Eating disorders are deadly illnesses. Whether it’s the physical complications that kill you — cardiac arrest, organ failure, or otherwise — or it’s suicide prompted by the extreme mood disturbances, eating disorders, if left untreated, do not end well. In fact, they have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.
And yet, in addition to being the deadliest, they are the most overlooked, underfunded, and misunderstood.
We in the eating disorder community are very familiar with these incongruities. Now, the public will also get an inside look at the things we suffer day in and day out.
Laura Dyan Kezman, a 27-year-old filmmaker based in Washington, D.C., is the creator of the forthcoming documentary “Just Eat“ (coming early 2016). The film examines “the black and white issues” related to eating disorders: the high death rate, paltry federal funding, unbridled insurance denials, and a dearth of resources and education — all of which decrease the patients’ chances of full recovery.
These, Laura says, are the issues that all audiences can understand, even if they’ve never directly experienced an eating disorder — which is just one of the reasons “Just Eat” is revolutionary among eating disorder documentaries.
I had the awesome opportunity to interview Laura about “Just Eat” for a Proud2BMe post. She is a pretty remarkable person who not only herself survived an eating disorder, but is now undertaking the courageous task of telling others’ stories. As a fellow survivor, I can assure you that such a task is not for the faint of heart. It means being in the presence of people who are in immense pain — the very pain you yourself once suffered, which can trigger all sorts of painful and even traumatic memories.
Learn more about Laura and the documentary in my story for Proud2BMe, “A Deadly Diagnosis and Nowhere to Turn.”
If you have ever wondered about the term “recovery warrior” that is often tossed about the ED community, then look no further than Laura Kezman.
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