a good mental illness to have

Eating disorders are devastating. EDs ravage lives, destroy families, and kill.

But they can also -- unlike other very serious brain disease -- be successfully treated. Bipolar, schizophrenia, severe personality disorders; these can be treated but not cured.

Eating disorders, especially if caught early and treated assertively, do not have to be long-term or a constant part of life. After full medical restoration and the healing of the brain and cognitive processes, a patient can go on to live a life free of eating disordered behaviors and thoughts.

Not easily, of course, and not quickly. It takes enormous effort and support and usually some skills-building. People who have a genetic/biological predisposition to eating disorders cannot do things other people do, like diet or live deliberately stressful lives, or lose touch with self-care -- which actually seem like excellent goals for all of us.

But permanent, full recovery is attainable* - and I don't think any ED patient, or his or her family, should be shooting for anything less.

* For a description of recovery, and some inspiring interviews with parents and patients who've experienced it, check out FEAST's Recovery Page.


  1. Yes! I love your optimistic stance. Thanks for the F.E.A.S.T. resources, too.

    When I developed an eating disorder 7 years ago, science had not yet caught up with practice, and there were still a lot of demoralizing myths out there about remission being all but guaranteed. Now that I have gone for three years without ED symptoms, and am able to deal quite well with other stressors in my life as they arise, I am glad to see some people putting those myths to rest.



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