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October 27 Mental Health Out Loud: Eating Disorders and Body Image Among Teens

Not available October 27? Don’t worry. Register here and we’ll send the replay link to watch at your convenience.The pandemic has brought with it a troubling surge in eating disorders.

The numbers are alarming: National eating disorder hotlines report a 70 percent spike in call volume, and hospitalizations for eating disorders have doubled in the last three years.Eating disorders have among the highest mortality rate for any mental illness (and yes, they are considered a mental illness and not a behavioral issue), but stigma and shame often keep people from seeking help. Researchers have found that two types of eating disorders in particular, bulimia and binge eating, often co-occur with ADHD.

A 2007 study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that girls with ADHD were almost four times more likely to have an eating disorder than were those without ADHD.Critics blame social media for driving the increase in eating disorders. In fact, nearly a dozen lawsuits have been filed by families against the parent company of Instagram, saying that the platform has harmed the mental health of minors.Meanwhile, teens and young adults are forming secret online communities to discuss eating disorders, crash diets, looking skinny, and ways to lose weight — and these chats have their own hashtags and phrases on YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter to hide from parents and to evade these platforms’ policies.In this special Mental Health Out Loud conversation, Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., will answer questions about eating disorders from the ADDitude community.

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Dena Cabrera

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