Be aware

Anorexia is an eating disorder, an eating disorder is a mental illness. I stand by this indefinitely. But I cannot dismiss how anorexia can cause very dangerous physical problems. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness and sadly a majority of these deaths within sufferers are due to physical issues from starvation - such as organ failure, chemical imbalances and over-exhaustion.

I have many fellow anorexia-warrior friends, a handful of whom haven’t made the fight. Anorexia is real and it is a killer. Anorexia doesn’t just make you skinny, or ‘mess with your mind’ it threatens your life, your whole existence, it could be the bully behind your last breath.

Sometimes people forget how serious eating disorders are. I have been knocking on deaths door myself, and I will never forget the waves that could have taken me under forever. I nor will ever forget the friends I have lost, and those friends that were never freed. Suffering from an eating disorder is not a choice, just like suffering from cancer is not a choice. However for a reason unknown eating disorders are pushed into the silence more than other diseases. Sufferers are called vein and selfish, comments are thrown about such as “just eat” or “be a man” and non-sufferers often lack the interest to help.

The deaths of sufferers with anorexia can also be driven from mental thoughts to inflict acts of self-harm and the suicide rise within anorexics grows each year.

Don’t be one of the crowd to encourage others to suffer in silence. Don’t be one of the group to judge. Be the one to help. Be the one to stand up and beckon the suffering voices out of the dark before its turns dark for them forever.

Photography by: Daniel Brookman

Photography by: Daniel Brookman

Margherita Barbieri