I read an article the other day that actually said, “Anorexia is about what she sees in the mirror.” I wanted to scream!
I am not saying that an eating disorder has nothing to do with what girls see in the mirror. But for someone to make an emphatic statement like that implies this is ALL anorexia is about.
It is misleading and written by someone who does not understand eating disorders. I cannot state strongly enough; anorexia and bulimia is not just about what she sees in the mirror.
This belief is partly why people don’t have empathy or enough compassion for those with eating disorders. They believe it is the “vanity” disorder. It is not.
An eating disorder is a complex mental disorder. There are multiple things that contribute to the development of anorexia or bulimia.
Research is showing there is a significant biological component in the development of eating disorders. Many girls have mothers, siblings, aunts or cousins that have or have had eating disorders.
There is so much online and you have to be careful what you believe. I can’t stress enough to research multiple sources to ensure the information you are getting is accurate.
One of the main reasons you want accurate information is you are going to share with your child what you learn. Imagine telling her that she is just vain and this eating disorder is her fault. How will that make her feel? It is not only wrong; it is cruel.
Now imagine being able to tell her this ED is no one’s fault. There are biological issues, temperament and personality that she was born with that predispose her to this illness.
That doesn’t mean she can’t do something about it; it just means it isn’t her fault she is sick. Imagine the difference in how she would feel and her attitude toward recovery when she has the right information; delivered with compassion and understanding.
It will make all the difference in the world and it will strengthen your relationship because you understand what is really going on. She is blaming herself and she needs to know it is not her fault. Make sure you tell her. It will help.