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Breaking The Culture Of Secrecy Surrounding Eating Disorders

Courtesy of The Renfrew Center
Staff and patients at The Renfrew Center of Pittsburgh created artwork inspired by the #IWeigh movement in August 2018.

A national network of clinics specializing in eating disorders is seeing more women struggling with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and related mental health issues in mid-life than ever before, Oakland site director Erin Wentroble says.

Credit Courtesy of The Renfrew Center
Courtesy of The Renfrew Center
Erin Wentroble, site director for The Renfrew Center of Pittsburgh, calls her position a dream job. "I fell in love with the population and being able to be with people as they work through this really misunderstood illness - to give them their peace and understanding back."

The Renfrew Center began offering outpatient treatment in Pittsburgh in 2017 with an holistic approach, integrating training in nutrition and dietetics with therapy via a psychologist, psychiatrist, family counselor or artist—whatever might help the patient most.

Patients coping with disordered thinking often have to adjust their emotional relationship with food, Wentroble says, and many women don't share their struggle because of stigma or shame. Even in the medical community, binge eating was only just recognized by the 5th volume of the Diagnostic Statistic Manual in 2013. Find more about Renfrew's services here

Later in the program:

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UPDATED: 12:04 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2019. 90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich contributed to this program.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.
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