Four Myths to Dispel Regarding Eating Disorders

Four Myths to Dispel Regarding Eating Disorders

There are numerous myths around eating disorders, just like there are for the majority, if not all, mental illnesses. If you don't know someone who has experienced an eating disorder, you may only have ideas from TV shows and movies. Media outlets do not often portray eating disorders realistically, despite the importance of drawing attention to such serious and intricate illnesses. They are frequently overstated and only employed as story devices or, even worse, as a joke. Here are some out-of-date misconceptions regarding eating disorders that you must dispel.They will help you understand how eating disorders influence the affected person's life.


1. Eating Disorders Are Lifestyle Choices And A Matter Of Self-Image

Eating disorders are a type of mental illness that develops due to serious underlying factors. They are a type of mental health problem like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression and are not a lifestyle choice. People do not choose to develop eating disorders; rather, they are driven to engage in the self-destructive practices associated with disorders by serious underlying pathological reasons. Hence, taking time to talk to a therapist about an eating disorder is advisable. Social, environmental, and genetic variables influence the emergence of eating disorders. The environmental and social elements linked to eating disorders include interpersonal problems, previous trauma, low self-esteem, co-occurring mental health illnesses, abuse, substance misuse disorders, and bad family and personal connections.

2. The Only Severe Eating Disorder Is Anorexia

Researchers discovered that bulimia & EDNOS (now OSFED) had mortality rates nearly as high as those observed in anorexia nervosa when they looked at the death rates of those with any eating disorder diagnosis who were receiving outpatient treatment. Approximately 1 in 20 eating disorder sufferers during the research died due to their illness. Due to electrolyte imbalances, people who overuse laxatives and diuretics or make themselves vomit are much more likely to die suddenly from heart attacks. Through increased bodily stress, excessive exercise can potentially raise the mortality risk in people with eating disorders.

3. Glancing At Someone Can Reveal If They Have An Eating Disorder

Eating disorder sufferers may be underweight, average-weight, or overweight. There's a good chance you know several individuals with eating disorders, but you are completely unaware of their condition. You may have dinner with them without seeing anything odd. People having eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes, while some may appear completely healthy on the outside yet actually be very ill. Additionally, many eating disorders can affect the body in various ways. Only anorexia nervosa, one of the most common eating disorders, considers weight a defining factor.

4. Recovery From Eating Disorders Is Impossible

Another misconception is that recovering from eating disorders is impossible because many people do. A solid recovery plan must include specialized care and a robust support network. While healing may occasionally take months or even years, it is always possible. Additional mental health issues that need to be addressed in treatment for those with eating disorders include: -

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Borderline Psychological Disorder
  • Mood Disorders
  • Substance use disorder

Talk to a therapist about an eating disorder might be challenging if you suspect that you or a loved one has an eating disorder. However, people with eating problems must consult a physician and weigh their treatment alternatives early.