Food disorders are complex, severe and often life threatening. They include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, conditions that can be experienced in numerous ways. They affect both the young and the old, and males and females, regardless of race.
Despite existing research and awareness made about the condition, many people misconstrue food disorders. Unfortunately, the importunate myths associated with food disorders make it hard for people suffering from the condition to recover.
More often than not, such myths cause shame and stigma among patients. This worsens the condition and hinders full recovery. Here are 4 facts you may not know about eating disorders.
1. The Disorders Are Not Lifestyle Choices
It is a common myth that food disorders are illnesses of choice or the result of a conscious decision to adopt a certain diet. However, in reality, the disorders are biologically manipulated maladies that are not physical, but mental illnesses.
As a matter of fact, the disorders are not just about food and exercise. Moreover, they are not typical of a thin or plump body, but defined by mental torture, making them unbelievably intricate. Therefore, before you advise a patient on how to make a good choice of what to eat, know that it is not a choice to have such a deadly illness.
2. They Can Affect Anyone
Everyone is at risk of developing food disorders. This is because they can affect anyone regardless of their gender, age, body weight, sexual orientation, economic status, and ethnic background.
It is a common misconception that the disorders affect women but, in reality, it affects both men and women. This is because both men and women feel the pressure to have bodies that look a certain way. As a result, the development of the disorders is triggered.
3. They Are Life Draining
People suffering from the disorders often get lost in thoughts of their imperfections. They suffer severe emotional distress due to inability to control such negative thoughts. Therefore, they cannot live normal lives.
Sadly, even consuming food becomes complicated for persons with food-related disorders. The thought of how the food they eat will affect their body figure becomes overwhelming. They begin to experience low self-esteem, strained relationships, and unproductivity. Therefore, the condition drains them physically, emotionally and even mentally.
4. It is Possible to Recover
Recovering from the disorders is not just about adopting healthy habits. It is a journey that is quite difficult and overwhelming. However, the good news is that it is possible. With early detection and intervention, it is possible to set a patient with the disorder on the road to full recovery. Even when it is diagnosed at deeper stages, you can still recover with the help of a multidisciplinary team.
People with food disorders need to be treated with the utmost care. Careless talks and jokes about their condition leave them hurt and vulnerable. It is therefore wise to help them accept themselves and seek medical assistance. Food disorders is not a death sentence!