There has been a lot of publicity about eating disorders, but there has been a lot of misinformation given out as well. Are you aware of these dangerous myths concerning eating disorders? If you know someone with an eating disorder or struggle with an eating disorder yourself, make sure you know the facts. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about eating disorders.
Only Women Get Eating Disorders
Though women seem to get eating disorders more than men do, it is important to remember that men can also have issues with eating and body image. Men can also be prey to the loss of self-worth and the disorder that creates an eating disorder, and though they might express it differently, men can absolutely have issues with their attitudes towards food and the way they look.
You Cannot Have an Eating Disorder If You Are Overweight
An eating disorder is a mental illness. Just like a person can be tall or short and still have depression, people of every size can struggle with things like anorexia or bulimia. Overweight people can still struggle with disordered eating, whether that includes bulimia, overeating, or a food addiction. Consult the 15 step guide by Delray Recovery Center for more information on recovering from your eating disorder or addiction.
Only Teenagers Struggle with Disordered Eating
Teenagers are not the only ones who get eating disorders; they simply are the ones most commonly portrayed as having an eating problems. Older people may develop eating disorders at stressed points in their life, especially if they have had an eating disorder in their past.
Very Few People Have Eating Disorders
While very few people might match the criteria for the textbook definitions of anorexia or bulimia, people have long agreed that these definitions are limited. There are many ways that eating disorders manifest themselves, and as more and more studies come out, we’re seeing that the issue is a lot more prevalent than previously thought. If you know someone who struggles with their eating habits, be supportive. Treat them as a human being and encourage them to get help. Never try to be the doctor yourself.
People With Body Image and Eating Issues Are Vain
People with eating disorders are not vain. They have a mental disorder. This disorder causes behaviors that are harmful as person tries desperately to force themselves to match an ideal image that is unattainable. They are not eating inappropriately because they are vain; they are are experiencing a mental disorder in the way that they relate to their bodies.
The truth of the matter is that eating disorders are real, they can affect anyone, and they are dangerous. Make sure that you understand this issue and that you understand what an eating disorder can do to you or a loved one. Think about the people that you know, and remember that eating disorders are pervasive and often hidden.