COVID-19-Era Isolation Is Making Dangerous Eating Disorders Worse

Mother comforting daughter

Michelle Konstantinovsky’s August 26, 2020 article, published in Scientific American, sheds light on the stark reality that not only are eating disorders very serious diseases, but many sufferers have gotten worse during the COVID pandemic.

The article discusses that perhaps one reason behind the worsening of those suffering is being online so much more now because of pandemic has required social distancing. There seems to be “[A] phenomenon that may actually be complicating matters for some with eating disorders…Social media messages about being productive, effectively using time in quarantine and avoiding the ‘COVID-19 weight gain’ have led to increased negative self-talk… ”

Ms. Konstantinovsky’s article also discusses the impact of telehealth treatment on those suffering, “The pandemic has also highlighted the limitations of electronic means of accessing treatment…47 percent of U.S. respondents say telehealth (seeking care over the phone or online) is not cutting it, compared with in-person treatment. And 45 percent of those surveyed in the U.S. say they are not receiving treatment at all.”

However, the article shared also some positive news about a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. Senior author Cynthia M. Bulik of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill stated that while “[T]he majority of respondents to the survey reported lockdown-related adversity, others said they noticed positive effects, including greater family connection, more self-care time and increased motivation for recovery.”

Overall, the article is a reminder that suffering with an eating disorder is very serious and access to treatment is vital to healing.

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder and you are being denied benefits by your insurance provider, please call Kantor & Kantor for a free consultation at 800-446-7529 or use our online contact form. We understand, and we can help
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