Women in today’s culture are under enormous pressure to be perfect. To ignore the socially constructed ideas of beauty is difficult. In a sense, it’s hardly surprising that the prominence of body dysmorphic disorders and eating disorders in one form or another is shockingly high and continuing to increase.
It is most likely that you know a person who has or is suffering with an eating disorder or body dysmorphic disorder, whether that person is a close friend or simply an acquaintance, you undoubtedly want to see them recover. For some of you, this person may be a close friend and seeing them begin to fall into an uncontrollable spiral of negativity, unhappiness and feelings of unworthiness is extremely hard. Pondering the best way to address the issue in order to help not instead isolate or push them further into their illness can be endless.
Friends may attempt to address the issue and inadvertently ‘spur’ the sufferer on when they take the initial interest and attention as a compliment. They may also attempt to address the issue and be rejected by the sufferer. As scary as this is, the risk of losing the friendship may be a grim reality that you need to address in order to truly challenge a sufferer. A lot of people tend to be too afraid of the latter and choose to tip-toe around the topic, ignore it, or wallow in too many options and decisions. Unfortunately this reinforces the idea that the sufferer already has, that things ‘aren’t that serious’.
If everyone is too scared to address the elephant in the room, then how is the sufferer supposed to address the problem or begin to recover? Recovery takes bravery and courage from both the sufferer with the problem and those who care about them. Having the necessary support along the journey of recovery is extremely beneficial.