Author: FedUp Non Profit https://www.fedupnonprofit.org/ (original submission)
Edited by: Julie Raymond, LCPC, Director of Eating Disorder Services
Enmeshed in every eating disorder is a sensation of numbness. Many cinematic depictions of the mental illness will often glamorize eating disorders, but from my experience, they are far more harrowing than one sees on screen. Eating disorders have a high prevalence in today’s youth, regardless of gender, socio-economic status, or race. Finding real information that depicts what it’s like to live with and experience an eating disorder is challenging to say the least.
My intention is to help shine a light onto what an eating disorder is and what experiencing one is really like in hopes of educating our youth and bringing together communities to have a better understanding of those struggling with an eating disorder.
Eating disorders are debilitating in that they can impact one’s ability to be transparent, authentic, and functional. To aid the efforts of re-integrating people into a cohesive eating disorder community, I formed my own non-profit, dubbed “Fed Up” to help all communities and those struggling with an eating disorder have increased access to resources.
Teens today have remarkably few role models to whom they can look up to and aspire to be. Fed Up hopes to help inspire, provide resources and mentorships to today’s youth. Fed Up, unlike most non-profits, is tailored to today’s teenage experience. Most of the prominent figures in the world of eating disorders are starkly older and years removed from their respective eating disorders. Instead, Fed Up is fixated on those suffering with eating disorders for the first or one of the first times, an unfamiliar territory to their bustling young lives. Before I entered treatment, I had no resources to turn to and Fed Up aims to provide mentorship and resources for teens.
Many teens today, struggle silently, or lack the resources and platform to be able to have access and relate more similarly to those their age in treatment and during recovery. When I was in the thick of my own eating disorder, I realized that silence was (and is) the most potent instrument used against me. To supplant this, Fed Up is all about connectivity. “Give me liberty or give me death” paints a poor picture of what’s needed in the ED community. Being able to give resources, educate and talk about eating disorders is what is so desperately needed in our society today. We want youth to know asking for help is okay!