Despite popular belief, food addiction is real, and it can be as detrimental and dangerous as drug addiction or substance abuse. That said, food addiction often manifests as eating disorders, but the average person has a slew of misconceptions about what an eating disorder is and who it affects.
If you want to brush up on your knowledge of eating disorders and put some misconceptions to rest, read ahead. There are five cleared-up misconceptions below, each with a focus on eating disorders of all types
Misconception #1: Only Women Develop Eating Disorders
Truth: Anyone can be a sufferer of an eating disorder, regardless of age or gender. Why? Because anyone can suffer from control and image issues; ergo, eating disorders can be prevalent in anyone. Eating disorders do not discriminate.
Misconception #2: Eating Disorders Make People Really Skinny
Truth: While anorexia and bulimia are the most recognized eating disorders out there, they are far from the only eating disorders on the spectrum. As a matter of fact, the myth of people being really thin usually only occurs when anorexia or bulimia have gotten to a severe point.
Misconception #3: Eating Disorders are Easy to Detect in Others
Truth: Unless someone tells you or displays major, severe symptoms of an ongoing eating disorder, it’s hard to detect an eating disorder in random people. Some people could just have a fast or slow metabolism, picky eating habits, or a long list of other things that you could misconstrue as an eating disorder.
Note: The only real way to diagnose an eating disorder is through professional medical help.
Misconception #4: Healthy Intentions Could Never Lead to an Eating Disorder
Truth: Sometimes eating habits transform into disorders because of healthy, good intentions. Someone becomes obsessive about their health and fitness regimen, making them susceptible to severely controlling behavior. This doesn’t mean all health and fitness routines are unhealthy, but someone with a history of control issues should seek medical guidance in any health or fitness plan they choose to pursue.
Misconception #5: Eating Disorders are Easy to Overcome
Truth: Eating disorders are challenging to overcome because it’s hard to break the cycle of control and habit that someone has built up over months or even years. To do so takes professional medical help, lots of resource information about depression and disorder-related anxiety, psychiatric therapy, and the rediscovery of a healthy relationship with both food and fitness.