What can I do to cope with the stigma surrounding eating disorders?

This article will explore a topic that's often overlooked or misunderstood: coping with stigma around eating disorders. In my role as a nutritionist and registered dietician, I have seen many people struggle with not just the psychological and physical effects of eating disorders but also with prejudices and judgements from society. We'll discuss why it is important to understand and fight this stigma, as well as practical strategies and tips on how you can cope.

It is important to cope with the stigma surrounding eating disorders

Stigma surrounding eating disorders may aggravate the stress and anxiety associated with this condition, which can make recovery more challenging. A 2016 Journal of Eating Disorders study found that people with eating disorder often encounter stereotypes and discrimination. This can cause self-stigmatization and prevent treatment seeking behavior.

Taking on and eliminating this stigma can have many benefits. This can make individuals more confident in seeking help from professionals, create a more supportive environment to encourage recovery and help promote more accurate and compassionate portrayals of mental disorders by the media and society as a whole.

Starting Out: Understanding and Acknowledging the Stigma

Recognizing stigma and its negative effects is the first step in combating it. In a study published by Social Psychiatry in 2019, the prevalence of stigma towards mental illnesses, such as eating disorders, was highlighted. It is important to recognize this bias in order to address it.

Stigma Coping Strategies

Other Tips

To manage stress and increase self-compassion, try mindfulness exercises such as meditation or yoga. Journaling or art therapy can be creative ways to express feelings and track progress. Remember that asking for help is okay - it doesn't mean you are weak. Instead, reaching out to family members, trusted friends or professional counselors can be a positive step in the recovery process.


The stigma associated with eating disorders can be a major obstacle to recovery. This is an aspect that's often missed. We can change harmful stereotypes by recognizing this problem, educating others and ourselves, getting professional help and practicing self care. It's important to remember that physical well-being is not the only thing at stake. Mental health and acceptance of yourself are equally as important.