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Eating Disorders are LETHAL!!!!!

1 in 3 girls and 1 in 10 boys suffer from an eating disorder!
20% of anorexics die!  Only 52 – 76% of bulimics fully recover!
87% of sufferers are below the ages of 20 years old!
The average onset age of an eating disorder is between
the tender ages of 9 – 12 years old!

STEP 1:  Awareness of the disorder
STEP 2:  Acknowledgement of the problem
STEP 3:  The sufferer must be willing to change
STEP 4:  Obtaining the correct, customised treatment
STEP 5:  Love and support from their family and support systems

The exact causes of eating disorders remain unknown.  Still, due to their complexities they are more than likely a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.


Firstly YOU, the sufferer, must want to recover! As NO-ONE else can do it for you!

An initial assessment needs to be conducted from either of the following medical professionals, prior to treatment commencing:

  • Eating disorders institutions e.g. Crescent Clinic 011 792 9400 (24/7)
  • SADAG - South African Depression and Anxiety Group Toll free 0800121314 / Sms 31393 (24/7)
  • SANCA - 011781 6410 and

Leading from the findings in the original assessment conducted, further treatment will then be recommended accordingly.

An eating disorder consists of three different components, namely:  Psychological (emotional) and Physical. (Body image; appearance and behavioural) Due to the complexity of an eating disorder, a three-prong approach to therapy is therefore more often than not required, to treat the disease in a holistic and thorough manner.

The three aspects of therapy being:

  • Psychiatrist (To assist you with any possible chemical in balances, as well as to subscribe and monitor any necessary medication required e.g. anti-depressants)
  • Psychologist (To assist with your psychological and behavioural wellbeing. As well as to share your fears, challenges and emotions with you, throughout your journey to recovery)
  • Nutritionist (To advise you on your food and nutritional intake, according to your body type and height)

When these three Specialists work in unison with one another, optimum results can be obtained.
Depending on the diagnosis of the individual, therapy will be administered in either an “in-patient” or “out-patient” manner.

In-patient = the individual is hospitalised for a determined period of time e.g. three – six weeks and treated accordingly.

Out-patient = the individual is treated as an “out-patient” whilst continuing to function in their daily lives.

Unless, the individual is a risk to themselves, or are unable to function properly in their everyday life. Doctors are more inclined to recommend that individuals are treated as “out-patients.”  Due to the extensive cost implications involved with hospitalisation. 

What many people tend to overlook, is the fact that an addiction such as an eating disorder, (Where food is merely the drug of choice) is a disguised mental disorder.

One needs to focus on the psychological wellbeing of the individual, in hope of any behavioural changes to occur.

Unfortunately, many anorexic and bulimic sufferers do not want treatment initially. As their desire to remain thin/control their weight, overrides concerns about their health.

For any means of treatment to be effective, the sufferer themselves must want to recover.  As without that desire to want to heal and change, treatment will merely be conducted in vain.


Leading from the sufferer’s initial assessment and should hospitalisation/institutionalisation be recommended for them to recover. One needs to keep in mind that an eating disorder is extremely complex and requires highly specialised care.

Government Hospitals
South Africa has a select number of government hospitals who offer eating disorder treatment programmes, they are namely:

Tara Hospital – The H. Moross Centre, Gauteng, South Africa
Telefax:  +27 (0)11 783 2010/2018
50 Saxon Rd, Hurlingham, Sandton, 2196

Cape Town:
Groote Schuur Hospital – Cape Town, South Africa
Wards G22 and C23:  Tel: =27 (0)21 404 2175 Main switchboard:  +27 (0)21 404 9111
423 Main Road, Observatory, 7935

Tygerberg Hospital – Cape Town, South Africa
Tel:  +27 (0)21 938 4911
Francie van Zijl Avenue, Tygerberg, 7505
The following website provides an extract from the Government Gazette, listening state institutions with mental care facilities:

Rehabilitation Treatment Programmes
Within the private sector, the only facilities which provide specialised, stand-alone Eating Disorder Units in South Africa, are the Crescent Clinics.

Crescent Clinic – Johannesburg, South Africa (Private Psychiatric Clinic)
Tel:  +27 (0) 011 792 9400
Corner President Fouché Dr and Hawken Avenue, Bromhof, Randburg, 2154

Cape Town:

Crescent Clinic – Cape Town, South Africa (Private Psychiatric Clinic)
Tel:  +27 (0) 021 762 7666
269 Main Rd, Claremont, Cape Town, 7700

Imani – Cape Town, South Africa (Secondary Care for Eating Disorders)
Tel:  +27 (0)21 447 7472/5
235 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

Kenilworth Clinic – Cape Town, South Africa
Outpatient eating disorders programme; Addictions Unit; KAYA (Adolescents and Young Adults)
Tel: =27 (0) 21 763 4500
32 Kenilworth Rd, Kenilworth, Cape Town, 7708

Montrose Place – Cape Town, South Africa
(Extended care retreat specialising in addictions, eating disorders and other compulsive behaviours)
Tel:  +27 (0)21 797 9270
UK Toll Free: 080 823 42935
7 Montrose Terrace, Bishops Court, Cape Town, 7708

Tharagay House – Cape Town, South Africa
Addictions extended care facility (secondary care)
Tel:  +27 (0)21 762 2425
15A Gibson Rd, Kenilworth, Cape Town, 7708

Riverview Manor – Underberg, Drakensburg, South Africa (Private Specialist Clinic)
Tel:  +27 (0) 33 701 1911
P.O. Box 506, Underberg, 3257

Plettenberg Bay:
Oasis Counselling Centre (Addiction treatment centre)
Tel: +27 (0) 44 533 1752
119 Longships Drive, Plettenberg Bay,  6600


Several books which extend tremendous insight are the following:

  • Eating disorders – Professor Christopher Paul Szabo (Reach Publishers 2009)
    (This book is available in libraries as well as directly from the Adler Museum – Faculty of Health Sciences,  University of the Witswatersand. For copies, e-mail Rochelle on: or call her on:  +27 (0)11 717 2081
  • The Secret language of Eating Disorders:  How you can understand and work to cure anorexia and bulimia – Peggy Claude-Pierre (Vintage 1998)
  • Wasted: A memoir of anorexia and bulimia – Marya Hornbacher (Random House 1998)
  • The Monster within – Cynthia Rowland (also enables family members to understand in more depth, the world of a bulimic)
  • Finding Sarah – Joanne Jowell (Another book which assists in educating the family of how a bulimic lives and what they experience to be “their world”)
  • Autobiography of Jane Fonda and biography of Princess Diana (Both ladies were also bulimics in their prime)
  • You can Heal your Life – Louise L. Hay
  • The Power is within You – Louise L. Hay
  • The Power of the Mind – John Kehoe
  • How to stop worrying and start living – Dale Carnegie
  • The Power of positive thinking – Dale Carnegie
  • Friendship Factor -  Alan Loy McGinnis
  • The Journey – Brandon Bays
  • Consciousness is the new currency – Brandon Bays
  • Mind Magic – Maggie Sheen

Websites which may be of assistance to you, are:

  • Health24 –
    South African health and wellness website which offers information, online communities and access to expert opinion on health matters
  • MEDpages –
    Online resource providing health care contact information in South Africa. This is a useful source for identifying professionals who have a special interest in eating disorders and addictions
  • PsychCentral –
    International online mental health and psychology network with a vast network of support forums
    Recovery Space –
    South African website that provides information on and promotes recovery from eating disorders
  • Something Fishy –
    Well-established American website dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to people with eating disorders, and to their friends and family
The South African Despression and Anxiety Group
Cresent Clinic

Your life is a learning process - you can only become wiser from learning.

Sometimes you might have to attract making a painful
mistake to learn something important,
but after the mistake you have far greater wisdom.

Wisdom cannot be bought with money - it can only be acquired through living life.

With wisdom comes strength, courage, knowing, and an ever-increasing peace.


BORN TO BE YOU! Inspirational Speaker/Author
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