Myths About Eating Disorders

Myths About Eating Disorders Call Today (888) 360-1333

There are many myths about eating disorders. As you explore your own thoughts and feelings about yourself or someone you love, consider these myths and look at the facts.

Myth #1 Only teenage girls are affected by eating disorders.
Facts While it is true that eating disorders are most common in young women, up to 24 million men and women of all ages suffer from eating disorders.

Myth #2 People with eating disorders are vain.
Facts Those that struggle with eating disorders also struggle with self-esteem, shame, depression, trauma and fear. Their struggle with food and body image reflects their attempt to deal with these complex emotions.

Myth #3 You have to be thin to have an eating disorder.
Facts People with eating disorders are all ages, shapes and sizes. In fact, much of the time the physical signs of eating disorders are visually undetectable. Only at the extremes of anorexia and overeating is appearance a relevant sign.

Myth #4 Eating disorders aren’t really dangerous.
Truth Almost half of people struggling with eating disorders also fight depression. Only 35% actually get treatment. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illness. Research has shown that about half of anorexics recover, 20% continue to have some struggle with food issues and 20% die due to complications of the disease. Bulimics can die suddenly due to the impact on the heart and electrolyte imbalances. Overeating can lead to obesity, which invites heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.

Myth# 5 Recovery from eating disorders is rare
Truth Recovery can take time – months or years – but many people do recover. Rates of recovery vary greatly. Those with early intervention tend to do better than those who have struggled many years. Continued social support and therapy is significant to lasting recovery.