There were, of course, plenty of "personal journey" blogs that came up, but I wasn't really looking for that category. I wanted to see what kind of facts and figures someone searching for eating disorder facts might find in the blogosphere, as defined by Google. So, among the blogs not being written from a patient's (or former patient's) perspective, what helpful info did I find?
... A lot of misinformation, e.g. "People with anorexia have distorted body images that cause them to restrict calorie intake." That's a bit like saying the egg had the chicken, but whatever.
The Royal We also stumbled across a blog written by someone claiming to be a clinical psychologist whose raison d'écrire is the belief that all women have some form of an "eating disorder." Well, We hate to prove her wrong, but We know fully TWO who do not. (One is Our nana; one is not Our grandma.)
We found some blogs stating that if one is fat, then one has an eating disorder. Um. No. The analogy "Fat Person : Eating Disorder as Male : Y Chromosome" does not work.
Our favorite was the blog We read suggesting that pregnant women who are concerned that their pregnancy may trigger an eating disorder (due to weight gain fears)... SHOULD CONCENTRATE ON EATING A LOT OF SALADS.
GAH. GAAAAAH!! GAH!!!!!!!!
Reading these "facts" on easily available media was like reading in the New York Times that the relationship between eating disorders and substance abuse is a New Discovery. In other words, it made me feel all stabby.
I'm not trying to pick on the writers of these blogs, per se... I mean, at least they're trying to get awareness of the issue drummed up, right? Except, NO, no, NOT right. Eating disorder awareness in the above forms is like... it's like my husband trying to pick out who's the stronger singer: Fiona Apple? or Miley Cyrus? ... and guessing WRONG, so wrong. A for effort, my tone-deaf love, but ur doin it rong.
So. What to do, what to do? Well, let's start with some fact correction on a couple of the points above:
1. Many low-weight eating disorder patients did not start out with distorted perceptions of their bodies; in many patients, the distortion progresses with the illness. Additionally, anorexics as well as bulimics can suffer from body dysmorphic disorder.
2. The pregnant woman afraid of developing an eating disorder should see a nutritionist or talk to her doctor, rather than getting info from a blog. Obsessively eating salads can trigger a diet cycle that is more likely to lead to anorexia or bulimia than generally being uneasy about weight gain. Telling a pregnant woman to mostly eat salads is like telling someone afraid of slipping into alcoholism to cut out 70% of their daily fluids. Or maybe that's just what it seems like to me.
Okay, now that that's that, how 'bout some WEBSITES WITH ACTUAL INFORMATION. Jeez.
Aaaaaahhhh. I feel much better now.