Taking the image out of eating disorders

They say those who suffer from eating disorders suffer silently, but there is still very much a stigma attached to having an eating disorder.

Some don’t fully consider it a mental illness, but instead see it as a way to get attention.

The Equinox’s message to our readers is to suggest that start people taking eating disorders more seriously.

We believe that it is essential to lessen/remove the image part of the eating disorder and to focus on how it’s more of a mental disorder. One place to start is to consider the way you compliment someone.

Instead of commenting on someone’s weight loss, compliment them on something other than their physical appearance.

Instead, maybe complement them on their intelligence or compassion towards others. By constantly focusing on people’s physical appearance, we reinforce the idea that people are defined by their appearances.

For someone with an eating disorder, they are fighting an ongoing battle within themselves.

As members of a college community, we need to strive to make those with eating disorders feel the most at ease as possible.

Anyone who experiences symptoms of an eating disorder should make a visit to the counseling center offices located on the third floor of the Elliot Center.

College is a tricky time for many.

George amaru / art director

George amaru / art director

Everyone feels the pressure to attain a certain image.

We are surrounded by a culture that values partying, drinking and other risque behaviors.

While many do not succumb to these pressures, it is important to note that some do feel the desire to be accepted by those around them.

People who view themselves as less than their peers or believe they do not fit the mold of what a person their age should look like often seek to change this mind set by attempting to control their body image, which may cause them to put this image before their own health.

We want to work at eliminating this standard of beauty.

We want students here to feel empowered by themselves and know that their self worth is not based on their waist size or how muscular they are.

Eating disorders should be taken as seriously as an other mental disorder. When meeting someone with an eating disorder remember that simply telling them they look fine or to eat more is easier said than done.

It is important to note that eating disorders are classified as a mental illness. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, between 85 and 90 percent of those who suffer from this dangerous psychological disorder are female.

While men also experience eating disorders, it is overwhelmingly more common among the female population.

There is so much that can trigger an eating disorder.

Unrealistic standards of beauty, an emphasis on physical appearance over personality or intelligence, magazines and movies that praise unhealthy eating and exercise habits can all contribute to why eating disorders have become so prevalent.

We ask the Keene State College student body to step up. Ask yourself what you can do to change this negative stigma. Remember that everyone you meet is most likely fighting their own battle, whatever that may be.

Just because you cannot always physically see mental disorders, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Do your part. Spread kindness and lend an ear to those around you.

We may not be able to eliminate eating disorders on this campus completely, however, if we all do a small part in helping those in need, we could make a monumental difference over time.

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