Eating Disorders

“I’m anorexic. My family and friends keep trying to make me eat. I want to make them happy but I can’t eat. I just can’t.” – 13-year-old

Eating or not eating to feel better about yourself, to avoid your feelings, or to try to feel like you’re in control is not healthy. This misuse of food is called an eating disorder. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and compulsive overeating. They are all serious emotional problems that can have life-threatening physical consequences.


ANOREXIA NERVOSA is characterized primarily by self-starvation and excessive weight-loss. It can be very serious, even deadly. Most people with anorexia are thin but don’t see themselves that way. Weight is lost through fasting, excessive exercise, and/or purging.


  • Loss of at least 15% of body weight
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Distorted body image
  • In females, loss of three consecutive menstrual periods
  • Insistence of keeping weight below a healthy minimum

BULIMIA is characterized primarily by a cycle of binge eating followed by purging. After eating compulsively, a bulimic will throw up, take laxatives or pills to make the body lose water weight, engage in excessive exercise, or fast (eat no food at all). Negative effects include: ulcers, hernias, ruptured stomach or esophagus, dental problems, even heart attacks.


  • Repeated episodes of binge eating and purging
  • Feeling out of control during a binge
  • Purging after a binge
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape

COMPULSIVE OVEREATING is characterized primarily by periods of impulsive or continuous overeating and dieting resulting in recurrent weight gain and loss. Compulsive overeaters eventually become addicted to food, losing control over the amounts of food they eat. Compulsive overeaters are not always overweight. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.


  • Unable to control food intake
  • Repeated attempts to diet, but weight is always gained back, plus additional pounds
  • Feelings of guilt or shame after eating
  • Eating for emotional comfort, to escape worries or trouble
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating sensibly in front of others, then bingeing when alone

What causes eating disorders?

There isn’t an easy answer. Psychological issues, particularly perfectionist personality traits, and learned behavior all contribute. Also, some may have a biochemical imbalance that makes them prone to these disorders. Our culture encourages people to base self-worth on body weight and shape, so some people may see themselves as a less valuable person if they do not fit “cultural norms.”

The following resources can help you find ways to seek medical evaluations, treatment, and therapy.


Carolyn E. Wylie Center for Children, Youth, and Families

Substance abuse and family counseling, individual counseling, crisis intervention including assessments for suicide and child abuse; parenting; occupational physical therapy; speech therapy; and integration therapy.

4164 Brockton Ave,
Riverside, CA 92501

M-Th 8am-9pm & F 8am-5pm

(951) 683-5193

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

Residential and outpatient treatment program for self-injury, eating disorders, internet addiction, and substance abuse. 

1350 3rd St,
La Verne, CA 91750



Door of Hope 4 Teens

Hotline and texting services provides advice for teens who struggle with cutting, depression, eating disorders, bullying, and other emotional struggles. Also provides email advice on website.


Sun, Tues, Thurs 8:30pm-10:30pm EST                                                             


Eating Disorder Hope

Eating Disorder Hope™ offers education, support, and inspiration to eating disorder sufferers across the United States. Resources include articles on eating disorder treatment options, support groups, recovery tools and more.

Masada Homes

Substance abuse counseling, co-occurring disorder services, parenting, and domestic violence support. FSP and wraparound.

108 W Victoria St,
Gardena, CA 90248

M-F 8:30am-5:30pm


Monte Nido Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

Residential treatment center designed and created by recovered professionals to heal women suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and exercise addiction. Also has day treatment.

27162 Sea Vista Dr,
Malibu, CA 90265

M-F 9am-5:30pm



National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)

Toll free helpline to connect people with support, information, or referrals to treatment providers throughout the US.                                                                                               

165 W 46th St,
New York, NY 10036

M-F 9am-5pm



Overeaters Anonymous – Riverside

Provides information, literature and referrals to meetings within the community.  To speak to a live person ASAP, call Cathy at 909-562-6971.

Riverside, CA 92517


Overeaters Anonymous (Los Angeles)

Main LA Office: (323) 653-7652
San Gabriel Valley: (626) 335-3355
San Fernando Valley: (818) 881-4776
Information Line: (562) 493-9030

For all types of eating disorders information and referrals to LA area 12-steps meetings. 

20121 Ventura Boulevard, #315,
woodland Hills, CA 91364



Rebecca’s House

Programs and counseling for eating disorders as well as drug and alcohol abuse. 

23861 El Toro Rd,
Lake Forest, CA 92630

M-F 9am-6pm


UCLA – Eating Disorders

Intensive outpatient program for eating disorders and inpatient, group therapy.

Los Angeles, CA 90095

M-F 8am-5pm Call for appointments


UCLA-Neuropscchiartic Hospital

Comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services.

In addition to the above resources see Counseling section since most counseling agencies will treat people with eating disorders.

760 Westwood Plaza,
Los Angeles, CA 90095

M-F 8am-5pm


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