Check out 6 Myths & Realities of Eating Disorders,
by our very own Special Programs Director, Fran Tierney.
You can spot someone with an eating disorder, because they are always really skinny.
Eating Disorders come in all shapes and sizes, you can’t assume or judge someone based on what they look like. Many people with Eating Disorders are considered normal or overweight.
Only teenage girls suffer from eating disorders.
Many eating disorders do begin in the teenage years, but children, men, older women and just about anyone can fall victim to this terrible disorder.
You cannot die from bulimia.
Bulimics are at a high risk for dying, especially if they are purging, using laxatives and doing excessive exercise. Many bulimics have died from cardiac arrest which is usually caused by low potassium or an electrolyte imbalance. Others have died from a ruptured esophagus. Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness!
Eating disorders revolve around food.
There is a mistaken belief that eating disorders are about food, which often compels friends and loved ones to encourage individuals to “just eat,” when in fact, the disorder from which they’re suffering is incredibly complex. It’s not just about food. It’s about how they feel about themselves.
Compulsive eating is not an eating disorder.
It is very much an eating disorder and is just as serious as anorexia and bulimia. Compulsive eating is a way to cope just like anorexia and bulimia are. A person uses food as a way to comfort or numb themselves, block out feelings and emotions, etc.
You can never fully recover from an eating disorder.
Recovery takes a long time, but with hard work and the proper treatment, you can fully recover from your eating disorder. Look for a knowledgeable treatment professional, who specializes in the complexities of treating all Eating Disorders. The most successful treatments include individual & group therapies; nutritional support; and for some, a medication component.