sprinkling positivity

Raise Awareness Week For Eating Disorders

on February 27, 2015

First of all, what is an eating disorder? There are many different names that we have probably heard of such as bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating disorders but do we truly know what any of these involve?

Eating disorders claim more lives than any other mental illness – one in five of the most seriously affected will die prematurely from the physical consequences or suicide, yet they’re not taken seriously.

Without ever really looking into the topic I assumed anorexia was someone who had strong willpower who just decided not to eat, to starve themselves and eat maybe like an apple a day. I thought they did this to lose weight and be really thin as that’s how they wanted to look, perhaps like a size zero model etc. In fact as a naive 15 year old I remember saying as a joke  – i wish i was anorexic so I could resist chocolate and be thin.

I had never even heard of binge-eating disorder a couple of years ago, I assumed every over-weight person was either eating too much food that wasn’t benefitting them nutritionally and probably not doing enough physical exercise, someone with an unbalanced life style. I never thought someone overweight could be suffering from a mental illness. I heard someone make a joke recently about how fat people sit on the sofa scoffing their face with ice cream sobbing that they’re so ill. When in fact that’s not a joke, that could be a real life situation for some people.

Both my assumptions where very wrong and I’m sure some of you may of viewed eating disorders in a similar way. As a society we are closed-minded when it comes to mental illnesses, they are seen as lifestyle choices rather than illnesses. Eating disorders in general have this stigma, although when you see someone with alzheimers or cancer, you wouldn’t assume they choose to be that way. So why is it any different for people that have eating disorders, they don’t choose for it to happen.

Our mental health affects our physical bodies if we’re over weight or underweight and that’s why its a serious topic that we should be more aware of as a society.

Here are some symptoms of Anorexia/Bulimia – 

– lose a lot of weight in a short period of time

– Become obsessed with food, recipes, cooking, photographing food etc.

– Weighing themselves, weighing food, calorie counting.

– Become very secretive, lie about eating.

– Vomit or take laxatives after eating (bulimia)

– Irritable moods, fatigue, dizziness, tired.

Here are symptoms of binge-eating disorders –

– Unable to stop eating or no control over eating

– Become overweight or put on weight in short period of time.

– Eating large amount of food rapidly

– Gorging on food when alone

– Eating when full

These are the very few symptoms of people who have eating disorders although they vary completely for each individual.

You don’t have to be underweight or overweight to have eating disordered thoughts. If you’re obsessed with calorie counting, that’s not a healthy relationship with food, mentally. If you secretly eat vast amounts of food, that’s not a healthy relationship with food, mentally. The difference with mental illnesses are we can’t always tell if someone is suffering from an eating disorder or not, just because someone isn’t size 0, it’s not to say they dont have disordered thoughts.

You never know you could spot the symptoms in yourself, a family member or a friend that you could help at early stages.

Let’s put a positive note to this post and raise awareness for something that affects 1.6 million people in the UK.

Take a few minutes out of your day to read up on them.



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