Hello, long time no post! I saw somebody else do a similar blog post to this and it inspired me to write this. I am currently putting off doing my english work to write this because i seriously don’t have the motivations to do it.
People often think that people with mental illness are all violent and dangerous, when in fact only 3%-5% of people with a serious mental health condition are violent and people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population. ( https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/myths-facts/ ) People also think that people with mental illness are self obsessed and will never recover often leading on to thinking that their treatment is a waste of time but that is completely not true, it’s an illness and all people who are ill deserve help!
When people think of a psychiatric hospital they think that its a place where all of the ‘crazy’ people go and some people even call it a ‘loony bin’. They think that it is full of horrible,scary people that are selfish and attention seeking when actually i have met some of the most kindhearted, caring and considerate people ever when i was admitted to an eating disorder unit. People actually find the thought of a psychiatric hospital funny when it really isn’t , it is somewhere where severely ill people go in order to start their journey to recovery. It should be treated just the same as anyone with a physical illness going into hospital would be. But yet people think that everyone is just sitting there in ball rocking and crying and yes this may happen but it isn’t all of the time and in there you can make lovely friends and actually have some laughs even though there may be more tears. It can become competitive or triggering being in hospital with other people who are mentally ill and that is the illness talking, everyone cared for each other and loved each other when i was an inpatient. MENTAL ILLNESS DOESN’T DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON, YOU CAN BEAT YOUR ILLNESS, I BELIEVE IN YOU!
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A misconception about eating disorders is that they are just about food and people with an ED (eating disorder) hate food. This is definitely not true, it is far deeper than that! People with an ED are actually obsessed with food and when you deprive yourself of food and don’t eat when you’re hungry, it’s all you can think about because of a chemical called ghrelin that is the hunger hormone gets released more when you don’t eat much. However EDs are much more than food, it’s about taking control of something because your life is out of control. You become terrified of everything, an ED can take over every aspect of your life. You lose touch with friends, family and become so scared… The anxiety doesn’t stop when you’re weight restored and this is something people fail to understand! People think just because you are in recovery and are eating you are cured but this is not true, especially after being discharged from hospital, it is just the beginning of the journey.The recovery journey takes a long time and is very hard and complicated. It’s being so scared to look in a mirror but not being able to resist looking at it to check, and no it is not vanity, it is a mental illness. There is a much deeper meaning to the reason for this, and even i don’t quite understand because an ED is not logical. But there are so many emotions that come with this illness, disgust,guilt,shame,fear,sadness and much more. And the feeling that you don’t deserve the help which makes it so much harder to deal with.
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Many people think that Anorexia nervosa in particular is a rich teenage white girl’s illness and that boys and older people don’t get it. That is where they are WRONG. Eating disorders do not discriminate any race, gender , nationality, age. They are not all caused by ‘wanting to be a model’ it is far deeper than that. It is a complicated illness with many contributing factors. I am posting this to make people more aware that ANYBODY can develop an eating disorder. It creeps up on you and before you know it its got a hold over you.
Whilst i was an inpatient there was a variety of genders and races and yes they were all teenagers/of a similar age but this unit was especially for adolescents and there are plenty of adult eating disorder units.
“Recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 2007). This research suggested that up to 25% of those showing signs of an eating disorder were male.” -Beat (b-eat.co.uk)
Although this may not be a large percentage, there are still many people suffering and probably a great amount of people undiagnosed due to lack of understanding and because society makes out that men should be strong and they may be ashamed of having an illness so may not reach out for help.
Also there are several different types of eating disorder , Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa, Binge eating disorder (BED) and Eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) More people need to be aware of the different types of eating disorders, an eating disorder does not mean somebody is skinny , it means that they have an unhealthy relationship with food.
Before the latest change in diagnostic criteria, it was estimated that of those with eating disorders, 10% were anorexic, 40% were bulimic and the rest fall into the EDNOS category which included BED. – Beat (b-eat.co.uk)
Today is world eating disorders day (I know I’ve posted this a bit late) but I just wanted to say to everybody who is struggling with an eating disorder that you are so strong and brave and you can get through these horrible times. One day things will be better, I’m not going to lie I find this hard to remember and usually focus on the negatives. While being in hospital I’ve witnessed so much bravery and courage from each and every person and i admire them all because I know that it’s so hard. There are many misconceptions about eating disorders:
– it is an illness not a lifestyle choice
-it’s not because we are vein
-once you are weight restored it does not mean that you are better, in fact it’s probably one of the hardest stages of recovery
-not just girls have eating disorders boys do too
Please visit https://www.b-eat.co.uk if you need some support whether you are suffering or you’re a family member of somebody with the illness. Also please take action and sign the pledge to raise awareness. http://worldeatingdisordersday.org