Eating disorders among teens and adults surge during pandemic

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Sophie Balisky, 26, who sought treatment for her battle with anorexia and bulimia, says some issues resurfaced when COVID-19 hit. (Submitted by Sophie Balisky)


(Coleen Underwood/ CBC News) — Sophie Balisky, 26, says she struggled with anorexia and bulimia through most of her teens but got help three years ago and was doing great — until COVID hit and she lost her job as a flight attendant.

She found herself reverting to old coping patterns in dealing with stressful and uncertain situations.

“I was actually quite shocked, I was a bit taken aback, because I consider myself to be quite strong in my coping against my eating tendencies,” said Balisky.

Advocates for those who struggle with eating disorders say the pandemic is exacerbating the problem — prompting a grea er need for community supports.

Experts believe the problem is related to the stress, uncertainty and isolation that stems from the pandemic and related-restrictions and say it’s not only a problem in the province but around the world.

Some eating disorder support groups in Alberta who connect with people of all ages say they have seen a steady rise in demand since the pandemic hit. (…)

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