The full-recovery statistics on eating disorders in women have been bleak, with research suggesting that fewer than half the women with anorexia or bulimia ever recover fully. As a result, treatment for those who continue to suffer after 10 years generally shift to providing palliative care, since there seems so little hope for a cure beyond that time interval. Until now.
A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry that followed women with eating disorders for a longer period, found that by 22 years since the onset of an eating disorder nearly two-thirds of women do fully recover. It may be that previous studies simply may not have been anorexia and bulimia victims long enough to see this. That 10-year victims previously viewed as hopeless still have a reason to keep working toward recovery is big news.
Anorexia and bulimia are brutal — anorexia is statistically more deadly than any other mental disorder. Driven by a distorted body image and a terror of gaining weight, anorexia sufferers starve themselves while bulimics embark on a dangerous cycle of binge-eating and purging. Both are damaging to the body, leading to a host of problems, including infertility and even heart failure.
The study was led by Kamryn Eddy of Massachusetts General Hospital. It followed 246 women who’d volunteered for the study between 1987 and…