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Local woman shares struggles, urges others to get help as COVID-19 causes spike in eating disorders |

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Local woman shares struggles, urges others to get help as COVID-19 causes spike in eating disorders

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As the stress and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on mental health, a Las Vegas woman shared her struggles with eating disorders to help others cope. 

"It's so easy to negotiate and talk yourself through," Kortney Olson said, recalling her thought process. "Oh I am going to end this tomorrow?"

Olson has battled symptoms for years and COVID-19 has brought on an entirely new battle. 

"It just completely encompasses and takes over your entire train of thought," she explained. "And your entire wellbeing."

"From April to August was a really difficult time," Olson added. "I could see myself becoming unhealthy in terms of my thought patterns, starting to get back into that old behavior."

The National Eating Disorders Association reported around a 70% increase in calls for help in 2020, as millions continue to deal with stress and isolation. 

Local child and adult psychiatrist Dr. Timothy Jaider, M.D. said for many who have fallen back to old patterns, it's more important now than ever to ask for help. 

"There's been an uptick in all mental health issues across the board when it comes to COVID," Dr. Jaider said. "And it seems to be getting worse the longer we are staying isolated."

"Take time to take care of you," he added. "That's all I can say."

Kortney Olson also wants anyone suffering with delicate and dangerous disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia to know it's okay to not be okay. 

"If you are struggling know that this too shall pass," Olson concluded. "And nothing is permanent."

Olson also said working from home with video conferencing can also contribute to issues during the pandemic, as many are forced to stare at themselves on a screen all day and obsess over body image. 

If you are struggling, you can call or text the National Eating Disorders Association Hotline at 1-800-931-2237. 

For more information, CLICK HERE.