Global eating disorder day a catalyst for hope and action

I can see that, for many years, since I fell prey to anorexia nervosa, much of my creative energy has been wasted in a negative way, for I have turned it on myself; my own private obsession with food has robbed me of my true self…

           Diary excerpt, age 38, in 1989

A Girl Called TimOnly in 2006, after more than 40 years with an eating disorder negatively affecting every aspect of life, did I recover sufficient true self, to be free. At that point, as a way of giving purpose and meaning to my long ‘imprisonment’ with the eating disorder, I ‘came out’ and shared my story in A Girl Called Tim. Marvellous things began to happen. I began joining with others to raise awareness of this very serious, very misunderstood, illness. And now, as a grandma, I am overjoyed to be on the steering committee for World Eating Disorders Action Day on June 2. Yes, yes, yes! Join me in shining the light on ‘ED’.

Live Launch
In the lead up to June 2, a live launch for World Eating Disorders Action Day will take place on May 5, 2016, at the Academy for Eating Disorders International Conference on Eating Disorders  in San Francisco, USA.

The field of eating disorders (ED) treatment has shifted treatment protocols based on new research findings over the past decade. Old “knowledge” is being replaced by evidence-based treatments that acknowledge genetic and biological causes alongside environmental influences.

The recent “Nine Truths About Eating Disorders”  announcement led by major ED advocacy and research groups was an historic recognition of the changing landscape in ED advocacy, treatment and research.

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Expected Outcome
World Eating Disorders Action Day will advance medical and societal understanding of eating disorders as treatable genetic, brain-based illnesses that affect a large cross-section of the world’s population.

If you have an eating disorder: Forgive yourself (there is nothing to forgive…but ED wants you to think so) and know that you are not weak. You have a serious illness. If you have yet to access a health service, or if you are still struggling, my wish is for you to let this first-ever global action day be the catalyst for you to reach out with renewed hope and seek the help you need. Today.

… I have had some hard lessons. I know I can live with myself only if I accept that my mistakes, my bad experiences, can be the catalyst, the seed, for new beginnings and fulfilment.

Diary excerpt, age 38, in 1989

June Alexander

About June Alexander

I have written nine books about eating disorders since my recovery (my “reconnection with true self”) from anorexia nervosa and other long term mental health challenges in 2006. In 2017, I graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing). My contribution to the eating disorder field was recognised at the 2016 Academy for Eating Disorders International Conference in San Francisco where I was awarded the Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and Advocacy. I am currently a co-chair of the NEDC Steering Committee Evidence of Experience Group, a foundation steering committee member of the annual World Eating Disorders Action Day, and an Advisory Panel member for F.E.A.S.T.

All articles by June Alexander

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