Black Women Suffering Silently With Eating Disorders

We cannot heal what we refuse to identify as a wound, Erika Nicole Kendall  writes in a piece for Ebony.

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Thinkstock Images

We cannot heal what we refuse to identify as a wound, Erika Nicole Kendall writes in a piece for Ebony.

My mother is in the hospital for a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which basically means that a blood vessel burst in her brain. She is laying in a hospital bed, silent, still and bandaged.

I am a recovering emotional eater … a binge eater. Had this tragedy happened to my mother 5 years ago, I would be wiping my tears with Cheetos-stained fingertips. I’d be swallowing 3-liters of soda pop whole. I’d have bought multiple boxes of Verona cookies, Goldfish and Pirouettes, and relished in the ability to eat the entire package in one sitting.

I would be making myself feel better by drowning my sorrows in the chemical imbalances caused by bingeing on unhealthy, salty, sugary, fatty processed foods.

Whenever we talk about eating disorders, we talk about anorexia. We talk about bulimia. And, I won’t lie — that’s perpetuated by studies that consistently talk about eating disorders as if the only ones that matter or are relevant and problematic are, in fact, anorexia and bulimia.

What we never talk about — much to my dismay — is an eating disorder that is not only far more prevalent in mainstream society, but in the Black community specifically: EDNOS, otherwise known as “Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified.” To put it plainly, EDNOS is the very sterile, very clinical umbrella phrase under which you will find what many of us know as “binge eating.”

Read Erika Nicole Kendall’s entire piece at Ebony.

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