NEDAwareness Week 2015- What Will you DO?

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IslamandEating

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This Year ED Awareness Week will be Observed: February 22-28 2015

Too Many  people live with ED controlling their lives and the lives of their loved ones and never know what is causing the problem!

The Problem in Muslim Communities- We HAVE NO IDEA

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“There is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its remedy.”
Bukhari 7.582

Eating Disorders are life-threatening conditions associated with death.  They Affect Everyone Everywhere. There is a lack of awareness and understanding  about this illness in the Muslim communities, among health professionals and those with the disorder. Many people have no conception of what eating disorder is, leading most to conclude ‘eating disorders are a phase, diet gone too far’.

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Inability to Detect or Recognize Symptoms

There is a lack of awareness about the symptoms of the illness, preventing recognition of the disorder. Early symptoms are frequently ignored and or/wrongly attributed to other causes such as personality traits/adolescence, delaying  access to healthcare.

Wrong Diagnosis and Wrong Management

When seeking professional help, people are frequently diagnosed incorrectly and not given the correct treatment. A sufferer in Mali went to three different doctor for her eating problems and they all sent her for HIV testing. The impact of delayed diagnosis can be profound. Individuals are often at increased risk and more likely to require inpatient treatment creating distress for themselves and their families. Over time and without treatment, the illness is likely to become more severe.

Social Isolation

Isolation increases over time as the disorder gets worse. Not only is the person with the illness likely to withdraw from others due to feeling alienated, but the lack of understanding about the illness and/or its features may also cause others to maintain a level of social distance- minimizing the individual’s opportunities to receive support during times of need.

Substance Abuse

It is not uncommon for people to combat isolation and the symptom of ED with substance abuse, further increasing the severity and burden of the illness.

Implications of the Illness

Unpredictable behaviors and mood swings that may result from further stages of the illness can leave an individual with the feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment and humiliation.

Breakdown of Relationships

Relationships and the Family Unit are often threatened. Spouses, family and friends may become estranged from the individual who is unwell. As the disorder is usually not identified for some time,  behavior is likely to be misconstrued and not considered part of an illness. This causes confusion, significant ongoing strain, and can eventually erode relationships.

Stigma

There is a significant level of stigma attached with the illness. For some, finally receiving a diagnosis of illness offers insight and hope, for others stigma can contribute to further alienation from family and friends, at times this stigma extends into other settings including work place, learning institutes contributing further to the burden of illness.

As the traffic to blog increases, mostly by young sufferers, I believe there is an urgent need in Muslim communities for Preventative Health Education and Awareness about Eating Disorders, both within the community and among health professionals.  This would:

Improve detection and diagnosis

Assist in the provision of prompt and appropriate treatment

Lead to a reduction in untreated illness.

This February Show your Solidarity to People suffering with Eating Disorders. Don’t forget! Eating Disorders affect people from all walks of life. Families can be torn apart, substance abuse problems can occur, careers are destroyed, and in some cases, people are driven to suicide.

Join In!

The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness Week) is to put the spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders and to improve public understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments. By increasing awareness and access to resources, we can encourage early detection and intervention, which can improve the likelihood of full recovery for millions.

Watch Our very short Video, Designed By Allan.

You Can Make a True Difference in the World.

Changing The World

Small Ways

 See the Person Not the Illness- Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set free the captives.”
Bukhari 7.552. 
If you know  someone who’s suffering from an Eating Disorder, call them or write to them  and let them know that you appreciate them for who they are and/or how they have fought the fight they fight.  Write to an Eating Disorder Support Organization and let them know about your support.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Confucius

Talk to the Media- Write a letter to the editor or an article for your newspaper. Call a radio talk-show or contact your local cable TV station and ask them to do a talk show on Eating Disorder issues. Speaking up through the media is a good way to educate the people in your community. Decision-makers pay attention to what their constituents are saying in the media.

Use the Internet/Social Media. There are many ways you can speak up about Eating Disorders to raise awareness among other web users and to contact decision-makers. Posts about Eating Disorders on Social Media. Update your webpage and/or social media sites with these official partner badges!

NEDA_Icon_White NEDA_Icon_Color Proud2Bme_Icon

Host a Fundraising Event- Raise Money to support ED charity.

Awareness Event in Schools/Colleges/Universities. NEDAwareness 2015 Planning Event Guide.

“Allah, the angels, the inhabitants of heaven and earth, even the ant in its hole and even the fish in the sea, send blessings upon the one who teaches the people good.”

Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2609

 Host an ED Screening: NEDAwareness 2015 Guide to planning ED Screening

Host a Movie Screening:  NEDAwareness 2015 Movie screening Guide. (Use this guide to organize a movie screening on your campus, community center or workplace. It’s easy to do and has a big impact – screenings both raise awareness and provide a space to start conversations about eating disorders.) Why not hold a movie night with your family and friends at home? 

 Distribute-   NEDAwareness 2015 Key Messages

 Share ED blog posts with friends and family. Share our Video, created in honor of NEDAwareness Week 2015.

Ask the Library  or a local book store to display books on Eating Disorders.

Learn the Facts about Eating Disorders: NEDA facts on Eating Disorders

For general information relating to Eating Disorders including raising awareness please visit: NEDA

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About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

3 Comments

  1. This is a very tough subject for people to talk about. It looks like you brought good amount of attention to the topic!

  2. Eating disorders are a huge problem these days. With the problematic way that the media portrays what should and shouldn’t be, to the way young adults and teens tend to follow said ways of living. We need to help show kids, teens and adults alike that there is no reason to hate ones self over weight.

    Eating disorders need to be stopped. And people need to realize that life is much better when you don’t worry about things like weight.

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