A monologue about a young woman with an eating disorder begins a conversation about who is at risk, what to look out for, and how to get better. Featuring conversations with a young Latinx female, whose personal experience with an eating disorder challenges harmful stereotypes about who is at risk, and clinical therapist Dr. Samantha DeCaro.
Eating disorders don’t discriminate. They can happen to anyone.
Still, there is a harmful misconception that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are limited to young white females. In truth, they can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity. In the United States alone, 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their life. And incidence among women of color, in particular, is on the rise.
Yet like so many mental health issues, eating disorders are heavily stigmatized. People don’t talk about them, perpetuating dangerous misconceptions about who is at risk and keeping people from seeking help.
On this episode of Mouthful, we break open the stereotypes about eating disorders in conversations with:
Taytiana Velasquez-Rivera, a high school senior whose personal battle with an eating disorder inspired her to write “Comfort,” an award-winning monologue featured in the 2016 Young Voices Monologue Festival
Dr. Samantha DeCaro, a clinical therapist at The Renfrew Center, the country’s first residential eating disorder facility, founded in 1985, which now has 18 locations across the United States
further reading & resources
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, there is a lot of support available.
The National Eating Disorder Association website is filled with information.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of support, please call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For a 24-hour crisis line, text “NEDA” to 741741.
The Renfrew Center is also available to help at 1-800-Renfrew. Calls are anonymous.
Renfrew also provides great resources for caretakers and educators like this list of "Steps to Help Professionals Make a Difference in Schools"
Learn more about eating disorders as they relate to health insurance, legislation, and federal funding here.
Check out this article about a non-profit called The Garment Project, which provides women in recovery with new, size-less clothing, individualized for their healthy bodies and lifestyles. that provides new wardrobes and services that support women in recovery.
Click here to learn more about Philadelphia Young Playwrights.
Read high school senior Trinity Williams' take on Episode Two here.
"Comfort" is performed by Taysha Canales and directed by Jay Gilman
Additional production support for "Comfort" was provided by Anne Hoffman
Digital content support was provided by Kiarah Cannady