Approximately nine percent of Australians have an eating disorder. Despite a mortality rate almost six times higher than the general population, only a quarter of sufferers seek treatment. Eating disorders are complex medical and psychiatric conditions that have better outcomes when treatment begins early. Many people with an eating disorder don’t seek help because they are in the normal weight range and consider themselves okay because they are not the sensationally thin stereotype portrayed in the media. Symptoms include hearing voices forcing an idea that the illness is beyond control, wanting to disappear, feelings of emptiness, fear, failure, self-hatred, and displacement from the body. The eating disorder can become a means of control for the sufferer and many never fully recover and go on to live with mental illness, often going to great lengths to conceal the symptoms from others. JUST ASK ME HOW I FEEL reflects the men, women and children who want to share their experience to raise awareness and shine a light on its psychological manifestations. As one of the participants said ‘Don’t comment on my body, just ask me how I feel.’
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