Misunderstanding when it comes to mental health usually affects the way people respond as well as creating mental health stigma. It’s important to know the true facts and figures when it comes to mental illnesses like eating disorders. This improves prevention, early identification and helps others seek help.
Below are the 5 myths that I have come across during my own battle with eating disorders and they frustrated me so much and hindered me in my recovery that I believe they deserve to be highlighted so that others do not use these myths.
- Myth 1: “You need to be thin in order to have an eating disorder.” Eating disorders are a psychological disorder and are defined by an abnormal ATTITUDE towards food. The most common eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, bulimia and binge eating. You can not tell whether a person has an eating disorder by looking at their size. I was overweight when I developed Anorexia Nervosa, which meant I had to lose nearly 4 stone in 10 months without having access to any help.
- Myth 2: “Eating disorders are not serious.” Eating disorders are serious and potentially life threatening mental illnesses. Eating disorders not only involve psychological impairment and distress, but they are also associated with serious medical complications. The mortality rate for eating disorders is the highest of all psychiatric illnesses.
- Myth 3: “Eating disorders are a phase.” An eating disorder is a serious mental illness. It is not a phase and it will not be resolved without treatment and support. There is an average of approximately 4 years between the start of disordered eating behaviours and first treatment.
- Myth 4: “If people with eating disorders would just eat, they would get better.” Eating disorders are not solely about food. Healthy eating habits are essential to recovery, but eating normally is not the only solution.
- Myth 5: “Only women can be affected by eating disorders.” Women are not the only ones who can suffer from eating disorders. In fact, the latest information states that 1 in 4 cases of eating disorders affect men.
Please bear in mind the true facts of eating disorder and help dismantle the myths. Myths can lead to serious misunderstanding and judgement when it comes to our mental illnesses.
Please be disorder aware and support those who may be suffering.
Have a beautiful day ❤