Last night’s program entitled, Never Give up: “The Battle and Defeat of Anorexia,” began with a first year Geisel student who bravely shared her story about struggling with and eventually defeating anorexia. If you were not lucky enough to be in attendance, I promise that you cannot imagine the gravity of this student’s story. Her incredible candor gave the audience more than just a taste of the complex psychosocial factors that can lead a person to become addicted to starvation. She painted a picture of how anorexia can be a resource and “a friend,” and how challenging banishing that friend can be.  Dr. Pouneh Fazeli, a renowned physician-researcher on eating disorders from Massachusetts General Hospital, followed our medical student speaker. Dr. Fazeli’s lecture addressed some of the biological complexities of anorexia, including its impact on the hormones and bones.  Third to speak were members of Dartmouth’s Eating Consultation Team who shared information about the services they provide on our campus as well as some statistics about the true prevalence of eating disorders.  The spirit of last night’s program drove home the important message that anorexia, and mental disorders in general, is not a choice. Rather it is the visible manifestation of a complex array of psychosocial factors, which interact to produce a biological disorder that can be as severe as any disease and derives special danger from its misunderstanding and underappreciation.