Eating disorders are not voluntary. Nobody would choose to have anorexia, bulimia, or overeating.
Eating disorders emerge for a variety of reasons but are never voluntary and it is crucial for people close to those suffering with eating disorders to understand this and to show respect. This includes family, friends and professionals.
The treatment of eating disorders includes challenging the beliefs and behaviours that maintain the disordered eating pattern. While this challenging is important, it must be done in the context of respect and support for the client as well as their family.
There is no reason or excuse to disrespect people for their eating disorders at any time. In my decades of experience, that is just plain wrong.
If you have thoughts on this, please leave your comments below.
Dr. Charles Fishman