First, lets start with the most obvious: “everyone” does not know more about you, than YOU. But here is why they probably didn’t see that you were suffering so much:
1. Eating disorders thrive in secrecy - so much has likely been hidden from their eyes.
2. Diet culture praises and admires thin bodies and eating disorder behaviors like weight loss, missed meals, and excessive exercise. Exercising a ton? You are considered “so good.” Eating “only a salad” again and again, you are considered “so healthy.”
3. They have their own ED. The ED behaviors were “normal” for them.
4. “You seem fine. You even smiled once. You look fine.” You can’t tell whether someone has an eating disorder or the degree to which they are suffering from looking at them (we would write this in bold and caps, in size 48 font if we could).
5. Then, if you went to a health professional, many don’t have expertise in eating disorders so the ED diagnosis can get missed.
6. The ED diagnosis is often missed in those living in larger bodies, in marginalized groups, in males, and in older individuals. Health professionals need to do better!! Delay of treatment makes the eating disorder worse, increasing the need for more intensive treatment when finally seen……
You see how easy it is for “everyone” to miss the fact that the ED was out of control?
Trust your gut.
If something is not right, don’t wait for someone to discover it. Tell a qualified health professional who can evaluate you, and get you to the right professionals. You may not “look sick.” Not everyone has abnormal medical findings or lab work. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need support. Find an eating disorder specialist with the certification “CED-S” (Certified Eating Disorder Specialist) through iaedp.
“How to Nourish Yourself Through an Eating Disorder”
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