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Understanding Eating Disorders

Aspirus Clinical Therapist Offers Guidance for Support and Recovery


Taylor Young, Aspirus Clinical Therapist

An estimated 28.8 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).


Taylor Young, a clinical therapist with Aspirus Health, emphasizes that eating disorders encompass a range of conditions characterized by disordered eating patterns, negative body image, and the relentless pursuit of societal ideals of beauty and health.


"Eating disorders are more prevalent than people think," Young highlights. "The pressure to conform to societal standards of body image can be overwhelming, yet health and weight are not as interconnected as many believe."


Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are among the most common diagnoses, affecting individuals of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. While there's a prevailing misconception that eating disorders primarily afflict young women, Young points out that young men and people of diverse identities are also at risk due to societal expectations.


"The highest risks are often observed in young adults, particularly those who are highly anxious and strive for perfection," Young notes. "However, it's important to recognize that eating disorders don't discriminate based on demographic factors."


Early intervention is paramount in mitigating the long-term complications associated with eating disorders, which can include psychological imbalances and nutritional deficiencies. Recognizing early warning signs, such as changes in eating habits and post-meal behaviors, is crucial for initiating conversations and seeking professional help.


"Addressing concerns with empathy and understanding is key," Young advises. "Engaging in open, one-on-one dialogue without judgment can encourage individuals to seek the support they need."


Seeking assistance from a multidisciplinary team comprising health care providers, therapists, and nutritionists is essential for developing comprehensive treatment plans tailored to individual needs. Additionally, fostering a supportive environment within families and communities plays a pivotal role in the recovery journey.


"As a society, we must dispel the stigma surrounding eating disorders," Young stresses. "Awareness campaigns like National Eating Disorders Awareness Week serve as catalysts for destigmatization and promote inclusivity in discussions about mental health."


With proper care, full recovery from eating disorders is very possible. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a primary care clinician, who may refer you to a behavioral health specialist. To learn more about the behavioral health and counseling services available at Aspirus, visit



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