Proud2Bme | Mythbusters: The Eating Disorder Edition

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Mythbusters: The Eating Disorder Edition

By Wendy York--Eating disorders are very serious conditions and, having lived with one of my own, I can attest to the misery and loneliness they bring about.

I wanted to touch on a few key points that are often misunderstood by those who haven’t been affected by an ED.

  1. There is not just one body type for a person with an eating disorder. Just like all other human beings, people with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. The size of the person does not define the seriousness of their disorder. Every individual with an eating disorder is suffering and that pain is valid no matter what.
  2. Desire for the “ideal body” is by no means the single cause of an eating disorder. Body image is definitely a very relevant topic when it comes to any ED, but most of the time the deeper problems are far more complex. Internalized issues are pushed away when obsessing over food and body image seems easier on some level.  Eating disorders are an unhealthy coping skill, a method of escape from reality.  
  3. An eating disorder is not a choice. It is a mental illness. While it may be easy for a person with healthy eating habits to treat themselves to dessert once in a while, for someone with an eating disorder, such experiences can be terrifying. Try to be sensitive to people with fear of food and learn how you can support them during stressful times (such as meals).
  4. Refusal to eat is not the only behavior that signifies an eating disorder. Again, they are very complex disorders and they implement themselves differently in each person. Much of the time, they are manifested in obsession with food and ritualistic tendencies toward meals and exercise.
  5. Because eating disorders are so internal, it isn’t always easy to know whether or not someone has one. The mental battle is not always visible on the outside. These disorders are painfully isolating and if you or someone you love is speculating the possibility, visit to find out. It is one of many resources that can help be the first step to recovery.

There is so much more that can be said and written about this topic, but I hope that I have at least shed some light on a few of the many misconceptions concerning eating disorders.

I still have some days that feel impossible to get through, but I intend to grow from my struggles and use the knowledge I gain to benefit others who are suffering. No one deserves to feel alone, worthless, or hopeless. Life is too short to spend it being hateful to the beautiful, unique body you were given.

About this blogger: Wendy York is a 19 year old lover of coffee, people, and adventures in all forms (from books to movies to my own experiences). She believes in self-care, passion, creativity, growth, and the power of a positive mindset. Having spent the past couple years coping with an eating disorder, she is currently taking a year off from college to focus on both self-care and exploring her passions. Recovery is a constant process that takes an ample amount of dedication and patience, but she is determined to be completely free from her eating disorder and help others to do the same!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

For more about eating disorder misconceptions:

3 Media Myths About Eating Disorders

Common Misconceptions About Eating Disorders

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.