It's no secret that many of us often feel the need to seek help from licensed therapists for some of the things that we might be dealing with. I'm not any different, and, in fact, I'm so grateful that I was able to seek help for some of the things that I've been struggling with.
I recently let what had been a small problem with food and managing my weight and caloric intake become an even bigger problem. That eventually spiraled into full-blown anorexia. Even things that might seem trivial to most became really, really triggering for my anorexia. Everyday life became hard to deal with.
With that being said, I'm so beyond grateful that I was able to talk to a licensed therapist about what I've been dealing with. I've been doing much better in terms of being able to deal with everyday life and its triggers around food.
Sometimes, it's nice to know that you're not alone when dealing with something as big and scary as an eating disorder, so I talked to my therapist about some things surrounding anorexia. Here is a list of seven things that everyone should know about anorexia.
1. It's more common than you would think
In the United States alone, it's stated that approximately eight million people have anorexia, bulimia, or a related eating disorder.
2. Media influence can have an impact on symptoms
If all you see on your Instagram feed are diet ads, diet fads, and ultra-skinny people, that just adds fuel to the fire in terms of practicing unhealthy eating behaviors.
3. While anorexia is centered on food, it doesn't always have to be about food
Mine stemmed from the need to control some aspect of my life because everything, including my weight, felt so out of control. Obsessing over what I put into my body was the one thing that I knew I could control. (And, that's actually a pretty common thing among those of us who deal with anorexia.)
4. If you're struggling, it's OK to admit that and seek help
There is no shame whatsoever in admitting that things are getting to be too much to handle. Believe it or not, there's actually a lot of strength that can come from that.
5. Recovery IS possible, but it doesn't happen overnight
It might take weeks, months, or even years to get better, but you can get better from this. Personally, I'm so thankful that I sought help when I did because I'm doing so much better than what I was doing about a month and a half to two months ago. Recovery from Anorexia, or any eating disorder, is possible.
6. You have to take control over your recovery
Yes, recovery is possible, but you have to be willing to be an active participant in your recovery story. It's not easy. In fact, it might end up being one of the hardest things you've ever done in your life, but at least you will have a life to live.
7. If you don't seek help, it could be deadly
No joke. If left untreated, anorexia can, and oftentimes does, lead to death. Please, please, please remember that recovery is possible and death is avoidable here.
If you know someone who may need help or you need help, go to the National Eating Disorders website or call 800-931-2237