EDO is used as an abbreviation for Eating Disorder in several circumstances. When in treatment, one will encounter the EDO groups, sometimes shortened to just plain ED. One will be eligible for the EDO Meal Waiver, which allows the usual limit of six dollars worth of lovely hospital cafeteria food to be exceeded when using a meal pass because the holder of the waiver is trying to “restore” (being forced to gain weight).

There is, of course, the EDO unit (ward) where all the semi-emaciated victims are kept together in an endless bout of competition to be the sickest. Bathroom doors are locked, clothes are taken away and replaced with hospital gowns. No gum chewing allowed, no coffee, no diet pop. No extraneous movement, no smoking, no sharp objects. No sitting on the edge of one’s chair, no leg twitching, no mirrors, no fashion magazines. No talk of food, exercise, laxatives, dieting, weight, Ipecac, or feeling fat. This prohibits the so-called EDO mind from engaging in any sort of conversation or activity.

There are the EDO meal plans, the EDO rules, the EDO activities - the activities are the worst, a slow but imminent form of torture trying to make food seem unimportant while exemplifying it to the highest of all concerns in each mind involved. The therapist who thought this one up was definitely cruel. Who would ever think that getting all the EDO patients together to make ice cream and then actually make them eat it after seeing all the fat-filled ingredients being added and the caloric value of every stick of butter, calculated to minute detail in each distracted brain. How is this helpful?

All said and done, EDO is a simple label, the same as “cancerous” or “diseased.” Labels never seem to help, although they tend to make doctors sleep easier at night.