With over 1 million Australians suffering from eating disorders, why is this illness so actively hidden from us. Lack of education and public misconception are one of the biggest challenges people with eating disorders must face. Although, once these issues are brought to the surface, they can be beaten.
Eating Disorders are defined as any range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits, such as anorexia nervosa. The disturbance of eating habits aforementioned is not always clear; including – but not limited too – laxative abuse, binge eating and vomiting after eating. This furthermore leads to the hidden nature of eating disorders.
Braiya is an 18-year-old girl, who has recently overcoming a suffering, which began plaguing her in her early teenage years. She has been diagnosed with eating disorders, which have furthermore caused her to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
“I’ve found that there is a big difference between knowing about eating disorders and knowing someone with an eating disorder. But what troubles me the most, is that I had no idea that one of my closest friends had been hiding their struggle for years”
– Mitchell Flanagan
Her struggle was hidden from most who knew her. The reasoning, by which she hid her disorder, was the fear of public misconception. This is similar among all people struggling with diagnosed (or undiagnosed) eating disorders. Braiya believes that the biggest problem with addressing eating disorders is lack of education, which then leads to the negative reactions people with eating disorders receive.
“Negative reactions, through the struggle, would make me doubt my own ability to get through it. And you’d always be like, I can’t be sick enough, so I don’t deserve any help… obviously I’m not doing it good enough”
In ABC news report – University of Canberra eating disorder specialist Dr. Vivienne Lewis explains that exposing the issue is the best, if not, the only way of tackling eating disorders. (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-11/almost-one-million-australians-suffer-eating-disorders/4420124)
“This is a hidden illness which is impacting on far more people than others may think,” she said.
“Issues like these can’t stay hidden forever.”
This lack of education has led to a breakdown of communication between sufferers and their support network. Which has only caused the people affected by this illness, to continue hiding their struggles.
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Definition of Eating disorders (Video)
- Professional definition
Kati Morten – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWZL6eJHNS8
- More personal FAQ
- Addressing commonly asked questions
Overview of eating disorders here
Nov 22, 2013
- At the end of 2012 it was estimated that eating disorders affected nearly 1 million Australians 1
- – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-11/almost-one-million-australians-suffer-eating-disorders/4420124
- – ABC report on the 1 million statistic (elaborate)
- Prevalence of eating disorders is increasing amongst boys and men 1
- 90% of cases of anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) occur in females 1
- Approximately 15% of women experience an eating disorder at some point during their life 1
- An estimated 20% of females have an undiagnosed eating disorder 3
More helpful sits with statistics