There’s no denying that social media can be great. You can chat to your friends while lying around in your pj’s, share memes and even make new friends. Awesome! But there is a dark side to social media that can attack your sense of self worth.
For instance: heard of the internet phenomenon ‘thinspiration’ or the social media hash tag #thinspo?
Thinspiration is a skinny obsessed trend that’s all over Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, worrying experts and psychologists who say that it may encourage eating disorders. Scary stuff.
Basically, thinspiration involves sharing photos online of extremely thin women (usually with a quote) with tips for maintaining or even hiding an eating disorder.
These images can affect anyone – with or without an eating disorder as they can promote mental illness and body shaming. Images like this push for a body standard which is not only impossible for the majority of women, but is also extremely unhealthy and in some cases can lead to hospitalisation or even death.
If you think that you or someone you know might be suffering from an eating disorder, it’s important to seek help straight away.
Visit the National Eating Disorder Collaboration website for more information on help in your local area.
Yes. However, it can be really hard to take those first steps and seek professional treatment. Feelings of shame, embarrassment or fear can prevent a person with an eating disorder from seeking help. Realising that there is a problem can also be hard. Sometimes people can make themselves believe that everything is under control or that there isn’t a problem.
“The truth is, seeking help as early as possible greatly reduces the severity, duration and impact of an eating disorder. Seeking help at the first warning sign is much more effective than waiting until the illness is in full swing.” – National Eating Disorders Collaboration
To overcome an eating disorder, it’s important to have the situation assessed by a trained professional. Your family doctor can be a great start. There are also lots of trained medical staff, who specialise in this area.