Let’s Get Real About Eating Disorder Myths

As part of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), we’re blogging about various topics to increase awareness about eating disorders. Let’s Get Real!

One way you can help influence the national conversation is by busting common myths about eating disorders.

Here are a few important myths to note:

MYTH: Only thin, white women struggle with eating disorders.

TRUTH: Eating disorders are non-discriminatory. People of all body shapes, races and genders can experience them.

MYTH: People with eating disorders are choosing their behavior in an effort to be noticed.

TRUTH: Eating disorders are not “chosen” behaviors. They’re mental illnesses that often stem from various intersecting sources such as genetics, trauma, abuse and personality characteristics. They’re also learned behaviors that, over time, have taken hold of life as a way to numb emotions or create a sense of control.

MYTH: Eating disorders are just a phase some people go through.

TRUTH: They are not a phase, but a disorder that can have serious physical, emotional and mental consequences if not treated. In some cases, eating disorders can lead to death.

MYTH: It’s simple to end an eating disorder. Just stop the self-harm behavior.

TRUTH: There is no easy fix. Recovery takes time, support from a team of professionals and an extensive amount of perseverance.

If you struggle with eating or body image concerns, help is available and recovery is possible. Nebraska Medicine – University Health Center offers many treatment services for eating disorders. To learn more, visit https://health.unl.edu/caps/eatingdisorders. To explore educational videos, articles and resources for body image concerns, visit https://health.unl.edu/caps/bodyimage.

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