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Mindfully Micha: Eating Disorders

23 June 19 words: Mindfully Micha

This month, Mindfully Micha talks to Hope Virgo, who runs the Dump the Scales campaign, using her lived experiences to influence change in the way we look at eating disorders...

What led you to launch the campaign?
I relapsed in 2016 and was unable to access any support due to the fact that I was not underweight. I am lucky as my family helped me get through that time, challenging my thinking and being my support network. Unfortunately, many don’t have this same support, which can make it really hard to recover. Eating disorders are not about weight, and we need to stop judging individuals on that basis. The fact that people are judged solely on their BMI completely simplifies a very serious illness, and is a complete injustice.

What advice would you give someone struggling?
Know that the voice in your head that you think gives you so much is all short lived value and life beating the eating disorder is so much better.

What are some of the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding eating disorders?
Unfortunately, there are a lot: it’s a woman’s disease; it’s a way to attention seek; as long as a person is eating, they are recovered; it only affects thin people and if you have an eating disorder, you’re able to ‘snap out of it.’ It is never that easy.

How can people with eating disorders seek help in Nottingham?
FREED (Freedom from Eating Disorders), who have been going since 1996, provide a service that doesn’t make you compartmentalise your diagnosis. They’re available for anyone over the age of fourteen, and you are able to self refer. They offer support for carers as well as those diagnosed, with no catchment area and a variety of support including dieticians, therapists, CBT and those with lived experience.

Hope Virgo website

Freed Beeches website

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