An eating disorder is a mental illness, i.e., a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable.
Similar to other mental illnesses, eating disorders are biologically based brain disorders. They cannot be overcome through "will power" and are not related to a person's "character" or intelligence. Early intervention, comprehensive treatment and continuum of care is essential and combined with full weight and nutritional restoration and abstinence from compensatory behaviors is associated with best prognosis. Source.
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