It’s one thing to suffer from an eating disorder but it’s a whole other thing to admit you are living with an eating disorder.
Many men and women go through most of, if not all of their lives battling an eating disorder on their own. Eating disorders affect people of all ethnicities, races, social and cultural backgrounds and genders and it’s not uncommon if someone doesn’t fit the social stereotypes associated with eating disorders, they’ll keep their struggles to themselves. This is one of the most dangerous and sad aspects of eating disorders.
Many who have eating disorders suffer quietly on their own. Silence is the number one reason people don’t receive treatment for their eating disorders.
If you or a loved one is suffering in silence with your eating disorder you are not alone. Many people suffer for extended periods of time because they do not know what to say, where to go to, who to trust and having extreme feelings of shame and fear. One of the hardest and most rewarding things that you can do is to open up and talk to someone about the problem. In doing so, you’re taking a step in the right direction admitting that the eating disorder is damaging your life and that you need help. The earlier someone receives treatment the better, but any time is the right time to reach out, receive treatment and find hope and healing.
“Who can I talk to or where do I begin?”
Here are some ideas who you can open up to or places you can start:
Parent or Guardian
Close Friend or Family Member
Doctor or Healthcare Provider
Teacher or Professor
It is important to understand that while it’s a great first step, family members, coworkers and friends are probably not equipped to help you heal completely. They may be an integral part of your healing process and a huge support system, but it is essential to receive treatment from an experienced therapist who specializes in eating disorders or a facility specializing in eating disorder treatment.
I get it. Taking these first steps can be extraordinarily difficult and painful so it is important to practice kindness towards yourself during this process. You are taking a step in the right direction for a life long recovery from your eating disorder. Hope and healing is possible!
If you or someone you know needs help, talk with your healthcare provider or, if you live in the greater metropolitan Phoenix area (Arizona), give me a call! I've got about a decade of experience in helping adults heal from the past, find meaning and joy in the present, and embrace hope for the future.