When someone is diagnosed with cancer, what happens? They receive unending support from family, friends, sometimes even the whole community! Often they create a Facebook or blog chronicling their battle with such a mortifying illness. This results in a slew of strangers writing words of encourage and hope in the little comment boxes after each post. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is absolutely amazing that our species has the ability to be so compassionate and so caring towards others. I mean, it really restores your faith in the human race. But I will admit, I can’t help but think, “What about us?” . “What about the people who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder?”
Eating disorders are just as deadly and as merciless as any cancer. It is estimated that approximately 20% of those with eating disorders will die due to their disease and only 30 – 40% will ever fully recover. With those startling statistics, you would think people everywhere would be demanding a cure or at least a more effective treatment. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. When a person is diagnosed with an eating disorder, a lot of the times families fight hard to keep it a secret. They fear the ridicule and cruel stereotypes that may be cast upon them and their ill family member. Sometimes eating disorder victims are forced to fight their disease alone, because their family holds the false belief that eating disorders are not real illnesses. They think they are a choice. A cry for attention. The result of someone striving for vanity.
They fail to realize though how difficult it is to ingest even the tiniest morsel of food or to look at yourself in the mirror without wanting to burst out in tears.
The sad truth is that eating disorders are still a taboo not only in this nation, but in this world. No matter how embarrassing it may be, we need to come out one day and share our story. People need to realize that we are not doing this just so we can have the svelte figures of Victoria Beckham or Natalie Portman. We are doing starving, purging, and exercising because we literally have no choice. It should be our goal that one day that EVERY person on this earth knows the real truth about eating disorder so that we can continue to search for a treatment that will save our lives that have been stolen by ED.