The week is almost over, and that means that Eating Disorder Awareness Week of 2015 is coming to an end. As a last post, we’re going to list ten things that are important to know concerning eating disorders.
1. The term ”eating disorder” is not a synonym for skinny. You can’t just spot the person with disordered eating by finding the skinniest person in the room.
2. There are more eating disorders than anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. There are binge eating disorder, orthorexia, pica, and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specific) to name a few others. One eating disorder is never like another and therefore there are endless eating disorders out there, whether they have an official name or not.
3. It’s not a young, white girl’s disease. An eating disorder does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, race, sexuality, age, religious beliefs, etc. ANYONE can develop an eating disorder just like anyone can catch the flu.
4. An eating disorder is not a diet, life style choice or a ”quick fix”. One does not develop an eating disorder to lose a few pounds, to tone up or to get ready for beach season. It’s a serious medical condition that can, and does have dangerous side effects.
5. The eating disorder becomes an addiction. When engaging in the disordered behaviours, one experiences a sudden ”rush”, almost a ”high”, and a sense of control. Going against the eating disorder is practically unthinkable and scares the living shit out of the person. This means that whilst it might seem so unimaginable to you that someone would be doing what they’re doing to themselves, it makes perfect sense to the individual – despite the fact that there’s not really any logic in an eating disorder to the naked eye.
6. An eating disordered person isn’t looking for you to ”save” them. Whether they know they have an illness or not, it’s important to let them deal with it in their own time. Trying to push them towards recovery or treatment too quickly can backfire completely. I’m not saying to do nothing and let them remain sick, helping them in the right direction is good, but be careful and keep it at a pace that they can handle.
7. You can’t possibly understand. Just like someone who has never broken a bone cannot possibly imagine the pain that comes with it, a person who has never struggled with a eating disorder cannot possibly begin to imagine what it’s like. So don’t be that person that goes ”yeah, I tried it for a week, I know what you’re going through”. No. You do not.
8. Just becomes someone is eating ”normally” and looks ”normal” again, it doesn’t mean they are recovered. That’s just one part of recovery. Recovery takes a very long time; it can take years.
9. Relapse is a part of recovery. The road to a life free from an eating disorder is filled with bumps and this means that the individual may seem to be recovering for a while, and then out of nowhere they are back to disordered behaviours. This is a part of the recovery process – without falling down, how will you learn to get back up?
10. It is possible to recover. Despite how dark and impossible life can seem right now, recovery is possible. A life free from an eating disorder is possible.
The following links contain posts about eating disorders in a more ”humorous” way rather than the typical informative way to talk about them. With that said, eating disorders are nothing to make fun of, but the posts are sent in by sufferers in an attempt to think about their eating disorder in a different light to try to make recovery seem easier. The first one is mean to be sarcastic whilst the second contains posts that sufferers tend to be able to relate to. http://disorderedfacts.tumblr.com/ http://edrecoveryproblems.tumblr.com/tagged/gif+post