Binge Eating Disorder and Unwanted Medical Advice
Do you get unwanted, unsolicited medical advice about binge eating disorder? For me, it never fails. The second I mention to an acquaintance or family member, whether online or in person, something about my diet, my food, or anything of that nature, I suddenly get inundated with unwanted medical advice. Even offhanded comments, like trying a new food or baking for someone's birthday, causes people to switch into know-it-all mode and start dishing out doctor's orders about binge eating disorder that no one asked for. No one that you casually know should be advising you on your diet, especially when you didn't ask them to in the first place.
Binge Eating Disorder Advice, You Get What You Pay For
It occurs to me that if I told someone that I think I broke my leg, they would immediately tell me to see a doctor and give no further advice. But when I say that I'm having trouble with binge eating (What's the Difference Between Binge Eating and Overeating?), I get a variety of completely ridiculous responses and suggestions on how to handle it. Your diet affects your health and is a medical problem as much as a broken leg is. No one should be telling you what to do unless they're a professional, they've looked over your medical charts and they have the knowledge to advise you.
Of course, diet information is so prevalent in today's body-obsessed culture, I'm sure that everyone feels like they're an expert in it. (Overcoming Binge Eating Disorder and the Dangers of Dieting) Someone reads an article in a popular magazine or blog and suddenly thinks that they're now informed on the complex and difficult problem of weight management -- and they're simply not.
My Experiences with Unwanted Medical Advice on Binge Eating
I remember when an acquaintance once noticed that I had lost weight and asked me how I had done it. I told her that I had weight loss surgery and explained that I was now on a high-protein, low-carb diet. She then informed me that I should do gluten-free as well. Even though I have no allergy or problems with gluten. It was suddenly the gluten that was going to keep me fat. I hadn't even asked for advice but she started telling me everything that she knew about gluten as if it was at all helpful or relevant for my diet.
A few months after that, I posted a status about how I desperately wanted to eat cookies and someone I only knew through Facebook popped up to lecture me on good carbs versus bad carbs and how my diet was completely wrong. I had to remind her that I was under a doctor's care and he was monitoring my weight and health on a monthly basis, so I would follow his advice and not hers. She was so offended that she unfriended me.
Empathize With Me, Don't Try to Fix Me
When it comes down to it, some people are just trying to help (others are not, but let's assume that they are). But the help you need is support, not advice. Friends, family members and even acquaintances can be a fantastic resource for helping you through a difficult time but not if they insist on telling you everything they just learned from a Buzzfeed article on vegetables. Sometimes you need to politely remind people that you are being treated for your binge eating and they're not the one treating you.
LaBranche, S. (2015, January 8). Binge Eating Disorder and Unwanted Medical Advice, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2015/01/dont-casually-give-medical-advice-binge-eating-disorder