Myths and Stereotypes - Eating Disorders: Part 1
I receive lots of enquiries from people asking if they have an eating disorder or if their eating and food behaviours, thoughts, feelings and experiences warrant them accessing services or receiving help and support. One of the best things about Talking EDs is that we never ever discriminate on whether someone has a ‘full-blown’ eating disorder; has been formally diagnosed; or meets certain ‘criteria’.
We welcome anyone – men and women – who feel that their relationship with food and eating is affecting their life. As far as we are concerned, if your relationship with food and eating is affecting your life in some way – socially, emotionally, psychologically, physically, occupationally etc., then you deserve help and support with such difficulties.
We know that most people with eating disorders/ disordered eating are not underweight or don't always display the full plethora of eating disorder 'symptoms' Having worked with 1000s of people over the years, we understand that one's eating disorder changes over time. In fact, some people display various 'types' of eating disorder all at one time.
For us, it's not about sticking a label or name onto something or someone. If you have a difficult relationship with food and eating, regardless of what that is or how often that may be, you deserve help, support and understanding that is empathic, non-judgemental and encouraging.
Eating disorders come in all forms and most people who experience such difficulties don't meet all of the 'diagnostic criteria', are deemed ‘ok’ and thus do not receive treatment. This can be dangerous: a ‘controllable’ range of behaviours can very easily turn into a serious illness with devastating consequences.
To be continued....part 2
Alexandra O'Brien © 2011, 2018