Saturday, 27 August 2016

Am I generalising?

A few weeks back, I shadowed a Nurse Assessor for the day and observed two clinical reviews. This same nurse is a registered mental health nurse (RMN) and honestly wonderful, but also wanted to know more about eating disorders as she was aware of my history. Without any hesitation, I let her ask me anything she so desired because raising awareness and educating others is so important to me.

As I began to answer her questions, I started to say 'individuals with anorexia are very intelligent and manipulative' and yes, I do include myself in that sweeping statement even though being manipulative perhaps isn't the best quality to have.

Anyway, she soon picked up that I do seem to put everyone who has or has had anorexia, into the same basket, and was I right to do that?

And you know? She has a very good point.

I really do make very sweeping generalisations when it comes to personality traits and anorexia but the truth is, I've never met someone with anorexia who doesn't fit that bill. OK, so not everyone of those has been academic but my god, they have been smart and the illness has lead them (and myself) to develop manipulative tendencies.

I asked a good friend of mine what she thought too (who has recovered from anorexia), and she agreed with me. We generally both agreed that those who are perfectionists, over achievers and have extremely high standards are vulnerable to anorexia because that's the nature of the illness. We also became manipulative because the behaviours require you to lie, deceive and hide from so many people. Things you wouldn't even dream of doing to manipulate someone can seem so normal when you are consumed by anorexia.

But this all mean that every single person who suffers, has these personality traits? My guess is no but I've never come across anything different. I would genuinely be interested in hearing any comments on this too because I'd love to know what others think/have experienced!

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