Young Women Are Using Social Media To Recover From Eating Disorders
Social media has notoriously been used as a hub for young women who post pictures, videos, and quotes encouraging unhealthy eating behaviors in the quest to be thin. Even when sites like Instagram made direct attempts to intervene, the issue only grew worse. But, there is another side to social media that is often overlooked.
Perfect dinner on this blustery, rainy day: chicken sausage, rice, and a zoodle-cabbage salad! Yumyum. So last night I went into a bit of a panic-mode. I got super anxious about my upcoming doctors appointment on Thursday because my doc has been threatening to call the Ed-specialist Doctor if I lost any weight. Since I saw her last I'm essentially the same weight, but I just live in fear of getting 'formed' and forced into hospital if she gets the Ed-unit involved. The anxiety kept me from sleeping (despite being on drugs that make it nearly impossible to stay awake) and, more importantly, reminded me that there is zero room for slacking on my intake. If I want to do this my way, outside of the hospital, I have to prove to everyone that I CAN! So today has been full of recovery wins and you can bet your booty I'll be taking on as many challenges at I can before May 5th (the dreaded appointment date) and after. No room for slacking or stalling!!
It is true that it is not difficult to find so-called “pro-ana” (pro-anorexia) or pro-mia (pro-bulimia) content on Instagram, but there are also thousands of people – particularly young women – who are using Instagram to help support their recovery.
The New York Post recently profiled how a trend has appeared on Instagram of people posting pictures of their food. These aren’t your normal food pictures, though. They are a part of a larger story being told by those who have lived with eating disorders and are either in treatment or recovery.
The trend shows that the frequent claims that “social media causes eating disorders” is a vast oversimplification of a very complicated class of disorders.