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  • Writer's pictureCandice Mitchell, MS, LGPC, NCC

Pandemic Impact is Far-Reaching for Those with Eating Disorders

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression are widespread across America. For those at risk for or those with current eating disorders, the challenges and mental health fallout appear to be compounded. At Penn Medicine Princeton Center for Eating Disorders, the interdisciplinary team has worked with patients to identify these issues, determine the impact on hospitalization and eating disorder symptoms, and address them in the context of overall treatment. According to Senior Eating Disorders Therapist Alison Locklear, LCSW, 90 percent of the adult and adolescent patients she counseled between August 2020 and February 2021 cited the pandemic as a contributing factor to eating disorder symptoms. Half of her patients—all adults—had prior treatment and cited the pandemic as a factor in their relapse.

Learn more about the themes that have emerged as contributors to an increase in eating disorder symptoms and hospitalization – and the sources of support that have helped counter the pandemic’s negative impact.

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