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Letter: The keys to recovering from an eating disorder

As an eating disorder therapist, I found the contents of the front-page article in the Aug. 24 Sunday Monitor to be very disturbing.

I commend the writer and photographer for their efforts in trying to educate the public in the areas of eating disorders, but fear that the manner in which this was done can be detrimental to both those suffering from an eating disorder and those who may know very little about eating disorders.

Education, early detection, early treatment (both physical and psychological) and complete weight restoration are the keys to recovery.

Parents and physicians are crucial to early detection as they are the people who will often see the early signs of the disorder.

As a parent, listen to the words your child is saying and notice changes in their eating, behaviors and the way they feel about their body. Physicians need to be aware of weight changes, up or down, and have a conversation with their patients about what is leading to this and how they are feeling about themselves.

Notice whether what is being said to you makes sense, as starvation comes with a decline in cognitive functioning that the person is unlikely to recognize. Teach young people that eating disorders are not diets, but are serious physical and psychological illnesses that can become deadly at any weight.

I truly hope that this woman is able to commit to recovery and receive the treatment she needs.

RUTH ELLIOTT

Center Barnstead

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