When discussions are being held about mental illnesses, eating disorders are usually forgotten. Just like other disorders such as depression and anxiety, these disorders can be left undiagnosed and consequently untreated for years as these individuals seek help themselves. Research done by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) has shown that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate amongst all mental illnesses. The findings showed that about 10% of people affected by anorexia usually perish within ten years of living with the disorder.
These disorders include:
Bulimia: this is a serious eating disorder characterized by eating large quantities of food than using risky ways to avoid gaining weight such as fasting, vomiting or over-exercising.Anorexia: this is an eating disorder marked by people obsessing about their weight and the food they eat.
Purging: this disorder is characterized by the misuse of laxatives and self-induced vomiting.Binge eating: this disorder is manifested in that the individual consumes a lot of food.
Often, people forget that this is not solely about the food, beauty or appearance. These disorders are complicated conditions that affect people physically and emotionally together with the people around them. As such, raising awareness about eating disorders must be a priority so that people can know about them and the effect they have on others and their society at large.
How to raise awareness about these eating disorders
Although a great deal of knowledge is now available about eating disorders, individuals living with them continue to be stigmatized. As such, they feel that they have no one to turn to and result in harming themselves. Research has shown that individuals living with anorexia are eight times more likely to commit suicide than the average person. So, how do you raise awareness?
Doing the groundwork
If you are to raise awareness about eating disorders, the first order of business will be to do your research and know your material. Devour material that talks about these disorders and how they affect the person and people around them. Imparted with this knowledge, you can now go and educate others.
Attend eating disorder events
There are usually conferences and seminars around the area and across the country. You can always attend these gatherings and learn about eating disorders. If you want to take a more hands-on approach, you can also organize these events yourself in your area so that you can inform people. Seminars, conferences, and events help people attain knowledge that they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Working with nonprofit organizations
Many communities usually have non-profit companies working towards raising awareness for eating disorders. By working together with these companies, you are a part of the solution. By volunteering time and resources to these organizations, you help them achieve their goals. Since these organizations usually need a lot of people with different skills, there is always something you can contribute.
Using social media
Today, social media is one of the most disruptive forces in our time. It’s powerful in that you can reach multitudes over different platforms and spread information in a whole number of ways. First, you can share informational pages that talk about various disorders. You can so share other people’s stories about their life with particular disorders, and finally, you can create content whose goal is to raise awareness and post on social media.
Raising awareness about eating disorders is crucial to save lives and help those living with the disorders. Making sure that these people get the help they deserve will ensure they live long and fruitful lives instead of suffering. If you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, please get assistance as soon as possible. Recovery is slow, but with support, it’s possible.