Eating Disorders are Real

Something I have notice since starting my recovery is the gigantic lack of understanding around eating disorders. I refuse to go to doctors because hardly any of them know anything about eating disorders, and most, along with the general public, just dismiss them as crazy phases that teenage girls go through and will one day grow out of. Many do not realize how real and serious they are.

I’ve written about this before. How eating disorders are real mental disorders and how no one understands this, but I usually came across the lack of understanding in the general public. But since going to college I have become even more aware of the lack of understanding in the medical field.

something-fishy.org has a great page on real things that doctors have said to patients. I have a post on my crazy dietician an the things she said to me, but I have also read stories and experienced stuff with college and doctors. One girl, I forget where I read this, but she was kicked out of her university, which gave her little help with her recovery, because she couldn’t gain the weight fast enough and was a “liability” instead of being put on leave because they were concerned for her.

When I went to medical on my uni’s campus to check out my fingernail they asked me only about my depression and if I could handle it. They completely ignored the eating disorder box like it didn’t exist. Like it wasn’t anything important. Or maybe since I have restored my weight they looked at me and thought, “she’s crazy. She doesn’t have an eating disorder. She’s not emaciated so she clearly is doing fine.”

I don’t want to sound cliché but eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. I never got emaciated but the danger was still there.

I really do not know how else to say it. I will volunteer the information that I have an eating disorder with the hope that it will raise awareness. Eating disorders are real and it is just sad when those that are the only ones “qualified” to help us aren’t qualified. 

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8 thoughts on “Eating Disorders are Real

  1. I agree. I think that’s horrible that they didn’t even bring it up with you. Too many people are falling through the cracks because not enough people are educated enough to deal with it.

  2. I can’t tell you how many doctors I’ve had to set straight because I don’t present as the stereotype. They usually drag out the DSM and claim I’m crazy for “pretending” I have EDNOS. I don’t feel it is my responsibility to tell a doctor how to do his/her job, but…really…they know almost nothing about eating disorders. Its not fair to those of us with eating disorders for them to dismiss our claims, stereotype our behaviors and treat us in ways that are not beneficial. I am proud of you for standing up for yourself, though, and demanding the treatment you deserve.

  3. Kat says:

    I so agree with everything you say here,Aja!
    In fact,it’s a big problem that many people are so superficial they don’t consider anyone at a normal weight as affected anymore. Often,one feels devalued and “not worthy” to get help knowing others don’t take you serious; at least this is my experience.
    My dad is just as ignorant and always kept saying I didn’t have a problem,no matter how little I ate and how much I exercised. Even when I was clearly underweight,he refused to admit I was anorexic,which made me feel so frustrated I continued to destroy myself until I almost died. When I was hospitalized,my father didn’t say anything at all except he was disappointed. And I was just like “DISAPPOINTED?! I almost DIED,and you are not WORRIED,you are DISAPPOINTED?!” Well,yeah,he was – because I apparently was “a shame for his family”,that’s what he told me.
    But oh,too much about me! In the end,the lack of awareness out there only makes things worse. But changing it is hard,very hard,since some people don’t even WANT to see this. I don’t know if it ever will change… I have my doubts.

      • Kat says:

        It’s alright. It happened and no one can change that anymore – I just have to remind myself not to do the same mistakes again in the future.
        It only makes me sad to know there are many persons going through the same right now while I’m unable to do anything against it. And it makes me sad to know you’re struggling and endagering yourself so much at the moment. I wish I could help you somehow. 😦

  4. This is so true
    I’ve experienced ignorance about my own eating disorder
    One guy in treatment asked me if was ‘doing it for attention’
    A nurse once told me when I was 35kilos that I ‘wasn’t that bad’
    My doctor frequently asks me ‘if I’ve stopped puking yet’
    There are so many myths and misconceptions about eating disorders
    Maybe because they are not talked about enough
    Only those who are suffering know the truth x

  5. Reblogged this on anadancer and commented:
    I just love this post.. ignorance about ed’s really does drive me up the wall sometimes! So perfectly explained that I couldn’t write anything better to post myself!

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