Categories
Appearance Mental Health

6 Eating Disorder Myths Debunked

It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so we thought we would bring you a whole bunch of super important stuff you need to know about eating disorders. Did you know that approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder (Beat, 2020)? Well we think it’s super important that anyone going through something like this deserves respect and understanding, which is why we have decided to tackle the top 6 myths about eating disorders, and why they are wrong. 

1) “Only girls get them”

Not true. Anyone of any age, race, gender, or background can develop an eating disorder. In fact, about a quarter of all people who get one are guys. Sure, there may be more girls that get them in the statistics, but that could be down to many things, including the fact people notice them more in girls anyway.  

2) “They are because of skinny celebrities and influencers” 

Sure, societal factors might play a role in disordered eating for some people, but not everyone’s disorder is caused by the same factors. Also, disordered eating can be caused by serious mental wellbeing issues that are much more complicated than looking at photos of slim people on Instagram. Again, these can be triggering, but not necessarily the entire reason. 

3) “It’s only for attention” 

A lot of the time, attention is the last thing on someone’s mind when they have an eating disorder. There can be so many reasons to develop disordered eating, but one thing is for sure: being desperate to be centre of attention is not one of them. 

4) “You have to look a certain way to have an eating disorder” 

This one is a big one. Eating disorders can literally come in so many different combinations that someone could potentially have an eating disorder for years without ever “looking like they have one”. In fact, it’s pretty likely that the numbers of people suffering with an eating disorder are actually much higher than we think, because of the number of people living with one that has gone undiagnosed.

5) “Only teenagers get eating disorders”

Like we said above, anyone of any age, race, gender or background can develop disordered eating patterns. Whilst the majority of those diagnosed are in the 14-25 age bracket (Anorexia and Bulimia Care, 2020), this doesn’t mean that these are the only people who can develop one. 

6) “Eating disorders are a choice”  

This last one might be one of the most important to remember, especially if someone you love is currently living with an eating disorder. They are absolutely categorically positively NOT a choice. Sometimes, when someone we love is living with disordered eating, their behaviour can change dramatically, and they can often be aggressive, withdrawn, or manic. This is their eating disorder talking, and they are not actually making these behavioural choices. They just might need a little help, and that’s OK.

If you need to talk to someone about this or anything else that might be bothering you, reach out to our community here for confidential support and advice.

RSS FORUM CHATS

  • My friend's LGBTQ+ and so am I, but he doesn't know I am.
    Should I tell him, or not. I feel like if I tell him I would be forced into a relationship with him, which I don't really want. Thought?
  • Hi
    Hi my name is Sasha. I’m 18 years about to 19. Recently I have been harass on social media and being accused by 3 usernames and it really hurts and I am here to tell my story.
  • idk what to do?
    Hi sorry i haven´t been on here fora while but my parents wont let me hang out wit my friends im in summer school and i have no one to love.
  • So having a hair problem rn
    On one side if the coin I wanna grow my hair out so I can tie it up except this will wreck the blondes .. on the other half I want to have it short (kinda like a short back and sides?) For context I'm a trans guy and this has go be decided before […]
  • I've been thinking about this awhile...
    For a very, very long time, I have been struggling with my mental health and I have parents that don't really notice that I'm struggling and have unintentionally have prevented me from getting therapy and made it worse sometimes. Thankfully we have a psychiatrist at my school, unfornately I'm anxious to talk to them about […]
  • I don’t know how to tell my parents I’m Bisexual, Asexual, and Demi-Girl. I feel as if they would kick me out if I told them. Should I wait a couple of years????
    I’ve found this out a year a go and have been happy using these labels but the only thing is my parents don’t know… how do I tell them??? They act homophobic to my friends a lot. I have one friend who I thought was trans but turns out they were just Genderfluid and my […]