Many people have misconceptions about eating disorders and the types of people who can become afflicted with them. Our professional counselling center wants to educate people about eating disorders by debunking several misconceptions.
Misconception #1 – Only those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds get eating disorders.
Many people believe only the rich or famous develops eating disorders as a means to get attention in the media. This simply is not true and eating disorders to not discrimination based upon their socioeconomic status.
Misconception #2 – You cannot recover from an eating disorder.
Recovery is possible as long as the person with the eating disorder is dedicated and commits to the recovery processes, which often involve visiting a professional counselling center for support and counselling services.
Misconception #3 – A person with an eating disorder can stop whenever they want.
Eating disorders often have strong physical, emotional, and mental ties that are related to other underlying problems and issues, such as depression, low self-esteem, or other intense emotional states. The eating disorder is merely the person’s way of dealing with these types of problems, so no, they cannot simply stop. The longer a person practice unhealthy eating habits it becomes even harder to overcome them.
Misconception #4 – Men rarely get eating disorders as it is an illness that only affects girls and women.
While girls and women previously were among the largest percentage of those afflicted with eating disorders, recent studies are discovering both boys and men with eating disorders is growing much faster, compared to girls and women. Eating disorders can affect tween, teens, and adults – regardless of their age or sex.
Misconception #5 – It is okay to induce vomiting if I overeat once in a while and won’t lead to an eating disorder.
Making yourself vomit after overeating and feeling guilty because you ate too much food is one of the underlying symptoms of eating disorders. No, it is not okay to do this, even occasionally, as it can further reinforce the behaviour, which can lead to it becoming more frequent and also harder to overcome.
Misconception #6 – Only people that are underweight have eating disorders.
This misconception rose from the media’s focus on people afflicted with anorexia. However, anorexia is not the only eating disorder, so you cannot assume just because someone looks underweight that they have an eating disorder. In fact, people of all sizes could have eating disorders and could be normal weight, slightly overweight, obese, or even physically active and fit. Someone’s health and well-being should never be measured by how much they weigh.
Misconception #7 – Parents are to blame for their adolescents’’ eating disorders.
Some people believe that when tweens and teens develop eating disorders it is the parents’ fault. But what they fail to understand is most tweens and teens actually attempt to hide their eating disorders from their parents. It is not uncommon for the parents to be the last to know there is a problem.
If you or someone you care about has an eating disorder, help is available at Bayridge Counselling Centres by calling 905-319-1488 today! We offer individual, tween, teen, group, and family counselling services for eating disorders and other life issues.