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Things That Only Loved Ones Of People With Anorexia Would Know

Things That Only Loved Ones Of People With Anorexia Would Know

Anorexia (also known as anorexia nervosa) is a serious disorder where individuals have a distorted body image and are obsessed with preventing weight gain. Having a close friend or family member who suffers from this illness, it can be hard to understand what exactly they are going through, but it is incredibly important to be supportive — no matter what.

Here are some myths about those who suffer from anorexia.

1. Being thin means you automatically have anorexia

There are many reasons why a person can be thin, and it is important not to make assumptions that they are suffering from anorexia. There are a myriad of different reasons that someone is underweight, from suffering from cancer to going through depression.

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2. Anorexia is something that an individual will grow out of

Anorexia is not just a phase that an individual is going through and eventually will snap out of. This disorder can be an ongoing problem for the majority of someone’s life if they are not treated properly.

3. Only girls suffer from anorexia

The percentage is lower, but men can suffer from this disorder as well. The biggest issue is that, since anorexia is often perceived as a “women’s disease,” men are less likely to seek medical attention.

4. Being thin is the only goal of an anorexic

The end goal of an individual who suffers from anorexia is not to be thin, but more about the feeling of being in control. Being thin is just one of the ways that a person can convince themselves that they are in control of their lives. This need for control can stretch into other areas of their lives, including their work and social interactions.

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5. Food is the main obsession of an anorexic

Food is only one of the things that continuously occupies an anorexic’s mind. They are also focused on control, weight gain, and other aspects of their life that, to them, might be spinning out of control.

6. A person can either be anorexic or bulimic

An anorexic can also go through phases where they purge their food as well by taking laxatives or self-inducing vomiting. They may go a few days eating a small amount of food and then purge and then restrict themselves to a severely limited calorie intake.

7. Anorexics are never hungry or do not like food

People suffering from anorexia are in fact always hungry and still have cravings for certain types of food, but due to their need for control they cannot give in to their hunger pangs. When anorexics claim that they are not hungry or that they just ate a big meal, it is just a coping mechanism for the disorder.

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8. Anorexia is only for young people

It is a common belief that anorexia is a disease that only affects young individuals, but this is simply not true. Adults in their thirties and older have been known to suffer from this disorder in increasing numbers. Some have had anorexia when they were younger, while others are having it for the first time.

9. You cannot die from anorexia if you exercise enough to keep your heart strong

Anorexia is a serious illness that can be fatal if the individual does not seek proper treatment in time. No amount of exercise can substitute for the essential nutrients that a person is lacking when their calorie intake is so minimal.

10. Anorexics literally see a fat person when they look in the mirror

Distorted body image is one of the symptoms of anorexia, but that does not mean the sufferers see their body as fat when they look into the mirror. They can see that their bones are sticking out, but they will also hyper focus on a part of their body that has a bit of flesh. That spot is seen as a place where they need to lose weight.

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11. Dieting can lead to anorexia

Regular dieting does not automatically lead to anorexia, but for those who are prone to the disorder, a strict diet can easily spiral out of control.

12. Anorexia is just a cry for attention

Anorexia should not be taken lightly and is a serious life-threatening illness. If someone you love is suffering from this disorder, it is important to give them as much support and compassion as possible.

13. Anorexia is strictly caused by environmental influences

This disorder is not only caused by environmental factors like media and popular culture, but also by biological and psychological issues. Some individuals may be more wired to perfectionism, but the specifics are still unclear.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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