Individuals suffering from eating disorders often hide their struggle from those around them for a variety of reasons, including shame, lack of information, or fear. Eating disorders want individuals to suffer in secret because then the individual can stay sick longer—safe from the intervention of others. Don’t listen to your eating disorder. And don’t suffer in silence. Reach out for support as soon as you start to recognize symptoms—getting an eating disorder treated early and effectively has been shown to result in higher success rates.
Five reasons why you shouldn’t feel shame about having an eating disorder
1. Eating disorders are common.
In the United States alone, 30 million individuals will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime, about 10 million of those people being men. Among teens, eating disorders are the third most common illness and are far more prevalent than breast cancer or HIV. While you may feel like you are the only one struggling with disordered eating, it’s important to know that many people have shared your experience and gone on to achieve full recovery.