When it comes to mental health issues, there are a lot of misconceptions fueled by the media and dramatizations on television. And general social acceptance of these myths makes illnesses like eating disorders that more powerful.
Removing the stigma and debunking the myths needs to happen so that we can create a more supportive environment for anyone that is suffering to be able to seek the treatment they deserve without judgment.
That’s why we’re here to debunk five myths about eating disorders that you might not have realized were even myths to begin with!
1. Eating disorders are a choice
A lot of people think that eating disorders are simply developed through choice when someone ‘decides’ that they want to stop eating or bingeing. These same people assume that as soon as someone ‘wanted’ to start eating again, they could – thereby making the ball very much in their court.
Eating disorders are actually very serious psychiatric conditions that can be triggered or exacerbated by genetic, environmental, and social factors. However, they can be treated with the proper support. For example, learning about the psychology of weight loss motivation helps people to make healthier choices.
2. Eating disorders are caused by parents
Many people believe that neglect or hereditary factors cause eating disorders.
There is no one straightforward reason as to why someone develops an eating disorder, but the parents shouldn’t be immediately blamed – they’re certainly not a direct cause. That said, some eating disorders are caused by biological patterns, or at least genetics can increase the likelihood of someone developing a condition. It is always a good idea to involve parents and relatives in the treatment process, as this can improve the chances of an individual fully recovering. More information regarding treatment for eating disorders can be found at edentreatment.com.
3. Pretty much everyone has an eating disorder these days
With so many tv shows dramatizing them and people generally feeling more conscious about their bodies thanks to unrealistic images found on social media, it can be easy to think everyone who feels conscious about their weight ‘has an eating disorder’.
People being obsessed with food, dieting, and weight is nothing new. It’s very common for these habits to develop, as is disordered eating. However, an eating disorder is a psychological illness, and clinical eating disorders are not as common as you think.
4. They’re not that serious
If you already think eating disorders are common, you might also think they’re not that serious.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, have one of the highest mortality rates in mental illnesses. Those suffering can not only experience long-term, irreversible damage and physical complications like cardiac arrest, kidney failure, and osteoporosis; they can also seriously struggle with suicidal thoughts and urges.
5. Recovery takes forever
Recovering from an eating disorder can seem terrifying for those suffering, as there is a misconception that the process takes forever.
With the right support and professional help, many individuals can go on to have a fully successful recovery. Not everyone will fully recover, but a lot of people can improve significantly with practices in place.