Eating disorders: Five phrases you should say Affected never

Who confided in friends or family members, that he from anorexia or bulimia is ill, encounters, unfortunately, not always to understanding and compassion. For outsiders, eating disorders are so difficult to respond to insensitive or even offensive. Certain comments are not only absurd and insulting, but can have a devastating impact on the course of the disease.

1. “Essgestört, really? You’re normal weight!”

An eating disorder does not always under weight is noticeable. You can lead to the Affected lose weight very strong. In the case of a anorexia is almost always the case. People with bulimia or other eating disorder , however, often have a normal Body Mass Index. The so-called Binge-Eating disorder even leads often to Obesity.

Weight, body fat % and other body measurements are anyway not decisive for the diagnosis. Because eating disorders are mental illnesses. The suffering of the Sick is not to your Body Mass Index reading, but your low self-esteem, your behaviour and your thoughts. People with eating disorders

  • eating differently than usual,
  • in front of the thick fear and
  • a disturbed body perception have often.

Statements such as “You’re not so thin” can be Affected in the depths of despair to plunge their pathological weight loss needs increase and the disease thus aggravate. On top of that you have after such a response might still be less inclined to seek professional help – for fear of not being taken seriously.

2. “It is much more attractive, if a little bit of what is in it”

This (probably well-intentioned) phrase to hear, especially women. Unfortunately, that seems to keep many people up to today, the view that a “proper” woman should have curves, to be “really feminine” look.

Just essgestörten women but it’s usually not a matter, in the classical sense, feminine look. They strive mostly by Models, Actresses, and Social Media Stars represented the ideal of beauty of and in accordance with this Ideal is under weight, aesthetically.

On top of that is an eating disorder with a disturbed perception of the body is connected, so that the people Concerned already too thick to feel – no matter how curvy, slim or thin they actually are. And often an eating disorder is not is not primarily the desire for attractiveness, but it has deeper psychological causes.

3. “Don’t be so vain!” or “You shouldn’t be so much about Appearances to think!”

An eating disorder is an expression of the emotional needs of the Sufferers are not otherwise finished. In the case of a bulimia or Binge Eating disorder is used to eat sometimes as a comfort, because it is a pleasant emotion. In the case of a anorexia can it’s a comforting feeling of control go through strict calorie counting or the iron refraining from eating sets.

But these are only examples. As with almost every mental disorder eating disorders arise from a complex Interaction of various influences. For each patient, other factors also play a role. Vanity is usually of secondary importance.

4. Blowing but prefer more Sport!

That an eating disorder is always with Starving or vomiting, is a common misconception: a Lot of Ill goings-on instead or in addition, excessive Sport, in order to continue to lose weight or the calories plus previous Binges to compensate.

And also for those who make no Sport, the Council is anything other than helpful, because he suggests that your weight-loss obsession is pathological, but so far only on the wrong method have set.

They are thus not encouraged to seek urgent professional help, but to her Repertoire the decreasing measures of a more pathological behavior to expand. Even if regular exercise the most people: In the extreme sports can also have a negative impact on the body and Psyche.

By the way:the power of sport can even be the trigger for the eating disorder be. This is particularly true for sports, for a slim figure or a low body weight are an advantage – for example, in ballet, in athletics, horseback riding, or martial arts.

5. You look totally unhealthy!

As mentioned, attractiveness is rarely the (sole) goal behind an eating disorder. If, the Affected usually not a healthy look. You want to be thin. About a year ago researchers have found in a study with anorexics and healthy women found that anorexia is by no means always with a disturbed perception of one’s own body is associated. The anorexic women in the study had, instead, values provide a different view of a desirable weight, they found weight beautiful.

A note on your low weight you understand, therefore, in the worst case, as a confirmation that you are on the right track.

How should you respond?

The reaction should, in principle, be free of criticism and allegations. Instead of with the Person about your weight, your Appearance or your eating habits to speak of, should your openness and understanding of signal and encourage psycho-therapeutic help to take. Because of the way in which psychotherapy is associated with some hurdles, it is possible to offer for the first steps of support.


Online information from the Federal centre for health education (BZgA): (retrieval date: 28.10.2019)

Anorexia (Anorexia), Causes. Online information of Deximed: (status: 25.5.2019)

Questions and answers on the topic of eating disorders. Online information from the Federal Ministry of health: (19.10.2019)

Anorexia patients see weight more attractive. Press release from the Max-Planck-Institute for Intelligent systems, Stuttgart, Germany: (status: 8.10.2018)

Möller, H., et al.: Dual Series. Psychiatry, psychosomatics, and psychotherapy. Thieme, Stuttgart, 2015

For More Information

Onmeda-Reading Tips

  • Anorexia: causes & Treatment
  • Bulimia: What helps?
  • When one speaks of a “Binge Eating disorder”?


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