The most prominent misconception about eating disorders is that a person who suffers from one is underweight. It’s the main reason why most cases go unnoticed. But the reality is eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. You could be of any weight relative to your height and have a type of eating disorder. It depends on your mental state and destructive habits.
I guess it’s story time.
I’ve mentioned a while back that my eating disorder began when I was thirteen, when I was just starting high school. My symptoms were typical of anorexia nervosa. I rarely ate and my weight plummeted to an unhealthy number. That was the time when it was obvious that I had a serious problem. I had dropped over fifteen pounds in less than two weeks! I had low potassium, low iron, and low everything.
However, as time passed my symptoms began to mimic those of bulimia. Now, those diagnosed with bulimia can be of any weight unlike anorexia, where one of the symptoms involve being a certain weight relative to your height. With bulimia, you purge your food so much that your body becomes accustomed to it and attempts to retain as much of your meal as possible so you could end up being overweight.
I was a “healthy” weight during that time, so most people believed that I had completely overcome my eating disorder when in fact I was continuously struggling. I would lose a few pounds but not enough to cause alarm so it went by unnoticed for months until I began the recovery process all over again. Soon enough the cycle began and the symptoms were all over the place.
My main point is that eating disorders, such as other mental illnesses, are “invisible”. Even the physical symptoms are misleading. Yes, believe it or not, eating disorders are considered mental illnesses. There’s a difference between crash dieting and long-term restriction, as well as overeating once in a while and binge eating. It all has to do with your state of mind.
They’re just as important as any other mental illness. Eating disorders, no matter what kind, left untreated could be fatal.
With this in mind, I’m trying my best to recover. I don’t think anyone can fully get rid of an eating disorder. It’s just an everyday battle, but it’s only making me stronger.
If you find yourself having a difficult time, I invite you to contact me. Recovery is tough, but you don’t have to do it alone!