What it feels like: Living with an eating disorder

DM

Anne* still remembers the name of her elementary school teacher who peered into her lunch pail, the food inside sitting untouched. He said nothing, but that night Anne’s mother took her to the grocery store for the first time and offered to buy her anything she wanted. Anne remembers walking up and down the grocery store aisle and picking nothing — there was nothing she wanted to eat. It wasn’t until she was 28 that she was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. One million Canadians are thought to be living with an eating disorder, although this is likely an underestimate as many people struggle for years without receiving a diagnosis or treatment, and there is no national database tracking these disorders. The term itself encompasses many different diagnoses including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. Healthing recently explored the eating disorders landscape in Canada, which is underfunded, under-resourced and difficult for many people to navigate. Anne shares her story about what it’s been like to be a 39-year-old woman living with anorexia nervosa.

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