Learning more about anorexia may help you save someone's life
Amalie Lee is recovering from anorexia and she's dedicated her Instagram account, @amalielee, to documenting her health journey.
Lee, who according to the Daily Mail is a 20-year-old student studying at the University of Roehampton, London, has reportedly been struggling with an eating disorder since 2012, but two years ago she sought help from an outpatient centre. She has since gone on to share her past health struggles and her recovery in an honest and inspiring way.
Her account features pictures of herself, which range from her eating both healthy snacks and junk food to before-and-after shots of her body.
Lee is raising awareness for eating disorders and her account already has almost 60,000 followers. This is good news and it's wonderful to see that she has taken control of her life, but Lee's story is just one of many.
According to HelpGuide.org, anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder with three key features, including fear of gaining weight, distorted body image and the inability to maintain a healthy weight.
It is often difficult to tell if someone is anorexic, as they try hard to conceal their eating habits, but there are definite signs to look out for:
- Sufferers tend to be infinitely critical of their body and are constantly looking for flaws.
- They are obsessed with weight and constantly feel "too fat", despite being underweight.
- They deny accusations that they are "too thin" and attempt to conceal their true size (with baggy clothing, layers, etc.).
- They suffer dramatic weight loss without any medical reason for it.
Of course, these signs are not all-inclusive, so if you feel that you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, please seek professional help.
When talking to someone you love about an eating disorder, offer support in any way you can, but tread lightly because there are certain things that you should avoid saying. The National Eating Disorders Collaboration of Australia suggests the following:
- Don't place blame on the person, pressure them or manipulate their feelings, and avoid language like "you" are making me stress; instead use "I".
- Try not to mention food, but instead speak about the person's feelings.
- Don't threaten the person with punishments if they do not eat or don't do what you want them to do, as this can make things much worse.
- Try to listen to what the person has to stay instead of counselling them and dominating the conversation.
If you know someone who may be suffering with anorexia, please seek professional help in addition to gathering information and learning more about this disease.