There are many myths and erroneous ideas about anorexia that are important to know about if you want to work toward finding a cure. Going down the wrong path due to false beliefs can be dangerous and counterproductive to anyone who wants to recover or who has friends and or family suffering from this condition. Learning what is fact and what is fiction can only help with recovery.
1. Only Girls Get It – The truth is, over 10 million men (including young men) have anorexia too. It’s also getting worse. There are many different ideas about why it may be worse for men now than in the past, but more than likely, it is due to underdiagnosing the condition more than anything else.
2. No One Dies from It – The sad truth is very different because anyone with anorexia has twelve times more chance of dying from the condition than they would for other mental illnesses. Anorexia really can kill people and does. In fact, a person dies almost every hour from some form of an eating disorder.
3. It’s a Lifestyle Choice – While sometimes what triggers anorexia are lifestyle choices such as wanting to lose weight and get healthy, the truth is, it’s not a choice for the sufferer. It’s a mental condition that distorts reality to the anorexic in such a way that they cannot see the truth for themselves.
4. All People with Anorexia Are Skeletal – Some people who become anorexic don’t get super-skinny like others. It depends on your genetics and your body makeup. The main thing about being anorexic is being undernourished, sick, and obsessive about it.
5. Anorexics Don’t Eat Anything – Many anorexics do eat, but they are very strict about how much. Many have a unique bowl or plate that they use to eat in a very controlled way. Some will report to eating just one thing like certain cookies, or fruit, or something that in their mind won’t make them fat.
6. All Anorexics Vomit on Purpose – Not all anorexics binge and purge, although it is a common issue with anorexia. What happens is due to the extreme hunger anorexics are experiencing. They get carried away eating, and then their body makes them vomit it up due to the volume.
7. You Cannot Cure Anorexia – About 80 percent of cases can be cured via counseling alone, either inpatient or outpatient. Another 20 percent may need more severe treatment, but most can be cured. In fact, it’s believed that 100 percent can be cured with the right treatment.
8. Anorexics Don’t Have a Menstrual Cycle – Not all anorexic women stop having their period. For some, this does happen but for others, they continue to menstruate even though they are very unhealthy.
9. Only Young People Get Anorexia – Older, middle-aged women and men are also victims of anorexia. It is more likely to affect younger people, but more older people are being newly diagnosed.
Knowing fact from fiction about this serious disorder can help you and your loved ones overcome it. Try to look to your counselor or doctor for the most up-to-date information regarding anorexia so that you ensure you choose the right treatment and options to improve the situation instead of making it worse.