Finding Help With Eating Disorders

In most cultures, eating is a part of togetherness and celebration, just as much as it’s a necessity for life and healthy nourishment. For nearly 30 million Americans, eating is linked to poor self-esteem and poor body image, as well as social, physical, and emotional turmoil. An eating disorder is defined by an unhealthy relationship with food that leads to an obsession with food and body image, ultimately having a negative effect on health.

Left untreated, eating disorders can quickly cause serious health problems. This year, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 21-27, so we believe it is a great time to bring awareness to these conditions and offer insights on how to find help or help someone you know who may be struggling with an eating disorder.

Causes of eating disorders

Eating disorders are among the deadliest mental health conditions—responsible for over 10,000 deaths each year. They are often coupled with other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, substance abuse, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eating disorders can be caused by forming poor eating habits, struggling to cope with past traumas, feeling inadequate, or struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. Societal pressure also contributes to eating disorders by glamorizing certain body types and encouraging disordered easing to lose weight.

While it is best to seek a professional diagnosis, there are some online questionnaires that can be helpful for determining if you may be suffering from an eating disorder.

Common types of eating disorders

Starting the conversation

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can cause severe mental and physical harm and even result in death if left untreated. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, here are some tips for starting a conversation with them:

Getting help for eating disorders

Eating disorders can quickly become life altering and even life threatening. Like all mental health conditions, eating disorders need to be taken seriously. Seeking the help of professional medical and mental health providers will increase the chances of success when working to overcome the challenges associated with eating disorders.

Therapy and mental health support will help get to the root cause of disordered eating and facilitate mental healing and behavior management. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, Medens Health is here to help. If you need help with an eating disorder in California or Nevada, reach out to us via our online portal or by calling/texting (833) 624-5400.

If you or a loved one is experiencing an eating disorder crisis, you can also reach out to the Eating Disorders Helpline.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.