Bear in mind she’s trying to kill you. Bear in mind you have a life to live."
MYTH: Eating disorders are an attempt to keep up with the media’s idea of beauty.
TRUTH: While the media’s ideas of beauty are damaging to self esteem, they are not the sole cause of eating disorders. eating disorders are complex mental disorders that often stem from MYTH: All people with eating disorders are visibly underweight.
TRUTH: people with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, and your weight is not a reflection of how sick you are. Additionally, being at a stable weight but still being symptomatic does not mean that you are healthy or that your body is no longer at risk.
MYTH: If you have anorexia, you have bulimia.
TRUTH: While it is common for peoples’ symptoms to change, some people do only suffer from one type of eating disorder symptom.
MYTH: Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) is not as serious as anorexia or bulimia.
FACT: People, even doctors tend to treat EDNOS as the “throw all” category. It’s not quite anorexia, not quite bulimia, normally because of a diagnostic specific like weight or menstrual cycle. It is just as dangerous as anorexia or bulimia. EDNOS includes symptoms of restriction, purging, bingeing, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse, overexercising, chewing and spitting, etc.
MYTH: People with Bulimia throw up after everything they eat.
TRUTH: The definition of bulimia is to binge (or eat large quantities of food until overly full) and then purge. Purging includes vomiting, abuse of laxatives, over-exercise, or starving oneself following a binge.
MYTH: Eating disorders are all about appearance and thus all sufferers are selfish and vain.
TRUTH: Eating disorders are very complex. They often stem from anxiety, trauma, self esteem, and control.
MYTH: People with eating disorders are on diets, and they can chose to stop any time they want.
TRUTH: Eating disorders have been proven to be addictions, much like drugs and alcohol. It’s not something one can just “choose” to stop. After being immersed in the disorder, the brain becomes malnourished, and sufferers often forget what normal eating is.
MYTH: Telling someone with an eating disorder “but you’re so skinny!” is helpful.
TRUTH: Making ANY comment about someone with an eating disorder’s appearance, be it “you’re skinny, too skinny, look healthy” is hurtful. No matter what you say, if one is in the disordered state of mind, they will internalize it as a negative thing. The best thing to do is not to make comments at all, and if prompted to say something along the lines of “you know what I think and saying it isn’t going to help either of us.”
MYTH: Eating disorders only affect middle-class young white women.
FACT: Eating disorders do not discriminate based on ethnicity or social class.
MYTH: All overeaters are obese/overweight.
FACT: It is common for someone attempting to recover from anorexia to slip into over-eating once they regain the weight. They may stay this way but their weight might remain stable.
MYTH: Once someone goes through a treatment program/gains weight they are all better.
FACT: Eating disorders are not “cured” once weight is gained, the thoughts and emotions are still there and recovery can take many years. Recovery is a process, not an event.”
MYTH: Men don’t have eating disorders/only gay men have eating disorders.
FACT: About 10% of people with eating disorders are men, and sexuality has nothing to do with it.
MYTH: People with anorexia don’t eat anything at all.
FACT: People with anorexia don’t eat enough to nourish their bodies. They may eat very little so that their body goes into starvation mode.
MYTH: People with eating disorders are stupid and don’t know what affects they are having on their bodies.
FACT: People with eating disorders DO know, however the addiction overpowers logic.