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Eating Disorders and Suicide Risk: Are You OK?

By Robyn Cruze
Many people who do not know much about eating disorders are shocked to hear that people with eating disorders have the highest mortality rate among all mental illnesses. They may be equally shocked to learn that the reason that eating disorders have such a high death rate is because many of those who suffer with eating disorders end up taking their own lives. For those of us who have lived with an eating disorder, this news will probably not be such a huge shock. For those who are not as familiar, here are some additional facts about the link between eating disorders and suicide.
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Many people who do not know much about eating disorders are shocked to hear that people with eating disorders have the highest mortality rate among all mental illnesses.

They may be equally shocked to learn that the reason that eating disorders have such a high death rate is because many of those who suffer with eating disorders end up taking their own lives.

For those of us who have lived with an eating disorder, this news will probably not be such a huge shock. For those who are not as familiar, here are some additional facts about the link between eating disorders and suicide:

And, friends, I have been there.

I know the hopelessness we can feel when we are struggling, and now that I am here, on the other side, I want to tell you that there is HOPE! You are NOT alone, and there is another way.

Help is just a text away

If you have thoughts of harming yourself, please text “GO” to 741741 to send a confidential text to a trained crisis counselor.
If someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or an eating disorder, please ask them “Are you Okay?” and encourage them to seek help.

Get help for mental health issues.

“R U OK?” is an Australian campaign that encourages people to ask friends and family if they are OK. We never know what people are going through and when we take a moment to ask them how they are, we might just save someone’s life.

So today, and any other day, please help someone; friends, neighbors, a stranger by letting them know that they are not alone. You can do this by asking them three simple words “Are you Okay?”

Together we can make a difference!


Robyn Cruze, MA is National Recovery Advocate and the online community manager for Eating Recovery Center.

Sources:

[i] Corcos, M., Taïeb, O., Benoit-Lamy, S., Paterniti, S., Jeammet, P., & Flament, M. F. (2002). Suicide attempts in women with bulimia nervosa: frequency and characteristics. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 106(5), 381-386.

[ii]

  1. Chesney, E., Goodwin, G. M. and Fazel, S. (2014), Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review. World Psychiatry, 13: 153–160.
  2. Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders. A meta-analysis of 36 studies. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.
  3. Preti, A., Rocchi, M. B. L., Sisti, D., Camboni, M. V., & Miotto, P. (2011). A comprehensive meta-analysis of the risk of suicide in eating disorders. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 124(1), 6-17.

[iii] Swanson, S. A., Crow, S. J., Le Grange, D., Swendsen, J., & Merikangas, K. R. (2011). Prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in adolescents. Results from the national comorbidity survey replication adolescent supplement. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 714-723.

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Robyn Cruze
Written by

Robyn Cruze

Internationally-recognized author and speaker, Robyn Cruze published Making Peace with Your Plate (Central Recovery Press) with Espra Andrus, LCSW, which will enter its second edition in February 2020. Her work has been featured internationally in media outlets including ABC, Sky News (Aust.), CBS, The Mighty, The Temper and Refinery 29. Robyn is the cofounder of a family mental health awareness initiative, Wide Wonder, that aims to make mental health and addiction recovery an everyday conversation. She also serves as a Director of Advocacy consultant at Eating Recovery Center.

A background in TV, film and theatre acting, and a master’s degree in performing arts, Robyn is a sought-after keynote speaker. She educates and brings to light such topics as the co-occurrence of eating and alcohol disorders, The Body Conversation—how to have a relationship with your body and the food you put in it, and all things mental wellness.

Follow Robyn Cruze on Instagram.

Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center are accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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