The Real Reason COVID-19 Is So Bad For People Recovering From Eating Disorders
While COVID-19 has seriously impacted the health of millions of people worldwide and ended the lives of over 3 million to date (via Worldometer), it's also had a detrimental effect on the health of those who were spared the virus itself. People have been binging on unhealthy foods and delaying or skipping necessary health care procedures ranging from mammograms to trips to the dentist to those annual vision screenings kids get at school. Perhaps the most severe impact from the pandemic has been its effect on people's mental health. The stress has not only been causing rates of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse to spike, but has also been making it more difficult for people to get the help they need.
Kim Anderson, Ph.D., a regional clinical director with the Eating Recovery Center, acknowledges that "the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on mental and physical health worldwide," but she is particularly concerned for one group of people. As she told The List, the pandemic "has created an unhealthy environment where eating disorder risk and symptoms are significantly increased." What's more, she says that access to care for those with eating disorders has decreased during this time, causing what she calls "a kind of a Catch-22 situation."