I have close friends who have struggled with eating disorders and even though there is a lot of good information available on the internet, I was feeling like I needed something comprehensive and basic to educate me. It’s really hard to be ignorant and supportive at the same time. This book is the perfect beginner’s guide to the complex world of eating disorder recovery.
The book is divided into small, readable sections answering basic questions about eating disorders. Here’s a sampling of some of those questions:
- What is an eating disorder?
- Is obesity an eating disorder?
- Have eating disorders been around historically and for how long?
- When does disordered eating become an eating disorder?
- Is it true that exercise can be a form of purging?
- I had an eating disorder. What are the chances my daughter will develop one?
- My friend is in a support group and I am in a therapy group. What is the difference?
- My loved one is in a treatment program. Should I be involved?
- When someone has an eating disorder, are there any DOs or DON’Ts for their loved ones that are helpful?
- How long does treatment take?
- Are there certain phases of the recovery process?
- Can an eating disorder be prevented?
Obviously that’s just a fraction of what’s covered in this book, but you can view the whole list on amazon if you’re interested. The most helpful section of the book for me was the first section which delves into the DSM categories for eating disorders and gives examples for each classification. Did you know that for anorexia, there are restricting types (the kind everyone thinks of automatically), but also a binge eating type and a purging type? And for bulimia there is a purging type and a nonpurging type. There are also a slew of serious eating disorders that fall into the “not otherwise specified” category. Anyway, I can’t recommend this book highly enough as a thorough introduction to eating disorders and their surrounding issues.