People with eating disorders don’t go walking around with signs that tell you they binge, binge and purge, or simply don’t eat at all. They could be anyone. They could be that fitness guru you’ve been watching YouTube videos of. They could be the bodybuilder in your gym. They could be that average-weight cheerleader that you admire. Who knows if you have an eating disorder, only that you don’t understand fully what it is?
If you visit treatment centers for bulimia in Westport, Connecticut, you’ll realize that a lot of these people look normal and average. That’s the thing about misconceptions. They give you a false understanding of the situation. They blind you to the truth—that eating disorders affect a wide range of people.
Underweight People Have Eating Disorders
How many times do celebrities have to explain themselves to their fans? You see someone who’s unusually thin on Instagram, and before you know it, people are calling out this celebrity for being anorexic or bulimic. Do you even know what these terms mean? When people are underweight, it doesn’t mean that they are suffering from a medical condition. Being underweight or thin is not a sign of an eating disorder. People with eating disorders come in different sizes and shapes. You’ll be surprised to know that some of them are of average weight.
Teenage Girls Are the Ones Who Suffer from Eating Disorders the Most
There is some grain of truth to this, though it has to be put in context. As mentioned above, eating disorders affect people of all shapes and sizes. But yes, it is more prevalent in teenage girls and younger women because of the body-shaming culture that they have to grow up in. Women who are slightly overweight are more criticized than men in the same category. It has to be clear, though, that eating disorders affect everyone—from children to senior adults, as well as men and women.
Vanity Leads to Eating Disorders
You’ll be surprised to know that vanity has nothing to do with eating disorders. In fact, people with eating disorders are often insecure about the way they look. They try to cover up their discomfort by not eating or eating too much. Studies show that biological factors can be a factor in why people develop eating disorders, which, coincidentally, also occurs along with depression, anxiety, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive behavior.
People Should Snap out of an Eating Disorder
Much like depression, eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are mental health problems. No one chooses to have an eating disorder. It is part of a person’s psyche to develop such a disorder. People cannot snap out of it. This isn’t a heartbreak that you can brush off after drinking all night with your buddies. “Snapping out” of an eating disorder is a process.
If you are or a friend is suffering from an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to seek help. Open up to your loved ones. Attend a therapy session. The first step is always the hardest to take. But once you’re done with that first step, the next ones are hopefully going to be easier.