Dealing with an eating disorder is not the easiest thing to try and do, and because of that, you may struggle with self-esteem and other similar issues. Have you ever felt like you were the Worst Person on the Planet because of what you were trying to face or deal with? What sorts of things are you doing and why does it actually matter in the long run? Do you know how to connect with others who may be dealing with many of the same things that are going on?
People who suffer from eating disorders are beginning to use media to champion their causes. Social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook are gaining users who are forming groups that are pro-eating disorders. As strange as this sounds for most people, the new phenomena makes sense. Often times, people who suffer from eating disorders often experience feelings of detachment and shame. They attempt to detach themselves from their disorder, because of the stigma that having “mental problems” can bring. These websites and groups offer somewhere “safe” for them to go.
Not surprisingly, the same way that these things are learned (via the media) is how some therapists attempt to help their patients “unlearn” the behaviors that come from dealing with any sort of eating disorder. By making the client feel appreciated and worthwhile, and by showing them healthy models (family members, friends, etc), it will be more effective in assisting the client in overcoming their disorder. That, alone, can help their self esteem and make it that much easier for them to move ahead and see what can happen in regards to their lifestyle and ideas as well.
In general, much of the research agrees that the media does something in regards to body image. The strength of these effects is where the disagreement occurs. The most pressing question in regards to media effects on eating disorders is whether or not the strength of the effect is real, or if people give media more credit than it is due in this regard. Perception is a vital piece when it comes to trying to determine how you are affected by it: if one perceives the media as having a lot of power, one will often model their behaviors after it, even in a subconscious way. The psychological strength of perception is sometimes forgotten when it comes to research.
Connection is a big deal, and you want to make sure that you’re taking the time to learn and see what may be going on around you. Connecting with others and seeing what is going on in that regard can be a way to heal from the pain that you’re facing and, as a result, you may see quite the difference as you start to explore what is out there and how much easier that it is for you to go ahead and get the help that you need to feel as healthy and safe as possible.