From bulimia to anorexia, there are several eating disorders that affect people of all ages. These disorders can stem from a variety of issues, including body dysmorphia, depression and drug and alcohol abuse. Without treatment, many of these disorders can be fatal. Perhaps you’re reading this as someone who’s struggling with an eating disorder, or you have a loved one who is. If that’s the case, calling an anorexia hotline/bulimia hotline can help.

The following list of frequently asked questions will help prepare you for what to expect when you call an eating disorder hotline:

What Is an Eating Disorder Hotline?

An eating disorder hotline is a toll-free phone number that’s intended to help people who are struggling with an eating disorder or those who know someone who is. These numbers are manned by professionals who are very knowledgeable about eating disorders and the various treatment options that are available.

When Should I Call an Eating Disorder Helpline?

If you’re not in need of immediate medical attention, we recommend that you call an eating disorder crisis hotline to speak with someone who can help. However, if you or someone you know is in need of medical attention as the result of an eating disorder, it’s best to call 911. Some of the side effects of eating disorders that may require immediate medical attention include:

  • Fainting
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Dehydration
  • Rupture of the esophagus (from purging)

What Questions Will I Be Asked When I Call an Eating Disorder Helpline?

When calling The Recovery Village’s eating disorder helpline, you will be asked a series of questions about your disorder. Your answers to these questions will allow us to get you help at the best center to meet your needs. Some of the questions you can expect to be asked include:

  • Can you describe the nature of your eating disorder?
  • Are you currently using drugs or alcohol?
  • Have you been actively seeking treatment for your eating disorder?
  • Are you ready to enroll in a treatment program for your eating disorder?

Is the Phone Call Confidential?

The Recovery Village abides by the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which means that your phone call is 100 percent confidential. This is the case whether you’re calling for yourself or for a loved one. Keep in mind that our primary goal is to get you the help that you need, and to do so while keeping your privacy at the forefront. If you have any questions about our confidentiality policy, please feel free to ask.

Can I Start Treatment for My Eating Disorder When I Call?

Yes. If we determine that one of our centers will be a good fit to meet your needs, we can enroll you in a treatment program at the time of your call. We know that just taking the first step in making a call to an eating disorder hotline can be a challenge, so the last thing we want to do is make you wait or have to call back. So if you’re ready to receive help, we’re ready to provide it.

National Hotlines

Emergencies and Crisis Situations

If you’re experiencing a medical emergency or any other emergency, call 911. Law enforcement and/or medical personnel can be dispatched to you within minutes. When you call, be prepared with your address or specific location as well as the nature of the emergency.

  • 911
  • Available 24 Hours

The National Poison Control Center
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of ingesting a poisonous substance, this number can help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Suicidal tendencies are commonly associated with eating disorders. If you’re experiencing such tendencies, or you have a friend or relative who is, this 24-hour lifeline can help.

Mental Health and Eating Disorders

The National Mental Health Association
This 800 number can provide assistance with disorders such as disorder, anxiety or bipolar disorder.

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)
This toll-free number is intended for anyone struggling with an eating disorder who needs support and/or information.

  • 800-931-2237
  • Available During Business Hours
  • Text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line

Substance and Alcohol Abuse/Addiction

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
This number is available to provide assistance for anyone struggling with a substance abuse disorder or mental disorder. Both substance abuse and mental health disorders are commonly associated with eating disorders, either as causes or effects.

Eating Disorder Hotlines
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