I’d say a lot of people who suffer from an ED will turn away getting help because they feel like they are not skinny enough for it. Despite the emotional, physical and psychological pain their ED may cause- if they are not at a BMI of say 15 or less, they may turn down help due to embarrassment. It’s awful that people feel this way, and it takes great strength to seek help for an eating disorder when you are not underweight.
I know I would feel stupid coming forward and asking for help for my ED. Why? People will be confused, and would probably label me as an attention seeker. Why would I need help if I’m not skinny? How can I have an eating disorder when I look normal?
There are myths that people have about those with eating disorders. Myths taught to them by TV, eccentric magazine articles and other sources. I guess I can’t blame the public for being so misinformed about eating disorders. I was like that, too. They’ll get half the story of an AN sufferer. Only the juicy bits that the journalists feel will evoke the biggest reaction from the readers. Anything else is swept away, and forgotten.
You’ll hear the stories of anorexia nervosa sufferers, claiming to have not eaten in 3 weeks. Claiming to have quit drinking water, exercising 8 hours a day and being on the verge of death. Those stories do hold some truth, but the fact that the public is only made aware of these extreme cases of AN makes the rest of the AN sufferers seem…insignificant. The public wears blinkers. If someone is not severely underweight, if someone is eating (people think those with AN are on some kind of never-ending fast, the fuck?)- then someone can’t have AN. Case closed, brushed aside.
This misinformation is not necessarily the public’s fault. I mean, they believe what they read. Who is really going to do extensive research on EDs? Who really cares? I shouldn’t be mad, but I am.
The fear of judgment some of us feel will stop us from getting help. Fearing not being taken seriously, being laughed at, called an attention seeker, being told we’re not AN, we’re not skinny enough to be, we eat too much to be, we aren’t good enough to be, we aren’t. I’m merely speaking for myself and maybe one or two of my MPA friends. I’m not saying all of those with an ED feel this way.
This is the main reason I do not want help. I’m simply not skinny enough for it. I’m not a severe case of AN, I don’t even have bulimia, I am like… I don’t know what I am. I’m embarrassed. Too embarrassed to come forward and say I have an ED because I sure as hell don’t look like I have one.
The funny thing is though, those with EDs almost always start out at a normal weight/overweight. Their ED is there. The public will only really see it once it becomes “severe enough” to be seen. And then people act all confused, shocked, and hurt.
The closed minded nature of misinformed people have made EDs taboo.
DISCLAIMER: I am not generalizing. I am speaking from my own personal experience.
it’s okay to eat. whenever. whatever. what you’re craving, when you’re hungry, when you’re not hungry, when you just want to snack, when you want peanut butter from the jar, when you want a bowl of cereal at 11pm on a friday or a bowl of vegetables for dessert. listen to your body. it’s smart and knows what it wants and acts from a place of survival to help you live. it doesn’t act from a place of meal prep, calorie planning, “saving calories,” restriction, or negative, disordered thoughts. your body wants to protect you and keep you alive and by eating, you’re allowing it to do its job. eat. live. fuel. energy. nourishment. power. strength.