Talking about eating disorders | Letter

I remember in elementary school and junior high we learned that to be healthy we had to put good foods into our bodies, but how about the risks of depriving yourself of all foods? Today I am talking to you about the 70 million people on this planet who have eating disorders. Every 62 minutes, at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, so why don’t we talk about them?

We need to educate our children. We need to include mental illnesses in health classes and acknowledge the effects of young girls and boys starving themselves. We need to address the problem and come up with a permanent solution instead of having these fragile beings temporarily placed in a hospital where doctors make them gain weight by controlling how they eat but can’t alter their minds to shift the way they feel toward food.

This is important because it’s a major cause of death worldwide and people don’t even know that it’s affecting their loved ones until it’s too late. Only one in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment. Individuals who have never experienced an eating disorder may assume that if they want treatment they can just go out and get it. Treatment for eating disorders in the United States ranges from $500-2,800 per day. The average cost for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000! It’s estimated that people fighting eating disorders need anywhere from three to six months of inpatient care, which brings us to about $180,000! We need to find a less expensive way of helping people who have this disease.

On the behalf of our future generations to come, make a change. Schools have become a great influence and are a great way to get the word out about mental illnesses to today’s youth. Go to PTSA meetings or other school events and talk out about the problem. Push them to educate and prevent eating disorders from thriving and taking innocent lives. Be aware. Notice unhealthy eating patterns in others and suggest they see a counselor or a therapist. You can even contact the National Eating Disorder Association for more information and treatment options on the subject.

Sometimes talking to someone can be the best way to help yourself get better. Don’t be afraid to speak out and get help for yourself or someone else, because you never know when it will come for you or someone you love.

MeMe Ferreira


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