Anorexia has the highest death rate of any psychiatric disorder, yet many health care professionals have no formal training to address it. Nearly 80 mental health professionals, educators, and community members recently attended a presentation at Shodair Children’s Hospital to learn about the topic.
“The miscommunication is that this is a problem that is concentrated in the big cities, and that simply is no longer true, “Dr. Ovidio Bermudez, from the Eating Recovery Center, said. “Eating disorders don’t discriminate, so every sector of society is at risk.”
Bermudez said sharing his knowledge about eating disorders helps communities “tool up” and become better equipped to recognize when there is a problem so a referral can be made.
According to the Eating Recovery Center more than 50% of death in patients with eating disorders are due to medical complications, and therefore training, exposure, and basic information is essential in assisting getting those in need of proper treatment.
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Young people with eating disorders presenting to a medical setting are more likely to seek help with physical complaints than for their emotional distress or behavioral issues related to their core illness, Bermudez said.
“It is my hope that the talk on eating disorders at Shodair will help shed light on and help raise awareness about eating disorders," Melissa Tyvand, registered dietitian nutritionist at Shodair, said. “It is important for Shodair and all who work with youth because eating disorders often start during adolescence, but may occur earlier and can coincide with depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. Eating disorders may be triggered during times of trauma and/or transition including adolescence, going to college, and menopause. Early detection may help prevent progression as the longer the person goes without treatment, the harder it is to recover.”
Shodair recorded the presentation and it can be made available to anyone interested by calling 406-444-7500. For more information about the Eating Recovery Center, visit eatingrecovery.com.
Provided by Shodair Children's Hospital.