“There is so much more to Eating Disorders than just weight.”
Let us just get one thing straight. Eating Disorders are not solely about weight. Weight loss can be a SYMPTOM albeit a dangerous one. It is a Mental Illness with physical side effects. Body Dysmorphia Disorder often coincides with Eating Disorders and it is for this reason that suffers will continually see themselves as fat when this is often far from the truth. There are MANY Eating Disorders. Most people have only heard of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa but there is also Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), Binge Eating Disorder, Anorexia purging subtype, A – typical Anorexia and Binge Eating Disorder (BED) to name but a few. There is also a common misconception that sufferers must look emaciated or underweight to be suffering. This is not the case. You can have an Eating Disorder at ANY weight. And believe me, the struggle does not end when weight restoration is achieved. This misconception often prevents people from seeking help sooner. They may feel they are not ‘sick enough’ or are afraid that they will not be believed.
Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate among all mental illnesses. 20% of sufferers will die prematurely and only 30% will fully recover. This is why they are so serious. I believe it is important to raise awareness, to show people the severity of these diseases and to encourage people to seek help. Eating Disorders are not about vanity or the result of a diet gone wrong. They are serious psychiatric conditions that cause immense pain and anguish and require intensive long term treatment.
Thanks for reading.