Beat Cymru’s anti-stigma campaign, which uses the theme ‘Everybody Knows Somebody – eating disorders are more common than you think’, aims to raise awareness of these serious mental illnesses, challenge myths and misunderstanding and signpost available help and support.
People with eating disorders typically have low self esteem and a very poor sense of their own worth. They can be strongly influenced by those widely held views that an eating disorder is a fad or a phase or a silly diet gone wrong and that can prevent them from seeking treatment promptly.
Manon, 24: “It is widely believed that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice. This is not true! I didn’t choose to become anorexic. Major misconceptions about eating disorders are widespread. These myths can lead to stigma, making it difficult for some individuals to seek and accept treatment. I believe that my initial reluctance to acknowledge that I was suffering from anorexia stemmed from a fear that I would be labelled as an immature and attention seeking schoolgirl, easily influenced by the airbrushed celebrities depicted in the media. Exposure to such images can certainly impact a person’s body image and stimulate pressures to look a certain way, but they cannot cause an eating disorder.” We know the sooner someone gets the help and treatment they need, the more likely they are to make that recovery. That is part of the reason why challenging stereotypes is so important. Mental illness still carries a stigma, and eating disorders perhaps more so than many. Challenging those views, calling for increased awareness and more compassionate understanding of this complex, serious illness is a key part of Beat’s work.”
The Beat Cymru team will be going into workplaces and schools across Wales talking to people about eating disorders and challenging myths and misunderstanding.
More information: http://www.b-eat.co.uk/beat-cymru/