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Must See ED Video

I was fortunate enough to get a peek at a new video, ED101, produced by NORMAL (the National Organization to Build Resilience and Mindfulness through Arts Learning) and want to let you know about it. It’s a new, free (!!!), 35-minute, documentary style film that should be seen by no less than every man, woman and child in America.

Here’s what the press release says about it: “The film is being circulated to schools and communities nationwide and presents a comprehensive overview of a widespread, yet highly misunderstood, mental illness through the lens of a compelling musical arts piece. Expert commentaries and insights are provided through interviews with clinicians, ED association leaders and family members who have been impacted by the disease.” The film also offers “hopeful journeys” from those who have recovered from EDs.

Through music and photography, we meet and get to know people with eating disorders—anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating. We hear their stories and identify with their struggles (I did, even though I’m 30-plus years recovered from binge-eating disorder). We’re heartened when we find out they’ve recovered and saddened (I got teary) when we learn of their deaths. This is an emotional film that enlightens through imparting information and wisdom as well as offering understanding and compassion.

The film’s importance is in getting out the word that eating disorders can destroy our bodies and spirits. The very worst thing you can feel with an ED is alone. But we are far from alone, and the best antidote to secrecy, silence, and shame is joining the vast community of friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students who also think they are the only ones to eat abnormally. Not a week goes by when a client doesn’t say that she fears telling anyone about her ED because she’s ashamed. This film counters that shame and captures the courageous spirit of those who refuse to be bound by it.

ED101 also provides hope—from those who have recovered and from those who have treated them. As I watched, I couldn’t help but fantasize what this country would be like if everyone had: an understanding of the prevalence of EDs in all their permutations, compassion for all their sufferers, access to appropriate treatment for as long as they need it, and support for themselves and their families. If every one of you who reads this blog thinks about who to share this video with and sends them to, we’re on our way toward making this happen. Thanks to the film’s financial sponsors and to filmmaker and director, Robyn Hussa, founder of NORMAL.