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What You Need To Know About Pro-ED Communities Online

Trauma manifests in different ways for different people. Eating disorders is one of the many ways trauma can manifest, for both men and women. Though eating disorders are not always the result of trauma, many times trauma, or a diagnosis of PTSD, are co-occurring with an eating disorder diagnosis.

Today, media has taken a stern turn against any kind of narrative which promotes eating disorder behavior of any kind. The body positive movement is thriving online, often going viral with healthy body hashtags. Unfortunately, there is still a lively community of harmful narratives online, often regarded as “thinspo” or “thinspiration” among many others.

Living in recovery from an eating disorder is extremely challenging. Unlike process or chemical addictions, eating disorders revolve around survivalist needs like food. Food is a vital necessity for living a healthy, balanced, full life. Once food becomes a disordered part of someone’s life, it takes control of all the other areas of someone’s life. The obsession is fueled by shame, both by shame of traumatic events and shame of an eating disorder itself. Looking for negative reinforcement through online validation is common for many people, making pro-ED communities dangerous.

Warning Signs Of Online ED Obsessions

Modern technology consumes many hours of our lives, making it difficult to know when online activity is problematic or not. We cannot watch over the shoulder of a loved one in ED recovery every moment of their time online. However, we can look for warning signs.

  • Check for public profiles: If your loved one’s profiles are public, you’ll be able to see what kind of profiles, pages, or hashtags they are following, including posts they have liked or saved. If their profiles aren’t public, you can consider making access to their online activity a requirement in their recovery. If there are certain hashtags or profiles which seem to promote ED-behavior, it is a negative sign that any of this kind of content is being followed.
  • Taking numerous ‘selfies’ or ‘mirror pics’: Selfies have practically become a method of communication. For individuals in ED recovery, an obsession with selfies or taking shots of the body in the mirror communicates unhealthy behaviors. They may be taking cues from people online for body comparison, measuring, and more.
  • Body checking: Body checking is a warning sign for regressive ED behaviors as a whole. Feeling, squeezing, or pinching the body, as well as constantly analyzing the body in the mirror are problematic behaviors. If someone is spending a copious amount of time online in pro-ED communities, they may be comparing their bodies to others, who have achieved certain looks or weight through dangerous behaviors.

At The Guest House Ocala, we welcome everyone who has experienced trauma and, as a result, is suffering from addictions, mental health disorders, or other manifestations. Our programs are custom tailored to the specific experiences and needs of each client. Everyone has a story. Change yours today. Call us at Call 1-855-483-7800.