Stunning Pictures Show The Ups and Downs of Eating Disorder Recovery

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Agata and Wiktoria play their guitars while Ania sings. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

Eating disorders may not be talked about often by most people, but it is the third most common ailment that teenagers experience. Even worse, they are the most deadly of all mental health issues.

While eating disorders may be alarmingly common, they mostly exist under the surface. Those who live with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia often hide their struggles because of shame or stigma and those who haven’t experienced eating disorders are often more comfortable pretending the issue doesn’t exist.

Photos by Marie Hald of a group of young girls and boys recovering from eating disorders in the small village of Malawa in the south of Poland make it impossible to ignore how significant the issue really is.

The images themselves are beautiful and heartbreaking all at once, capturing close friendships and intimate moments of struggle. While the pictures come specifically from a treatment center in Poland, the photos bring life to a disorder that plagues young women around the world and shows the reality of recovery.

I’ve collected some of the photos below, but you can see the full set at The Washington Post.

Kaia, Karolina, Ania, Carolina, Agata and Nikola sit outside the house they call their home for the summer. The breaks between meals and therapy are often spent on blankets on the grass. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

Kaia, Karolina, Ania, Carolina, Agata and Nikola sit outside the house they call their home for the summer. The breaks between meals and therapy are often spent on blankets on the grass. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

On the grass after breakfast. Agata reads a lot of books. She is anxious about getting well and tries to focus on her goals in life. She wants to become a photographer and to see Adele in concert. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

On the grass after breakfast. Agata reads a lot of books. She is anxious about getting well and tries to focus on her goals in life. She wants to become a photographer and to see Adele in concert. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

Karolina sits with her teddy bear before dinner time. Using mobile phones is only allowed for two hours a week, and she misses her boyfriend and her parents. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

Karolina sits with her teddy bear before dinner time. Using mobile phones is only allowed for two hours a week, and she misses her boyfriend and her parents. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

(From left) One night, Kaia and Karolina sneak into the same bed and read magazines. In the morning, Karolina goes to her own bed before the nurses notice. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

(From left) One night, Kaia and Karolina sneak into the same bed and read magazines. In the morning, Karolina goes to her own bed before the nurses notice. (Marie Hald/MOMENT/INSTITUTE)

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