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MacDonald: Quarantine affects those struggling with eating disorders

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

If you or anyone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder, chances are the stay-at-home order pushed you or them into a worse position. This sudden change in routine and surroundings is enough to trigger insecurity that affects a person’s mental health or upheaves an issue that had previously been dormant. 

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An infographic on common "myths" surrounding eating disorders, and the facts that represent reality.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, hosted by the National Eating Disorders Association, took place from February 24 to March 1. This year’s theme was “Come as Your Are: Hindsight is 20/20.” NEDA Week aims to remove stigma, correct misconceptions and spread correct information about what eating disorders are.

Your eating disorder may feel insignificant, small and not something that everyone needs to hear or know about during this pandemic. The stay-at-home order, and now Colorado’s safer-at-home phase, is dependent on us potentially putting ourselves in uncomfortable home situations, and it can interfere with recovering from an ED. 

Keep in mind that if you are struggling with something, it’s important to recognize that instead of stuffing it away into the back of your mind.

Caring for our mental health in trapped moments like this is absolutely crucial. It’s OK to let someone know how you’re doing inside, and it’s OK to talk to someone about needing help for an ED. 

If you are seriously concerned about yourself or others, contacting the help line at the National Eating Disorder Association and seeking resources to help you when you’re stuck at home are options worth looking into. There are people out there that are very willing to help guide you through the necessary steps to recovery, but they won’t know you’re struggling until you tell them. 

The changes in our social interaction, our setting and our schedule may be causing stress or triggering a relapse of sudden feelings to binge or purge. Our lives were filled with interactions with our friends, family and classes, but now we’re dependent on the internet and FaceTime calls to be social. The absence leaves us to our own thoughts. Anyone who finds their hands empty with ample time may be in danger of it. 

There are people out there that are very willing to help guide you through the necessary steps to               recovery, but they won’t know you’re struggling until you tell them.”

Colorado State University offers several resources to aid their students facing body dysmorphia and EDs. The Health Center is staffed with nearly a whole floor of counselors, and they also have a website for students to explore on their own.

It says on the CSU Health Network website, “More than two-thirds of American women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and, on college campuses, 60-90% of young women are dieting or trying to lose weight.” The facts are in; you’re not alone. 

However, we can’t discredit the men and boys that also go through ED issues, as anywhere between 10-15% of people diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia are male, according to Eating Disorder Hope.

If you find that this new lifestyle is triggering self-deprecating behavior or an ED in you or someone you know, there are resources online for you to utilize both at CSU and on the internet. If absolutely necessary, consider calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. CSU is a community, and no one wants to see you suffer or damage your overall well-being. Talk to someone. 

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Alexandra MacDonald can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @alexandramacc.

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