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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – February 26 to March 4

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week allows us to focus on a mental health issue that does not discriminate. Year round we all must work to break the stigma often associated with eating disorders and recognizing the impact this disease has on the physical and mental well-being of the communities NBMC serves.

“One eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, unfortunately, has been increasing in frequency over the last several decades in adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 years.  It affects behavior through a self-induced starvation.  It also affects an individual’s thinking in a relentless pursuit of thinness, distorted body image, and an unrealistic fear of fatness. 

There is a high association of Anorexia Nervosa with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Finally, and most dangerously, are the medical complications that result from starvation. Hormonal imbalances, electrolyte disturbances, dehydration, anemia, severe slowing of the pulse, low blood pressure can eventually lead to cardiovascular collapse and death.  

The death rate from Anorexia Nervosa ranges from 5 to 18%, which makes early intervention and combined medical and psychiatric treatment imperative. With proper treatment, this grave outcome can be averted and afflicted youth can resume normal development and a fulfilling life.”

Bennett Silver, MD
Director, Psychiatry Residency Training
New Bridge Medical Center

For more information on eating disorders, visit the National Institute of Mental Health – Eating Disorders and Princeton Center for Eating Disorders.