Imposter Syndrome in the World of Eating Disorders
You’ve no doubt heard a lot about imposter syndrome in general society.
It gets used as a term to capture the kind of personality where someone who is perfectly proficient, professional and capable, has their own ‘nagging doubt’ and ‘inner demons’ which cause them to feel that they are indeed an ‘imposter’ to the world.
But there’s an uglier version of an imposter syndrome which emerges specifically in eating disorder support and access – and there’s a very VERY amendable reason.
What is it?
Sadly, time and again we hear through the entrance route of Wednesday’s Child that so many men, women and children are being marched (metaphorically) right back out of their GP consultation room, and told, frankly, that they’re ‘not THAT sick to be classed as having an eating disorder’
No wonder our triage process sees literally dozens every week share their stories of being denied access and feeling like they’re ‘not even success at having a mental health illness’.
This has GOT TO STOP.
Sufferers with life-limiting eating disorders are being judged and dismissed because of the size and shape of their body.
They’re being cast aside as not qualifying for help.
They’re being made to feel like a sheer ‘imposter’ for trying to access support for an illness which, as any decent healthcare professional SHOULD know, can exhibit only secretly and without physical body manifestations.
As an organisation born through lived experience, and rich in its catalogue of people telling us about their own dismissal and distress, we absolutely know that behaviours of someone with an eating disorder are often so invisible as to be undetected without appropriate conversation and listening.
PLEASE. Yet again, we implore those who have a role to play in perpetuating this sense of imposter syndrome among those who are so desperate for help – please hear your patient, understand their fears, and provide the appropriate pathway to help.
*Share your experience with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Oct 2021