Facing the stigma of struggling with an eating disorder can add an extra challenges for Black Indigenous People of Color and there are little resources available, and few people in the mental health field that speak to this.
As quoted on EatingDiorder.care
“People of color that self-acknowledge eating and weight concerns were significantly less likely than white participants to have been asked by a doctor about eating disorder symptoms, despite similar rates of eating disorder symptoms across ethnic groups (Becker, 2003)”.
There have been blind spot in the mental health field, especially the eating disorder treatment field, in offering inclusive treatment for eating disorders.
In the book, Not All Blacks Girls Know How to Eat, the author speaks to how hard it was for her to seek treatment for an eating disorder, due to the picture that is painted that only white, privileged girls suffer from an eating disorder.
In movies and TV it often portrayed that an eating disorder looks like a 16 year old, rich, white frail teen girl which can be very damaging when someone outside of this stereotype is looking for help.
While in reality the statistics show eating disorders don’t “look” like anything. Instead they are the behaviors around food and the thoughts and guilt after and before eating.
Eating disorders look like
- A man in 60s who been a chronic dieter and finds himself binge eating yet his doctor never asks him about an eating disorder and is not worried because he is a “normal weight” (which is harmful and something Health at Every Size helps address).
- An Indian-American mom in her 30s who binge/purges after her kids go to bed at night.
- A black women identifying as lesbian who suffers from anorexia in secret. She tries to eat less than X calories a day, over exercises and feel obsessed with thinking about food.
- An Asian male in his 20s who is deemed as “overweight” by his doctors, has been put on multiple diets and finds himself in the restrict-binge cycle not understanding why the diets aren’t doing what they promised.
Eating disorder impact people of all sizes, ages, genders and races. Finding a therapist that is educated on eating disorders and focused on inclusivity is important.
All Collide Behavioral Health we value holding ourselves to higher standards for mental health and eating disorder care for people of all ages, races and bodies of all shapes and sizes.
“If you are a person of color or a person of size, the way you experience an eating disorder and treatment will be impacted.”
Mental Health and Eating Disorder Treatment Resources for BIPOC
Therapy for Black Girls This is also a great podcast to listen to!
The Balanced Black Girl put together an amazing Google Doc of mental health resources and articles focused on racial trauma along with Instagram accounts that can be helpful to follow.
If you are searching for affordable eating disorder treatment in your area I suggest NEDA’s Low Cost Support Guide
You can also look into joining our Virtual Eating Disorder Support Group that meets every Tuesday at 6PM to discuss eating disorder recovery, diet culture, body image and Health at Every Size.
At Collide Behavioral Health, we are committed to advocating for those who are otherwise marginalized in our society, including the LGBTQ Community, BIPOC, those with disabilities and others who struggle with stigma, racism, sexism and homophobia on a regular basis. In therapy, you will find a safe space to process stigmas you’ve faced.
Reach out for a free phone consultation today by going over to our contact page.
Therapists at Collide Behavioral Health
Disclaimer: This is in no way a replacement for a therapeutic relationship or mental health services. This is for educational purposes only and should be in used only in conjunction in working with a licensed mental health professional. If you are looking for a local professional feel free to use the contact tab to request an appointment or search Psychology Today for local therapists in your area.