A Social Media Site that Can Help You Recover
It can be hard for anyone suffering from an eating disorder to log into Facebook or Instagram and see images of what their friends are having for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Social media sites have allowed us to share a lot of information about ourselves with our friends and sometimes even strangers. Sharing details about our lives, such as what we are eating for the day, may seem harmless, but it can be a huge trigger for someone looking to recover from an eating disorder.
Popular Social Media Sites Can Hinder Recovery
According to a Huffington Post article, Facebook users have an increased level of self-consciousness about body image and weight. The article suggests Facebook and other social media sites pressure users to look and live their lives a certain way. People are now more than ever constantly aware of their appearance, often comparing themselves to other users on these sites. Comparing yourself to others can cause your self-esteem to lower and may even lead to feelings of depression.
Facebook is not the only social media site that perpetuates body image issues and eating disorders. Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest have seen a rise in trends that actually encourage unhealthy weight management. The "thinspiration" community on these sites encourages users to lose weight in unhealthy ways, which can be damaging to the body. "Pro-Ana" (pro-anorexia) and "Pro-Mia" (pro-bulimia) are search trends that anyone can use to look up pictures of other women and men who suffer from eating disorders and to get advice on how to successfully keep an eating disorder. For anyone looking to recover from an eating disorder, the "thinspiration" community can lead to relapse.
A Social Media Site that Can Help You Recover
With that being said, not all social media sites are bad. There are many websites that provide a supportive community for eating disorder recovery. Online support communities, like SupportGroups.com, offer people the support and advice they need while trying to recover. One of the most important things to remember is that someone looking to recover from an eating disorder needs support and words of encouragement. A support community can provide a network of friends who connect with one another in a positive way. Recovering from an eating disorder with someone who is going through the same journey can be easier than doing it by yourself. This is a good way to stay positive and keep yourself encouraged and on the path to recovery.
The Choice to Remain Anonymous
One of the benefits of joining an online support group is that you can remain anonymous, allowing you to talk openly about your issues and ask for advice without having to attend a scheduled support group meeting. This convenience can be very helpful for someone who is not comfortable with speaking in front of others. Talking to a large crowd about your personal issues and something as serious as an eating disorder can be a very emotional experience, so an online forum allows for a less stressful situation. It is a practical forum that can be used at any time of the day. Instead of having to wait around for your next group meeting in order to get your questions answered, you can easily log in and ask away.
An Important Tool for Recovery
Support groups can be an important part of the treatment process when recovering from an eating disorder. It’s always easier to hear advice from someone who can identify with you and is familiar with what you are going through. It helps to prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing you with a group of people who are there for them when you need them. You can learn about the different treatment options that are available to you and even hear about experiences others have had with them. Although a support group should never take the place of professional medical advice, it is a good tool to have when trying to recover.
A Judgement-Free Zone
A support group is free of judgment, where you can be honest and even remain anonymous if you choose, all while looking for advice on an issue you might have. The people who join support groups are people who, like you, might need help with an issue and can find solace in giving advice to others as well. It’s a win-win situation in which both the adviser and advisee gain satisfaction. Satisfaction comes from expressing yourself freely and helping another person in need. Sometimes a few kind words of encouragement can mean the world to you, even if they are from a stranger.