If having experienced trauma or acute vulnerability ourselves, are we prepared to accept and share that part of ourselves in the work that we do with our patients? It is my view that in order to offer people the best possible chance of recovery we have to offer them something more intimate than clinical expertise.
for me, the readily available information just helped catalyse my anorexic behaviours as I strived to consume fewer and fewer calories every day. I spent hours walking round the supermarket every morning examining food labels, working out the lowest- calorie versions of the food items I was allowed to eat.
We need to open the debate up further and to talk more openly. We already understand how low body confidence can affect 15 year old girls. But what happens when those 15 year old girls reach 25, 35, and 45? How does their low body confidence translate into social confidence? How does it affect their performance in the workplace? How does it affect their families? The government is already doing a lot to support women, but we also need to ensure that we can nurture and support the aspirations of women and girls.
We see the classical portrayal of what everyone thinks an anorexic should look like, because they all look the same of course. Your average anorexic will be a young, white female who is in a picture looking suitably emaciated wearing next to nothing. I sink a little inside each time I see this ridiculously stale, outdated idea of an eating disorder reported.
Tumblr is fairly notorious as a platform to go find your images for anything to do with self harm and so called 'thinspiration'. These kinds of resources have been labelled by professionals and campaigners as damaging for many years now and their consequences have been the base of much fierce debate.
Until something is changed, men will continue to be excluded for the eating disorder treatment loop, forcing them into dangerous cycles which only grow in intensity, often leading to very poor outcomes. How many more need to suffer before our society stands up, takes note and realises we have a problem and something needs to be done about it?