Transcript for Why are so many women who suffer from eating disorders overlooked?
Now in honor of eating disorder awareness week we're shining the light on the diverse of millions of American, women and men of all races affected by these potentially dangerous and deadly conditions. Ginger is here with much more. Yes, Michael, this is something that is so personal to me. I had than a decade and still have remnants of it. One in ten suffer from an eating disorder. They all don't have access to treatment. You're about to meet a brave woman and a group who want to change that. You wouldn't know it by just looking at her but give is surviving a lifelong struggle that is deep. I remember the hunger pangs were so intense I began to cry and I said to myself all you have to do is go downstairs and get something to eat. And I wouldn't do it. And I was crying because I was hungry but too because I was afraid to eat. Reporter: Giva is 1 out of nearly 30 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder. Let's go back to the beginning. For me it starts with me You know when you're a teenager, there are so many things you're dealing with. For me to hold my food it was at least I can take control with this. Reporter: Eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses next to opioid abuse and research underfunded. I think there is a huge misconception out there that this illness only affects thin, young, white, affluent women. Reporter: Giva is part of project heal, an organization found in 2008 that provides support and works to raise funds for those suffering that can't afford treatment. You have people of all genders, all race, all class, all cultures coming together to talk about this illness that has affected their lives. Upwards of 0% of people who may have an eating disorder do not have treatment. The top reasons why, the fact they're ashamed, access to adequate medical treatment. Going to a doctor's office and not being asked about having to eat and just focus on weight. It is so expensive and so hard to get and honestly it's important for you not only to have access to treatment but treatment close by. Reporter: She's now hoping by speaking out she can help those who may be suffering in silence. If someone is watching this and they say, I look like her. Who would have thought regular old me could now be someone that people can identify with, that people want to talk to about this who could potentially help someone. Great piece there. You've been so brave and open about your struggle with eating disorders but what do you feel is the biggest misconception. I think there are so many. I think one of the biggest is that men don't have it. Men especially but ten million of the 30 million people that have it are men. So a third are men which say stunning number if you think about it. On top of it from my personal experiences people don't get it's not about the food but the control, it's about the shame you feel. It's about the mind and so that's what it is. That's what makes it a disease like any other disorder and that's why I think it's had such a stigma. If someone is at home watching or someone here feels like they know has a problem, or an issue, what should they do? I think again I'll start personal. Patience. It's not something that will be over with tomorrow. My mom had to deal with me having it for a long time. My husband still have to deal with me having little glimmers or hints of it especially in transition kneeing that and the national eating disorders association has a hotline. You can call them to learn more. Thank you for sharing, ginger. Really brave of you to do that and share with the world.
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