If you've ever wondered if your or a loved one's eating behavior might be a sign of a clinical, yet treatable, condition, this information can help.

Each year, the last week of February and early March, we promote education and awareness of the mental illness that has the highest mortality rate, eating disorders. According to The National Eating Disorder Association, 30 million people struggle with a diagnosable eating disorder over their lifetime, with countless others engaging in disordered eating behaviors1. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders and ages, from all ethnic and racial populations, and in every body type. Given how common eating disorders are, you likely know someone who is struggling with one. Most eating disorders cannot be visually detected, therefore being aware of possible indicators could be lifesaving. Below are just a few warning signs, so be on the lookout!

It’s important to acknowledge that the presence of any one of these warning signs does not automatically qualify someone for an official eating disorder diagnosis. If you have friends or family members exhibiting any of the above behaviors, take National Eating Disorders Awareness Week as an opportunity to share your concerns with them and be curious about what is going on in their lives. It’s also important to remember that while eating disorders and disordered eating are serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly, there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful about recovery! If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or an unbalanced relationship with food, reach out for help and know that support is available.

Two options for taking that first step of reaching out for help are to visit the McCallum Place website for more information and/or to schedule an assessment or click here to take a free, confidential online screening for eating disorders, as well as several other mental health conditions. 


About the author

 Veronica Delgado, LPC, is a Latinx art therapist who works with clients in residential and partial hospitalization levels of care for treatment of an eating disorder and other comorbid conditions. She holds a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Georgia State University and a M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Veronica draws from feminist, psychodynamic, socio-cultural, and person-centered theoretical orientations for both group and individual psychotherapy.