What We Wish People Knew About Eating Disorders

Promoting eating disorder awareness and recovery
March 4, 2017 Mariana 0 Comments

As Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to an end, I have gathered some of the truths people with eating disorders wish others knew. Debunking myths about eating disorders is a commitment I strive to continue pursuing in the hopes of creating a society, culture, and communities where people with eating disorders feel safe and supported in disclosing their struggles, asking for help, and receiving treatment. I encourage you to share this information with others to increase awareness and debunk myths about eating disorders.

“It isn’t a vanity issue.”

“Recovery is hard, and worth it.”

“They affect people of all sizes, races, ages, genders, and socioeconomic statuses.”

“80% of people never receive treatment.”

“I didn’t choose this- eating disorders can be hereditary.”

“It’s not for attention.”

“They have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.”

“Most people with eating disorders are not underweight.”

“Binging or overeating cause the brain to release dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter) and opioids (the active ingredient in heroin, cocaine and other narcotics). This chemical release makes disordered eating literally addictive. “

“People who look normal have eating disorders too.”

“You can die from an eating disorder even if you are normal or overweight.”

“Recovery is about understanding how I use food or a lack of food to cope with emotions- like how people use drugs and alcohol to numb their feelings.”

“You can’t always tell who has an eating disorder, it’s like an invisible illness.”

“People with eating disorders are people too.”

“There are many types of eating disorders.”

“Straight guys have eating disorders too.”

“Over exercising and not eating enough can be very harmful-dehydration, fatigue, stress fractures, cartilage damage, osteoporosis, amenorrhea, heart problems and arthritis.”

“You cannot tell how bad a person’s eating disorder is by their size.”

“Some eating disorders have nothing to do with weight.”

“People who desperately need help look a lot like people who don’t need help.”

“It’s not a diet.”

“Achieving a normal weight doesn’t mean I am cured.”

“Full recovery is possible, I will get there.”

“Recovery is possible for anyone and everyone, but it isn’t something anyone else can do for you. When I was in the depths of my illness I told myself there was no way I could recover unless I was forcibly admitted and had a tube shoved down my nose; anything less than that meant my illness was never valid in the first place. But that was just a lie the anorexia told me to keep me trapped. That was just a part of the sick, competitive game that is so deeply intertwined with eating disorders. The truth was that I didn’t need IV poles, NG tubes, or hospital walls to prove to the world, or myself, that I was sick. The truth was that I didn’t need to prove my sickness at all. I just needed to recover, and I needed to do it for ME. I knew misery of the illness and that had to become justification enough to fight like hell for my freedom, whether others could appreciate it or not. Convincing the world around me that I’m sick or special was just a symptom of this terrible illness. I would much rather be seen as happy, functional, grown up, responsible, intelligent, interesting… I strive to be so many more adjectives than anorexia ever gave me and, slowly but surely, I am getting there.” -Kara, @recovery.chii

Leave a Reply:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *