Wednesday, 11 March 2015

This article just really upset me

I was doing a bit of research, partly for blog post ideas and partly because I like to look for stories of how people have overcame their picky eating (these stories are few and far between) or how they have managed to lose weight in spite of their issues.

I came across this article https://munchies.vice.com/articles/i-infiltrated-the-online-community-of-adult-picky-eaters The title made me think that the article might be poking fun at people like me and I decided to give it a look over and see what it was saying. I am not against contacting the owner of a site and putting them straight, in fact I did so recently where a TV company had written a 'factsheet' on Selective Eating Disorder. They had used a really inappropriate image for the article and many of their facts were incorrect so I emailed them to let them know. They didn't change the facts, but they did change the image.

Anyway back to the article we are actually talking about here. The article itself was actually in no way upsetting, I actually think it did a reasonably good job of explaining picky eating, online support groups and how important they are to people like me. The comments were what I found upsetting.

The site the article is published on has a policy of not censoring comments. Their policy is none of my business but it wouldn't be the way I would go. After all as site/blog owners its up to us to make sure the content of our site/blog is not offensive or illegal, whether we wrote it or not. Their unwillingness to moderate comments means that this article is full of comments that are really offensive to picky eaters like me.

I have a thick skin, always been that way. Something to do with being an only child, growing up in a very small town and working in a pub for a little short of a decade I think. However even I was a little upset by some of the comments on this particular article.

There are a lot of the usual 'these people are like that because their parents let them away with being fussy as a kid' and 'if you were mine I would have just kept putting the same meal down over and over again, you would have gotten hungry enough to eat it eventually' type of comments. Those really don't bother me that much, I have heard them all before and a whole lot worse.

The ones that bother me are the ones where people like me are actually being verbally attacked for being the way we are. One particularly vile commenter also asks the person above them if they also wet the bed and still live with their mum, calling their behaviour childish. All the person had done to warrant this 200 word plus rant was point out that putting the same food down to them time and time again hadn't worked for them.

I just don't understand why people can't be a little more respectful to others. I know that people like me have eating habits that others don't understand but what I don't get is why we attract such vile hatred from people. No one would ever attack a person with anorexia or bulimia in the way they attack people with selective eating disorder.

I understand that it's because selective eating disorder or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder as its now medically known isn't as well known as other eating disorders. In fact here in the UK if you were able to get a diagnosis it would likely be 'eating disorder not otherwise specified' but that doesn't give people the right to attack us. Just because our disorder is not as well known as other eating disorders doesn't mean its any less real.

I just wish that people would take just a minute to think about what we actually go through. I don't doubt for a second that every single person with selective eating disorder would do anything to just have a 'normal' diet. Many people have tried everything from hypnotherapy to exposure therapy, which by the way is very distressing for someone like me, in the hope that something will help.

If you don't understand what we go through then I invite you to do some reading, this is a great blog: www.mealtimehostage.com and actually the page I visited that first made me realise that there were actually other people like me out there. If you don't want to read about it then ask us a question, most of us are more than happy to share our experience to try and better the understanding of our disorder.

If you don't want to do any of those things that's fair enough but remember the old saying 'if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing' and please just leave us alone. We struggle more than enough daily without vile insults on the internet being directed at us. We know all the things you are going to tell us already - we have an unhealthy diet. We are fully aware of that and people online pointing it out over and over again does nothing to help us.

For the selective eaters reading this I encourage you to read the meal time hostage blog and even join one of the many online support groups. They are safe places for people like us where we can discuss our struggles without anyone firing insults at us.

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