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Feb 21-27 is the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. 

What most people don't realize is how consuming and serious these type of disorders are and how many people are affected by them. Because of that, many commit mistakes when addressing these type of disorders. (1) "Eating disorders" not only refer to anorexia nervosa but also to bulimia, binge-eating disorder, among others. (2) People aren't diagnosed of having an eating disorder based on their current body shape: saying "he/she doesn't have an eating disorder because he/she is overweight" and "he/she has an eating disorder for sure because he/she is underweight" are two completely wrong arguments which for sure will beat people down. (3) Another serious mistake that I have seen a lot is people thinking that having an eating disorder is something you choose to have and that is good to have it. I've read lots of posts and comments on how girls should pay more attention to their body image and be more critical about it. Eating disorders are the deadliest of all disorders, one reason for that is it's secrecy - if no one knows that someone has it, they won't be able to help and it would be too late. (4) Anorexia isn't the only type of disorder that can kill. Bulimics are at risk of having Barrett's Esophagus, gastric rupture, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration,etc. Those symptoms can lead to even worse problems such as brain damage, sudden cardiac arrest, cancer, coma, and death. People with binge eating disorder are constantly facing weight gain, which can lead to obesity and health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc (5) And to make it even better, eating disorders also tend to co-occur with other psychological disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, and personality disorders.

If you know someone that might have an eating disorder or if you believe that you may be at risk, try to talk about it and seek for help. For anyone suffering with any difficulty, just remember that you don't have to fight everything alone and that there are people who will be happy to have the opportunity to help you, all you have to do is ask.

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