Anorexia is a psychological disorder. This disorder, once it takes hold of the subject, will then convince the individual that she is fat. This will take place no matter how slim she is or how much weight she has lost. She will continue to see herself as overweight. Here are a few common myths and facts concerned the disorder.
Individuals who are affected by anorexia are just trying to get attention.
- Fact: This statement could not be farther from the truth. Yes, anorexia is a maladaptive disorder, but in most cases it is due to a painful situation in the subject's life.
All eating disorders are just about food and weight.
- Fact: Eating disorders, including anorexia, develop based off of underlying psychological issues. The individual uses the eating disorders as a coping mechanism.
Anorexics will become better athletes since they will have virtually no body fat.
- Fact: Losing weight or reducing your body fat as an athlete can lead to better performance; however it must be done in a healthy way. Athletes must not only worry about strength and physical conditioning, but also the toll that effects of an eating disorder take on them emotionally and mentally. Plus, the human body requires a certain amount of fat in order to function properly.
Anorexia is only common in teenage girls.
- Fact: Most of the cases with anorexia do involve females in their teens or early 20’s, but it has also affected teenage boys and men.
Anorexia is just a phase.
- Fact 5: Any eating disorder is not just a phase the individual is going through. It is, in fact, a mental disorder. Professional intervention is needed in most cases to help cope with the condition. If not treated it could become a permanent and deadly lifestyle.
Meals can be replaced by vitamins and supplements.
- Fact: With an eating disorder such as anorexia, the individual is loosing more then just minerals and vitamins. She is also losing calories, protein and fats that are important to keep the human body functioning properly.
My child is to young to have a eating disorder.
- Fact: This is not necessarily true. More then half of teenage girls and a third of teenage boys utilize unhealthy ways to control their weight. Some of the ways used are skipping meals, smoking or turn to vomiting or purging themselves.
If you believe you know someone who is dealing with anorexia or any eating disorder for that matter, talk to her. Remember to be open minded, listen to her and do not judge. It is important to make her feel comfortable talking with you about it. And try not to not make her feel ashamed or guilty, as this could help the disorder progress. Individuals who are going through these types of disorders already have a negative perception of themselves, so work with them on positive thoughts. The next step would then be assisting them with getting help.