iStock_000015794869_SmallWhat has kept me from sharing my road to recovery from everyone I meet? Part of it is the fear of being stigmatized for recovering from an Eating Disorder (E.D.) Ignorance can be bliss at times.

I remember it like yesterday. The feeling of being crazy and hopeless, barely escapes me. I was walking the halls of my own employment. I turned to talk to a doctor. In the background, I could not help but overhear other doctors speaking loudly amongst themselves, “She’s a patient of Dr. X. All her patients are crazy. They have no grip on life. I guess I will take her on.” It was like a sucker punch to the gut at that moment. I was also a patient of Dr. X. I felt helpless and defenseless. I was recovering from an eating disorder, would they label me as “crazy” too? The stigma of an eating disorder came to a screeching halt. The pre-judgement placed on this patient and Dr. X was unfair.

 

Hard Myths, Misconceptions, and Stigmas:

– It’s a rich person’s disease.
– It’s a woman’s disease.
– It’s all about body image, influenced by the media.
– It’s a way to attention seek.
– It’s a physical illness
– As long as a person is eating, they are recovered.
– Everyone with an eating disorder struggles with anorexia.
– You’d know if someone had an eating disorder because they would be real thin.
– People with an eating disorder choose to have one and can “snap out of it.”
– It’s a diet and is primarily about food and weight.
– Recovery is impossible.

Today, I share this blog entry with the hope to desensitize the stigma behind eating disorders. In turn, decrease the misconceptions, fears and myths about E.D. Again, I am not writing as a medical professional, but rather just your average woman, living life like any one of us. Please educate yourself before passing your judgements on others.

####

About the author:

ArianeAriane Theriault is a registered nurse at a Boston Hospital in the cardiology field. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude for Nursing from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her favorite part of blogging for Walden is being able to help others and herself on her road to recovery from an eating disorder. She likes to give a fresh perspective on eating disorder related news in the media and on her own personal struggles, while relating them to others. In addition to writing for the Walden Blog, Ariane also writes her own blog Rest in Peace E.D., Hello Ariane. Her passions range from gardening, writing, and advancing her career. She enjoys spending her time with her partner, family, friends and her two cats, Jaguar and Binks.