This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2019, and i’m already thinking about ways we can choose to make the internet more truly aware. Awareness is a grand but scary thing, but we have got to be careful, so, this week, have awareness of your impact and others’.
If there’s two things to consider this week, may I ask for it to be these:
- What you talk about.
- How you talk about them.
Post Trigger Warning for the mention of Eating Disorders
What you talk about.
Eating Disorder Awareness Week isn’t all about the eating disorders (EDs) we all are more likely to know. Obviously, they play a large part in it, with the most common EDs being bulimia and anorexia, but many other eating disorders exist and… this week is about them, too. It’s about the disorders, the behaviours and all the nitty gritty things we don’t talk about, because…. we think they’re ‘gross’, they’re not as common, they’re even looked down upon… but regardless, they are all valid and debilitating mental illnesses.
So, this week…
Talk about Diabulimia.
Talk about laxative abuse.
Talk about PICA.
Why don’t we talk about them?
People don’t talk about these eating disorders because people don’t like to think about the functions of the bowel, the sickness, the concept of eating a non-edible object. The idea scares people or makes them feel funny inside, it makes them see the condition as less than glamourised…
But that’s just the truth about eating disorders. It’s not glamorous. It’s dangerous. It’s an illness. Eating disorders can be deadly, and they kill- to the extent that someone dies from an ED every 62 minutes.
We need to talk about them.
We need to speak about all eating disorders.
We need to look out for people with all eating disorders.
Here comes a thought.
When I speak about other eating disorders, I do want to closely focus on a specific kind of eating disorder this year: Eating Disorders in Diabetics.
I won’t claim to know everything about diabetic eating disorders, I really only know the surface. I know about Diabulimia, but still I can only claim to know the surface of it. But this year, if there’s one thing you do to help out with Eating Disorder awareness it’s this- Read up on Diabetic EDs. You can find information from Diabetes UK here.
How you talk about it.
I think how you talk about your eating disorder and what you share is so important. I am going to put an extra trigger warning on this segment of the post because I am going to talk in a little more detail about what I have so far seen on social media.
- Please Trigger Warning your Posts. Especially if you post anything about transformations or containing any other content that could be triggering, trigger warning your posts.
- Be mindful. Eating disorders are not all about wait. Your personal experience with an ED may have had you at a low(er) weight, but that’s not the case for everyone, so please don’t presume. People of all weights can have an eating disorder. People can be at a higher weight and be less healthy than they are at a lower weight (be that mentally, or accounting for other physical detriments such as heart conditions caused or imbalances of any sort).
- Think about what you post. I have seen a fair few posts already about EDAW (sadly, I do know a lot of people with eating disorders- this certainly has not been helped by being a part of the dance world). I’ve seen transformation posts (which you have to be wary of ), I’ve seen positive quotes (I appreciate this style a lot), but there’s something I’ve seen i’m really not here for- zoning in on body parts in a clearly unhealthy state. I know this kind of post isn’t something meant maliciously, and a lot of people will not even realise the impact on themselves and others, but this is not a healthy recovery tool and I really recommend thinking about that impact, or posting things of an accidentally but inherently toxic nature before you do so.
So, please be aware this week; of what you post; of how you post about it.
And know that I am always, always here to support.