There are numerous myths about eating disorders that everyone believes. These myths can make it difficult for those who are suffering from eating disorders to get help. Here are five of the biggest ones.

1. All people with eating disorders are underweight.

Most people who suffer from anorexia are underweight. That’s true. However, the majority of people who have eating disorders are actually a normal weight. Body weight does not determine whether or not someone has an eating disorder.

2. Eating disorders only occur among teenage girls.

Eating disorders can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation. There was an increase in eating disorder among middle-aged women between 2001 and 2010, according to The Ranch, an eating disorder treatment center.

3. Eating disorders are a phase.

Eating disorders are not a phase. They are a serious mental health disorder. They usually coincide with another serious mental illness like anxiety or depression.

4. The only type of eating disorder that can be deadly is anorexia nervosa.

Every type of eating disorder can lead to a premature death if it is left untreated. This includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and all other unspecified eating disorders. It is more than possible, though, to recover from an eating disorder if you are willing to get help.

5. Eating disorders are just about food.

Eating disorders do not just disappear without treatment. An eating disorder cannot be cured by just eating. Those who suffer from eating disorders have developed the disorder as a way to cope with stress and negative emotions. In order to treat the eating disorder, these things must also be treated so that the sufferer can find healthy ways to cope.

Now that you understand the misconceptions about eating disorders, you have a better understanding of the reasons it may be difficult for some to ask for help.