At any given time, more than 10 million Americans report symptoms of an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, according to the National Association of Eating Disorders. Millions more struggle with binge-eating disorder.Psychologists know well the havoc these serious mental illnesses wreak on the body, including osteoporosis, gastrointestinal complications and dental problems, among other significant health problems.
But fewer psychologists may know that eating disorders have become one of the nation's deadliest psychological conditions. One out of every five people with anorexia eventually die of causes related to the disorder, and it boasts one the highest suicide rates of any psychiatric condition: A 2003 Archives of General Psychiatry (Vol. 60, No. 2) study found that those with the condition are 56 times more likely to take their own lives than their healthy peers.
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