It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which isn’t something to celebrate, but something to talk about. Let’s talk about some harmful misconceptions perpetuated about eating disorders and spread the truth about these devastating illnesses.
Myth: Anorexia is just a diet that went too far.
Fact: Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that one can’t just snap out of. They aren’t a choice like a diet. Someone who took their diet too far can easily gain weight and be back where they need to be, someone with anorexia has a debilitating fear of gaining weight.
Myth: You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them.
Fact: People with eating disorders come in all kinds of bodies. For one, there are a few types of eating disorders and not all of them can result in weight loss. No one is too fat, too thin, too fit or too “perfect looking” to have an eating disorder.
Myth: Anorexia and Bulimia are the only kinds of ED.
Fact: Nope. There are other eating disorders like binge eating disorder and pica, as well as EDNOS which is prevalent and impossible to define.
Myth: Only rich white teenage girls get eating disorders.
Fact: Eating disorders happen to boys, older people, younger people and people of all races and socioeconomic classes. It’s so screwy to think just rich white girls get it because it makes it difficult for others to seek treatment.
Myth: ED are caused because girls want to be skinny like models/need attention/want to spite their parents/are vain.
Fact: Eating disorders do not have one root cause, more and more researchers believe there is a genetic component involved as well.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, there is hope for recovery. Please seek help right away from a professional.
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