The Best Eating Disorder Videos of 2015

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  • Real Inspiration

    Real Inspiration

    Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are notoriously difficult to treat. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychological Science suggests part of the problem is that people suffering from these conditions get a boost of euphoria as they drop to dangerously low weights. Another obstacle to treatment is the stigma and blame surrounding eating disorders. These videos show that the problems are complex. They are brave documentation of the challenges faced by people with eating disorders. Some are startling, some are inspiring, and all are very real. 

  • ‘Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #33’

    ‘Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #33’

    In “Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #33,” the producers address eating disorders with intelligence, thoughtfulness, and even a bit of levity. They emphasize that eating disorders are psychological illnesses with documentable disease cycles. This is the video to start with if you want to educate yourself on anorexia, bulimia, and body image disorders.

  • ‘Teen Anorexia Survivor Wants to Help Others Battle Eating Disorders’

    ‘Teen Anorexia Survivor Wants to Help Others Battle Eating Disorders’

    Anorexia survivor Aimee Corner uses “Teen Anorexia Survivor Wants to Help Others Battle Eating Disorders” to address issues that young people who succumb to eating disorders often face. Corner bravely relates her drastic limitations of calories (a spoonful of yogurt a day) and compulsive exercise (skipping school to fit in six to eight hours of walking a day). 

    The story is illustrated with images of Corner during her illness. Corner’s courage and her now-healthy body will give hope to others that they too can overcome eating disorders before it’s too late. 

  • Elle Tayla’s ‘My Eating Disorder Story’

    Elle Tayla’s ‘My Eating Disorder Story’

    Anorexia can lead to a grueling cycle of emotional and self-image damage. Elle Tayla rode this roller coaster of loss and gain. Her video “My Eating Disorder Story” follows those ups and downs using only images, powerful music, and printed text. Tayla plummeted in weight, and then she reversed the cycle and gained. She hated what she saw and lost weight dangerously again. 

    She found answers with inpatient treatment and a focus on eating foods that made her feel healthy but kept weight on. This might not work for everyone, but Tayla’s emotional video encourages others suffering from eating disorders to get help.

  • Megan Hylands’ ‘My Eating Disorder Story’

    Megan Hylands’ ‘My Eating Disorder Story’

    Megan Hylands has many fans. She produces a popular series of YouTube videos on topics for teen girls. Her public life makes it all the more courageous that she finally faced the camera and her eating disorder. She openly discusses her avoidances in “My Eating Disorder Story.” She talks about how she lied to herself at first, and then to her family, friends, and fans. Hylands also addresses how it’s possible to have lots of friends and be well-known and well-liked, yet to also be hiding the truth and feeling very lonely.

  • ‘I Didn't Know I Had an Eating Disorder’

    ‘I Didn't Know I Had an Eating Disorder’

    Jessie Kahnweiler is an actress and comedian with a flair for public display. She tells a painful story in her video “I Didn't Know I Had an Eating Disorder.” Kahnweiler confesses to loathing her body and doing anything, from cocaine to sex, to cover up how she felt. At the core of her video is the powerful secret that people with eating disorders are excellent at hiding their condition from themselves and others.

  • ‘My Friend Ana’

    ‘My Friend Ana’

    If you search for eating disorders on the Internet, you’re bound to come across the terms “Ana” and “pro-ana.” These terms refer to anorexia. Pro-ana, in particular, refers to the promotion of anorexia among those who claim it as a lifestyle choice, rather than a mental illness. This unlikely video depicts Ana as a cartoon cat that tells people suffering from anorexia what foods to avoid. The cat becomes the driving force in the story in the same way that anorexia takes over its victims’ lives. “My Friend Ana” is a simple and powerful statement about the force of an eating disorder.

  • ‘The Link Between Anxiety and Eating Disorders’

    ‘The Link Between Anxiety and Eating Disorders’

    Produced by the Child Mind Institute, “The Link Between Anxiety and Eating Disorders” is a webinar for anyone interested in the overlap between these two damaging mental illnesses. In Q&A format, clinical psychologist Dr. Jill Emanuele and doctor of psychology Rebecca Greif, Psy.D, discuss the knotted relationship between anxiety and the need to control eating. This video takes academic topics and expresses them in a way anyone can understand. 

  • Nikki Philippi’s ‘My Eating Disorder’

    Nikki Philippi’s ‘My Eating Disorder’

    Triggering events for eating disorders aren’t hard to pin down, but they’re very different for each person. Nikki Philippi had a surgery at 16 that affected her hip and thigh. Her new perception challenged everything she believed about her body. She could not stop thinking she was fat. In “My Eating Disorder,” she talks openly, even amusingly, about her struggle. The ultimate rescue came in her understanding that life, like hips and thighs, is not perfect, and no amount of control can make it that way. 

  • ‘“Over It,” My Battle with Anorexia’

    ‘“Over It,” My Battle with Anorexia’

    Comedian Dave Chawner attacks male anorexia and the myths around it with humor and genuine empathy in “'Over It', My Battle with Anorexia.” Dave Chawner’s triggering event for anorexia was when he got his first big stage role. Whittling off a few pounds so he could feel comfortable while shirtless on stage became an obsession. 

    Chawner makes some brave jokes about a very serious condition. He quips, “There is a gap in the market for the first famous male anorexic. It’s not a very big gap.” But his point is clear. Shame and secrecy are a large part of the disease’s power. Laughing at anorexia in public yanks that power away. 

  • ‘Rachael’s Road to Recovery’

    ‘Rachael’s Road to Recovery’

    Rachael Farrokh, a personal trainer and aspiring actress, started dropping weight so she could just tighten up her abs. That effort began 10 years ago. It spiraled into an out-of-control condition that has taken Farrokh from 125 healthy pounds to 40 pounds and the edge of death.

    Farrokh launched a crowdfunding campaign and made the video “Rachael’s Road to Recovery.” Her goal was to raise money for a special treatment facility, since, as she claimed, many hospitals refused to care for her. She is now being treated by the facility of her choice in her own home because she is too weak to travel. This is a very brief video. You won’t forget its graphic images of a body wasted by anorexia or Farrokh’s plea to other people with anorexia to love and care for themselves before it’s too late.

  • Shining a Light on Eating Disorders

    Shining a Light on Eating Disorders

    People suffering from anorexia and bulimia hide their behaviors. Sometimes, they’re even capable of withholding the truth from themselves. The stories told in videos like these are powerful because they shine a light on eating disorders.

    These stories might not be easy to watch, but the people who tell them inspire us all and deliver a lifesaving message. You can love yourself when you’re not perfect, and you can face life, even if you can’t control it. 


  • Selby, E., Wonderlich, S., Crosby, R., Engel, S., Panza, E., Mitchell, J., . . . Grange, D. (2013). Nothing tastes as good as thin feels: Low positive emotion differentiation and weight-loss activities in anorexia nervosa [Abstract]. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(4), 514-531. Retrieved from