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Where Can I Find A Free Overeating Support Group?

October 30, 2009

In a post about my crazy diet history, I mentioned going to an eating disorders support group. That prompted commenter Kate to ask:

I’m so intrigued by this eating disorder support group. Where did you find yours and how can I?

A therapist recommended my support group to me. But there are lots of places to look for free (or cheap) support no matter where you live. Start here:

1. National Eating Disorders Assocation
NEDA has a hotline that’s open to calls M-F 8:30-4:30 PST where you can get info, therapist referrals and help tracking down support meetings in your area: 800-931-2237

2. Binge Eating Disorder Association
Although BEDA doesn’t host it’s own support groups, the site has a (growing) list of groups and meetings such as “A Weigh Out” in Millersville, Maryland and a nice listing of other support sites like SomethingFishy.org.

3. Eating Disorders Anonymous
This 12-step based group (think alcoholics anonymous style) has meetings in 32 states, plus all-volunteer (as in no therapists) hotlines and phone meetings that you can call into no matter where you live.

4. Overeaters Anonymous
Another 12-step group, but this one has meetings and chapters in all 50 stats and internationally, as well as phone and online meetings if you don’t have a group in your town (or if a face-to-face meeting is a little intimidating at first).

5. Campus Psychological or Health Services
College students often have free–or super-discounted–access to group meetings or therapy sessions to part- and full-time students. (I know my alma mater had them! And I took advantage.)

6. EDReferral.com
This site has a huge listing of free meetings in 35 states and Canada, plus referrals to therapists.

Whew. I hope these resources will help Kate and others find the same kind of healing, acceptance and guidance I’ve found in the support group I’m lucky enough to attend. Please feel free to add any sites, hotlines or other resources you guys know about!

xo…Sunny
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Related links:
4 Books That Will Help You Get Sane About Food (And Get To A Healthy Weight)

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate permalink
    December 9, 2009 8:58 pm

    What do you do if there are no support groups where you live? There is OA where I am, but I’m not sure how I feel about attending their meetings (I attending meetings for years on Weight Watchers and by the time I quiet I was seriously ready to hurt someone).

    I really just want a group where I don’t feel alone, but don’t feel pressured to follow a “program.”

    • Kelly permalink
      January 21, 2010 1:01 pm

      Have you ever thought about starting a group where you live? I have “opened” a couple of Eating Disorders Anonymous groups in Minnesota. I opened them because when I was inpatient in Arizona for my ED treatment, I was required to go to meetings and it was such a help to me that I knew I had to start a meeting once I got back. That was 3 yrs ago. Support groups are a great support! Go to EDA at http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org to read up on what EDA is all about. Balance, not abstience is the “saying”. It’s a very well balanced 12 step support group. Check them out:)

  2. Heather permalink
    June 14, 2010 11:58 am

    I think you need to be careful with certain groups, as some have a very strong religious base. This may be a plus for some, but for me this wouldn’t be right. I am very strongly of the view that recovery has to be by you, for you and you alone. Religion doesn’t factor.

  3. Andrea permalink
    October 29, 2010 3:32 am

    I weigh 300 lbs.i gained 80 of it after loosing my apt and from depression meds in less than 8 months. I do realize i have made chocolate a food group. I also have really broken teeth so i have trouble eating a lot of different types of food. Can you help me figure out what to do. I dont work so i would need something that doesnt cost or require health benefits. What should i do…i need help. Thank you!

  4. ellen permalink
    March 13, 2011 11:01 pm

    would like to find a support group with a therapist in the metro. detroit area that specializes in eating disorders. do you know where i can find one or get an idea as to where to start looking

    • March 17, 2011 3:00 pm

      Hi Ellen,
      Yes! Check out the Support Groups page and the Therapy 101 page here on HealthyGirl.org. It’ll give you all the info you need to find a group or a professional. Good luck to you, and please let us know how it goes. xo…Sunny

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