A question I have been getting a lot lately is “why?”
Why is it that I chose this career? Why is it that I work with Eating Disorders? Why did I choose to specialize in Eating Disorder treatment as opposed to something else?
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen me talk about this topic this week. If not, or even if you did, here is a bit about my why!
A little background on me, I always knew I wanted to be a therapist. Growing up, I certainly had my struggles with food, eating behaviors, body image issues and chronic attempts to engage in fad diets. It really took its toll on me, mentally and physically, if I’m being honest. As I entered college, I was fascinated with Eating Disorders and learning all I could about them. I was disheartened to see how much wrong information is being pumped out into the public about these disorders.
I continued to obsess about learning all I could and anytime I could pick a project topic in school, it was always on Eating Disorders or Body Dysmorphia. In fact, my senior thesis in college was titled The Relationship Between Body Dysmorphic Concern and Reckless Behavior. If you want to hear more about that, let me know!
In grad school, I decided that I would focus on and aim to become a specialist in the treatment of Eating Disorders. Upon researching for the good part of a year, if not more, on Eating Disorder treatment, I was shocked to find out how little help is actually available out there for these disorders.
I am still shocked, to this day, at how most mental health professionals don’t even recognize that Eating Disorders must be treated differently than other mental health issues. That’s why it’s so important to find an Eating Disorder specialist.
Furthermore, I remember when I “learned” about Eating Disorders in health class in high school, it may have been a topic discussed in one or two periods and the information was mostly incorrect. Quite frankly, it scares me that so many kids are being taught the wrong information. It makes it harder for people who are suffering to know that they are, and to get treatment early on. Early treatment is best because there is much research to suggest that the earlier and Eating Disorder is caught and treated, the better the prognosis!
I could write textbooks on my frustrations with the education system and society at large with regards to its education about Eating Disorders. To save us both time, here it is in a nutshell. We are very misinformed about Eating Disorders. We are constantly perpetuating that the only healthy lifestyle is one that is centered on dieting. We are subliminally or explicitly being taught to have anxiety around food and that there are “bad foods.”
All of the reasons I listed above, plus MANY more, cause it so that we are continuing to pass on our disordered mindset to the next generation. Yes, it’ll keep me in business, but I’d rather not have a job if it meant that I didn’t have to see another child or teenager crying to me saying how fat they are and struggling with severe anxiety around food…which is merely the tip of the iceberg!
I have said it before, and my goal is bold. I want to help to eradicate Eating Disorders from the face of the Earth. I want to help people who are suffering now and I want to prevent it from robbing the lives of our children!
That is why I work on this blog, my Youtube channel and my new podcast. Also, it's the reason why I post some helpful information each and every day on Instagram and share the helpful posts of others! That is why I come out to schools and libraries to present the CORRECT information around Eating Disorders.
I need your help to spread that message and to help protect the future generations. I want to share your stories to help spread this message also! Please, if you feel comfortable, sharing your story, I would love to hear them. If you’d like, I would love to share them here also. No matter what part of your journey you’re in, your story can help others! Let’s build this recovery and prevention community!
You can leave a comment here, or send me those stories (or any questions/requests) by E-mailing me or DM-ing me on Instagram!
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I wish you community on your way to finding your State of Balance!
You can also check out my YouTube channel for more inspiration!
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder