Mental Health….Eating Disorders

I have started a series of posts on mental health and my experiences with certain conditions/problems.If you have a specific topic you would like me to discus I would appreciate you letting me know in the comments.

First of all I would like to say 2 things. Number 1, I am not a professional. I don’t have any letters before my name and I have no training. If you are looking for professional advice contact a doctor or councilor, not some weird teenage girl. Number 2, if you are looking for facts, statistics and proper information about eating disorders this is not the place. I recommend websites like www.mind.org.uk if you are looking for an explanation of eating disorders and facts that are really useful. You are welcome to ask me any questions in the comments and I will do my best to answer.

An eating disorder isn’t something to make jokes about. Many people say things like ‘she is so skinny, she must be anorexic’, without thinking about what they are saying. Nobody should be commenting on a woman’s body by claiming they have an eating disorder. I have never had an eating disorder and I can’t fully understand what goes on inside the head of someone with one. But somebody close to me was bulimic for just under a year. At the time I didn’t know what was going on (I found out 6 months later). I just saw my friend, I didn’t see the disease.What upset me most about my friends illness was that I wanted to be her. I admired her so much and I still do. But at the time I wanted her body, I wanted to be just like her. How messed up is that. My goal for how I wanted to look (in my physicality) was bulimic.

Anorexia is the more well known of the two disorders I will be mentioning. An anorexic will go for days without food or eat a dangerously low amount of food each day. They are essentially starving themselves to death with the goal of losing weight. Bulimia is the lesser known ‘cousin’ of anorexia. Bulimics will eat food but then find someway to get the food out of their body before the nutrients can be absorbed. The most common ways of doing this are making themselves sick or eating laxatives. Having an  eating disorder isn’t necessarily about losing lots of weight quickly. It can also be about having more control of your life though your food intake.

If you have an eating disorder my message to you is tell someone and get help. Just tell a friend or a parent. Research and find a system that you think might work for you to help you get better. Make gaining weight/ getting better your new project. Think of it as putting your energy into something positive. If you at a point where you have been hospitalized then more serious action will be needed.

In truth I think I blame myself for my friends eating disorder. If I had been closer to her maybe she would have told me what was going on. But I can’t change the past. All I care about now is making sure she is happy and healthy. To anyone who has a friend with an eating disorder here is my advice. Talk to them and support them. Every case is different. Do your best to love them and care for them. But remember that you can only help them to a certain degree. They need to start helping themselves to, but with your support.

Writer X

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