Anorexia and bulimia are brain disorders – not chosen behaviors.
Eating disorders are potentially deadly and disabling.
You can fully recover from an eating disorder.
Early and assertive intervention is critical.
Most eating disorder symptoms are the result of malnutrition, and the first medicine for medical, emotional, and cognitive recovery is: food.
Psychotherapy should not be done in the absence of weight restoration and normalized eating.
Modern treatment professionals no longer assume an eating disorder patient has suffered grave trauma or lives in a dysfunctional home – families do not cause eating disorders.
One cannot tell by looking at a person whether they are underweight or suffering from malnutrition. Healthy weight ranges are highly individual and best monitored by a physician familiar with family history, growth curve expectations, and behavioral symptoms.
Children and teens with eating disorders often do not feel ill, do not ask for help, and may see the concern of others as criticism.
Expressing a negative body image or a desire to lose weight is often the first recognizable symptom of an eating disorder and should be taken seriously.
Logic, pleading, disapproval, anger, and shame are ineffective and counterproductive to helping patients recover.
Athletes require more calories than less active people, and should not be encouraged to lose weight. Loss of menses is not normal and is a sign of hormonal insufficiency leading to bone loss and risk of future infertility.
Families are the most important factor in supporting their child’s recovery.
The only evidence-based treatment approach for children and adolescents is Family-Based Treatment (FBT).
Schools and others who have ongoing contact with eating disorder patients can play a key role in helping the family find and use evidence-based resources.