life.