Speaking with HealthTalk.org, patients with eating disorders highlighted how they often came up against misunderstandings about the illness from their family, friends, the general public, the media and health professionals. The young people who were involved in this project, described how incorrect ideas about what eating disorders were, could make their experience worse in the following ways:
- People who had an eating disorder themselves, family and friends sometimes being unable to recognise signs and symptoms of eating disorders.
- Feeling bad about themselves for not fitting with others’ ideas of what people with eating disorders look like.
- Being thought of as ‘vain’.
- Not being taken seriously by family and friends (or by themselves).
- Finding it difficult to talk to others about their thoughts and feelings.
- Finding it difficult to get access to services.
- Not being listened to or being taken seriously by health services.
- Being wrongly diagnosed.
This web page addresses some of the myths around eating disorders and includes videos of patients with eating disorders talking about their experiences.