‘I wasn’t prepared for anything; I was afraid’: Rochester man shares his story of recovery from eating disorder

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Santo Caruana’s life quickly changed at a young age. As a teen he was going through a rough time and his family and teachers noticed some changes. 

“My story started when I was 15, I was a sophomore in high school.” 

He was eventually diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. 

“I was kind of thrusted into a world that I knew nothing about honestly. I wasn’t prepared for anything; I was afraid,” he said. 

Santo soon realized the lack of information surrounding the illness. 

“I got a lot of that knowledge from the treatment and the centers that I attended. When it came to the classes and those topics and those units, I was like a lot of this information is outdated. There’s not enough of it and none of it is accurate whatsoever,” said Caruana. 

Not to mention the stigmas associated with anorexia and other eating disorders. According to The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, nine percent of the population worldwide is affected by an eating disorder. 

“I’m living proof that that’s wrong because it doesn’t affect one population. It doesn’t discriminate, you can be whatever age, whatever size, whatever ethnicity, it does not discriminate, and everyone can be at risk for it,” said Caruana. 

Which is why he said initiatives like National Eating Disorder Awareness week are really important. So he is sharing his story. 

“I’ve had a few bumps in the road. But all the resources that I received and all of the treatment that I had, it was able to help me and progress in my recovery and get me to where I am now.” 

He wants people to know they’re not alone and there is help out there. 

“For those who are listening and who are struggling, treatment is something that can really help. There are resources that you are able to access that really benefit you in so many ways and to finally take that step and take that risk and try it.” 

Santo attends the University at Buffalo. 

He said he wants to go into the health care field and help others just like the nurses and doctors who helped him when he was struggling. 

For more information on anorexia and other eating disorders click here. For resources from the Western New York Comprehensive Care Center for Eating Disorders, click here.