Today I was talking to a co-worker who told me that she was anorexic… for a month. Ummm, that’s not possible. I’m sorry, but I absolutely HATE it when people claim that they had an eating disorder when they were really just on a diet. She claimed that she fasted for a few weeks. And okay, I get that its not normal to do that and that it could probably be classified as disordered eating, but that is NOT anorexia. To be diagnosed with anorexia you have to fit into a very specific set of criteria including the loss of menstruation, being underweight, and dangerously restricting food intake, to name only a few. Anorexia is so much more than just restricting calories for a month. It makes me really mad when people claim that they had the illness when they did not actually have the disorder. I feel like making a claim such as “I had anorexia for a month” is extremely disrespectful to individuals who are actually extremely ill. I hate when people say things like this because it devalues the serious nature of the illness. As someone who has been restricting calories for over a year now and who is not classified as anorexic, I take offense to this statement.
Not only did she not have any idea what it really means to be anorexic, she had never even heard of EDNOS which is the most common eating disorder in the world. This girl was clearly clueless as to what it actually means to have an eating disorder. This is a classic case of someone who is actually using an eating disorder to get attention. Eating disorders do not just come and go in a month. They are long lasting mental illnesses. To claim that you had anorexia for a month is extremely degrading for individuals who actually suffer from the illness.
So to all those people out there who are making statements like this, show a little respect.
A girl who ACTUALLY has an eating disorder.