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Eating disorder myths

 

Eating disorder myths are hard to fight since many
uninformed doctors, therapists and magazines give out false information. The
Victorian
prides itself with having doctors, therapists, counselors and support
staff members who are constantly being exposed to the newest research from the eating
disorder
field. Today we will try to shine some light on the most common myths.

 

 

Myth #1. “Eating disorders stem from vanity, media and
culture.”

False. Eating disorders are TRIGGERED by vanity, m

eating disorder myths

edia and culture, but it is actually a genetic disease. Much like alcoholism or
depression which has been found to be genetic, those with eating disorders have
the genetic chemistry to develop an eating disorder more so than others.
Whether or not this genetic disease develops into a full blown eating disorder
has to do with family dynamics, values and life experience. This is why some
people end up in eating disorder treatment and others don’t but say, “I can
tell I could definitely develop an eating disorder if I’m not careful.
Therefore I have to check in with myself and my emotions before I do or don’t
eat a meal.”

 

Myth #2. “Eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia.”

False. Eating disorders are not only anorexia and bulimia,
but are also compulsive overeating and obesity. Compulsive overeating (which causes
obesity) is triggered from the same part of the brain that anorexia and bulimia
is. As well, many anorexics, bulimics and compulsive overeaters cycle in and
out of each disease. My own eating disorder started with anorexia. I finally
was so mal nourished that I would starve and then binge, but  I was ashamed so I would purge the food. Then
my restricting got so bad that when I did have food I couldn’t control myself
and just started binging and then back to anorexia. This is why Overeaters
Anonymous welcomes “all people struggling with food.” Everyone at those
meetings has the same thinking and struggles around food.

 

Myth #3. “90 days of eating disorder treatment and rehab
will fix an eating disorder.”

False. Eating disorder treatment and rehab introduce the
client to new behaviors, thinking and coping skills in order to manage their
eating disorder. At  The Victorian we
tell our clients that they will “Forever be in recovery.” Much like an
individual with cancer or diabetes, one must always watch their actions,
behaviors and diet in order to maintain recovery. Life changes like moving,
marriage, children or job changes can trigger a relapse. This is why it is
vital that someone in eating disorder recovery has a strong network of othereating disorder survivors and perhaps a therapist to help them cope with big
life changes.

 

Myth #4. “You’re only anorexic if you fall under 90 lbs.”

False. A misconception by many eating disorder sufferers and
doctors is that people need to “look” malnourished or weigh in in the “double
digits.” Though some may fall into one or both of these categories, anorexia is
defined as the “deprivation of food.
” Whether or not someone has the bone structure
or weight that shows the cookie cutter anorexic depends on their own body. If you
know you restrict food or suspect someone does, you need to offer them help and
support as soon as possible. One of the deadly things about eating disorders is
that they convince the sufferer that they don’t have a disease at all.  

Myth #5. “Only young teenage girls develop eating
disorders
.”

False. It is within the teenage years that people tend to
EXPERIMENT more often with eating disorders, but eating disorders affect many
demographics and both genders. Women are 10 times more likely to develop an
eating disorder than men, however there are more than 1 million men in the USA
suffering from eating disorders (and 9 million women.) Many professional
athletes develop eating disorders due to intense workouts and training that
cause them to binge and then deprive. Women and men have been known to develop eating
disorders
at mid life in their 40’s and some develop them as young as 8 years
old. If you have the disease and get triggered by your environment  your pretty much lined up to take a hit of
this disease. 

We hope that this blog erased some of the inaccurate information you have been given. Check back next week for the latest eating disorder news, research and support!

 

Happy Recovery!

Irvina