I wanted to take a look at how anorexia nervosa is commonly misunderstood by our culture and society. People don’t understand that anorexia is a mental illness and its the way the sufferer views their body image. Some people hate their tummies, butts, thighs, etc. Society drives young women to have certain things like a Kim Kardashian behind and DD breasts. It’s also society and culture that pressures women to have “thigh gaps” and unrealistically toned stomachs just weeks after giving birth, like all the celebrities. Likewise, sufferers of anorexia struggle with their weight a lot. They perceive themselves as “fat” and while they need support and motivation from their loved ones, often times they just get ostracized, and people dismiss it as something as trivial as dieting. Often times they hear remarks like “You need to eat more” “You’re nothing but a bag of bones” or “I don’t know how you can starve yourself like that.” Those kinds of negative remarks affect a person’s attitude and ability to recover. Those suffering from eating disorders need to be reassured that everything’s gonna be okay and they also require constant positive reinforcement to recover. A close friend of mine struggled with the disease for 2 years. Simple things like eating a dish with butter or fat were accomplishments for her. A day when she didn’t count calories was an impressive feat, and when she finally gained a pound, it seemed like a milestone. I guess what I’m trying to say is that people commonly misunderstand this disease. It gets a bad rap most of the time. People suffering from anorexia are people too. And it’s really rough to step out in public looking rather emaciated, but feeling 10, 15, 30 pounds overweight. In reality, it could kill to lose a few more pounds. Anorexia is the most fatal mental health illness. It’s time people gave it a little importance.