A General Understanding of Eating Disorder Behaviors
When people envision someone with eating disorder behaviors, the most common image is of a young, thin, Caucasian female. But the reality is that anyone can be struggling with eating disorder behaviors, including your brother, best friend, father, or mother. Eating disorder behaviors do not differentiate based on gender, age, social status, body size, race, or ethnicity. While anyone can have an eating disorder, girls often struggle with stereotypical expectations from their peers to be skinny, voluptuous, and beautiful. They are life-threatening mental illnesses and are often highly misunderstood. An article by Psychology Today discusses how to recognize eating disorder behaviors.
How We Judge the Conditions of an Eating Disorder
Eating disorders are one of the few mental illnesses where we base an individual’s level of suffering on their physical appearance. But what people often forget is that eating disorder behaviors can have drastic mental and physical consequences on individuals who show no physical signs of an eating disorder. Many people with eating disorder behaviors appear to meet our societal standard of healthy or may even be considered overweight. Eating disorder behaviors are considered characteristics of mental illnesses, and should never be determined based on someone’s weight.
It the misconceptions and stigmas that are contributing to the lack of understanding about what eating disorder behaviors are. The myth that you can tell someone has an eating disorder based on their appearance can be detrimental to those who don’t fit that stereotypical mold. Individuals with eating disorder behaviors may not seek treatment, receive support, or could remain in denial about their illness because they think there is a specific “look” for having an eating disorder. Eating disorders can appear in people of all sizes. Our society frequently considers skinny individuals who compulsively exercise and have restrictive behaviors to be sick. Yet, when an overweight person does the same they are encouraged for working on their physical well-being. Eating disorder behaviors can be deadly, but with the right treatment options people can gain the support and recovery they need.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with teen depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.
For more information about how Solstice East handles disordered eating, please call 828-484-9946!