WBZ Cares: MEDA - Founded in 1994

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling MEDA (Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association) in Newton which works to prevent the continuing spread of eating disorders through education and early detection.

Becky Manley founded MEDA in 1994, but her issues with eating disorders began much earlier.

“I had a lot of anxiety. I ended up using food and exercise to cope with my uncomfortable feelings. I also had a really bad body image,” stated Manley.

But she believed she could get better when others did not.

“I was told very early on, as were my parents, that this was something I was going to live with my whole life. One of the core beliefs of MEDA is that recovery is possible, and let people know they don't have to live with this their whole lives,” Manley commented.

She says the earlier problems are detected, the better.

“The earlier someone gets into treatment, the better and the quicker chances of recovery. One of the great things that MEDA does is we educate professionals so they can detect it early in their students. And sometimes with an adolescent, if we can catch it early, it just might be a bump in the road for them,” Manley stated.

Manley says that early treatment is absolutely essential.

“The thing with eating disorders is once it grabs hold of you, it's very difficult to then break free of that eating disorder. It almost becomes part of your identity and personality,” Manley commented.

And that treatment can take several forms.

“It can be individual therapy, group therapy, it can be seeing a psychologist, seeing a nutritionist, it all depends on the individual,” Manley said.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports

 

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