A friend of mine emailed me recently in regards to an article he read about Eating Disorders on DiscoveryNews.com
The article discusses the misunderstanding that Eating Disorders root from the media images of emaciated models. R.A. Botta, who is the writer of the 1999 study, “Television Images and Adolescent Girls’ Body Image Disturbance” states that the media doesn’t make one Anorexic. Anorexia is a psychological disorder that is found to be a genetic disposition from birth.
The reason I bring this up is I think it’s quite poignant that my friend and others would be surprised to hear that Anorexia and other Eating Disorders are not rooted from our medias expectations on the human figure, but really are psychological. What bothers me is that I have found people outside of the Eating Disorder field to refer to Eating Disorders as a “phase” or “vanity” and “self absorption.” Those statements themselves are myths.
Eating Disorders are intricate and deep rooted Psychological disorders. Anyone who has worked in the field or has experienced an Eating Disorder themselves can attest to that.
I think the best way to describe it is the difference between an Anorexic and woman who diets is that the Anorexic has no threshold with dieting and starving. Women who are not Anorexic will diet, but then get hungry, blow their diet and just eat. An anorexic will keep going even after she is told how ill she is, how brittle her bones are and how close she is to a heart attack….she has no self-preservation…which makes it a mental illness.
I remember this study that polled 10,000 women about body image and dieting. They asked the women “If I gave you a pill that guaranteed you would be skinny, but taking the pill had a side affect of you possibly dying would you take it?”…10% of those women said, “Yes.” That 10% is the group of Anorexics/Bulimic/Eating Disordered women. Willing to die to be thin is an illness.
If you still aren’t convinced take a read at the article from DiscoveryNews.com yourself by clicking here. Education is the key to destroying these myths that block the women who are truly sick with this disease from getting help while they wait for this “phase” to pass and end up dying.