Eating disorder is quite common. It is known to affect 9% of the global population and 28.8 million Americans are likely to suffer from this in their lifetime. The condition itself is quite baffling at times, which makes it difficult to tell fact from fiction. Further, low levels of mental health literacy have added on to the misconceptions. This makes it quite difficult to identify and diagnose and go for early intervention.
The most common disorders are destructive eating behaviors like Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder, which show symptoms such restriction of food intake, feelings of depression and compulsive exercising, according to experts at Institute For Personal Growth. The good news is that professionals like dieticians, psychotherapists and primary care physicians can coordinate to offer appropriate care. However, it is crucial to understand the myths to be able to seek timely help.
Myth: It is a Matter of Choice
People tend to believe that an individual chooses to eat excessively more or less. However, studies have found that genetics have 80% role in this condition developing. Further, personality traits like neuroticism, perfectionism and impulsivity are often linked to a higher risk of eating disorder, according to an article by Healthline. Social, environmental and psychological factors are other significant causes.
Myth: Eating Disorder Cannot be Cured
An array of evidence based anti-diet and body acceptance approaches are adopted along with DBT, CBT, motivational interviewing, and interpersonal therapy. These are a few of the most effective ways to alleviate this condition, along with help from highly qualified professionals. Further, you can practice smart eating habits, ask for emotional support, rest your mind and set realistic goals as a part of self care for Anorexia, according to an article by WebMD.
Myth: It is not a Serious Problem
Well, it is extremely serious and, when left untreated, can be life threatening. It cannot be controlled or overcome without intervention. Therefore, make sure to seek help as soon as you see symptoms in yourself or your loved ones.
Myth: It is Just a Phase
Eating complications can come with serious mental issues like body dysmorphic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, along with brain mass loss, disrupted sleep patterns and fainting spells, according to an article by Verywell Mind. Therefore, it is far from being a temporary condition, coping mechanism or a chosen lifestyle.
Further, people also believe it is a women’s illness, cannot develop until teenage years or is just focused on food. However, don’t let these misconceptions keep you from receiving proper treatment and care for healthy living.