You probably know someone suffering from an eating disorder or you're the one struggling to fight this illness. However, due to lack of information, a lot of people stigmatize people with eating disorders and this makes it less likely that doctors will diagnose the disorder and treat it in time.
Eating disorders are not only about food. The struggle to keep food down and deciding to eat or not eat is just some of the symptoms of something serious. This is why it's important to know the common misconceptions, so you'll know what to do.
You can tell someone has an eating disorder by just looking at them
This is false. People with an eating disorder can be of any race, age or body shape. Those with binge eating disorder and bulimia can be of normal weight while others can be obese or even underweight. So you can't indicate if someone is experiencing a health problem, unless you notice the symptoms.
Eating disorders are only for the rich
Eating disorder is a challenge that affects people from diverse socioeconomic levels. These disorders have also been identified in many countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
Eating disorders are a lifestyle choice
This is false, as eating disorders are serious illnesses with both physical and mental consequences. While someone can make a choice of pursuing recovery, health professional Eating Disorder Center of Denver says the process is a lot of hard work. For one to heal from this, it's necessary to seek the appropriate treatment from an eating disorder treatment center where to manage stress, practice healthier ways and recover quickly.
Anorexia is the only life-threatening disorder
Most eating disorders have the highest mortality rate in different classifications of mental illness. Furthermore, a research carried out in 2009, showed that death rates for EDNOS and bulimia were similar and even higher than those of anorexia. Anorexia had a 4% rate, bulimia a 3.9% and EDNOS a 5.3 % mortality rate. When left untreated, 20% of people die as a result of EDs. Patients with nonfatal EDs may still suffer from cardiac complications, bone disease, and infertility.
Even though recovery may be challenging, it’s possible. With treatment, most people recover and go on to live a healthier life free from the disorder.