Having an eating disorder is something that I never expected to have. It’s a shameful part of my life and I don’t normally talk about it except for #NEDAwareness week started last month. My first encounter with NEDA came when I was being treated inpatient for my co-morbid disorders of self injury and bipolar disorders. I was so happy that support was out there for people like me, but the positive support that I needed I found in these blogs and online groups from Facebook (sadly).
Binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified disorders are just as scary of a diagnosis as anorexia, bulimia and in reality just as dangerous. While some people drive their weight dangerously low, just as other people feel that these binges will make them feel better, which in fact it does temporarily due to a release of endorphins. Check out the site (http://www.builtlean.com/2013/05/27/binge-eating/) for more information on the endorphin release problem and it’s impact on BED and other disorders.
The study of endorphins would never have been started except for weeks like NEDAwareness week. #NEDAwareness week is about promoting awareness(duh!) AND getting help before your life is seriously impacted by an eating disorder. What many people don’t know about promoting awareness is that NEDA promotes awareness and money into the circles of research communities to find out what they can find out more in depth details that previously were myths and link other things to eating disorders such as cutting and hypertension, but other more delicate things like “a complex interaction of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors. Researchers are using the latest technology and science to better understand eating disorders.”(http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml)
But in the midst of this more and more people are suffering from eating disorders. And it doesn’t discriminate. It can “hit” the richest to the poorest the only difference is access to treatment modalities and the amount of discrimination he/she will face.
The biggest obstacle that any person with an eating disorder faces is paying for treatment of any sort. If you want to get help you have to convince the insurance company that you’re sick enough to go (Or even have an eating disorder to begin with). The singular fact that “Eating disorders are a daily struggle for 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States” (http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com) means that eating disorders are a lot more common than we as a society would like to think.
Only one third of individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa in the United States obtain treatment.Of those practicing bulimia, only 6% obtain treatment.
With this obstacle many people go untreated and die as a resort. Yes, I said DIE. There was a bill introduced to the 111th Congress in 2009 that if enacted would ensure that all insurance companies provide eating disorder coverage of some sort and you know what? It is still stuck in a House means and ways committee. Gee thanks! This bill called FREED Act standing for Federal Response to Eliminating Eating Disorders. It covers everything from adding education about eating disorders in schools to more research on eating disorders and making sure that every person is allowed equal opportunity to go to treatments (paying co-pays, co-insurances, stuff like that) as long as the person is deemed psychiatrically necessary to be in treatment. Not medically necessary as it is now because an eating disorder is a mental illness and needs to be evaluated according to APA standards not AMA standards.
While we have ensured that every person in America has access to health insurance why don’t we tell Congress what it means to have LIMITED coverage to the right kind of insurance! Here is the link to find your House of Representatives email address:
Let’s get the full healthcare we deserve!
Have a great day!