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Calling for Eating Disorder Services to Better Support LGBTIQ+ Patients at World Pride 2023

Key Point
  • Research suggests that the LGBTIQ+ community may be disproportionately affected by eating disorders.
  • A new national survey explores issues related to body image, diet and exercise within the LGBTIQ+ community.
  • The survey was launched in parallel with the EveryBODY ​​Welcome Campaign at Sydney’s Mardi Gras Fair Day.
This article contains references to eating disorders.
Anna Rose’s journey into an eating disorder began when she was 20. When a simple desire to be healthier evolves into a pattern of dietary restrictions.
I continued for 13 years.
“Like many people, I started out wanting to get in shape and exercise, but I was at a really big turning point in my life,” Anna told SBS News.
“I snowballed into being very strict with my exercise at first and restrictive with my diet, but for a long time I had no insight into what was going on. Stay healthy and well.” It’s for.”

At the time, Anna didn’t know they were neurodiverse, queer, and non-binary.

It was three years ago when they made the connection and realized how their gender identity contributed to eating disorders.
“I always thought I didn’t want to have a more feminine body, so I didn’t miss curves, periods, etc. I didn’t understand why people cared about that,” they said.

“I didn’t get my period for the better part of a decade, but I didn’t worry about it until I needed to gain weight to have a baby.”

A ‘clear need’ for more comprehensive care

Anna, now 41, considers herself recovered, but they say it took her years to understand her gender identity and eating disorder.

They attribute this in part to a lack of understanding combined with the need for eating disorder services to be more inclusive to adequately support the needs of queer and gender-diverse patients. I think

Anna Rose says the LGBTIQ+ community has specific needs when it comes to treating eating disorders. sauce: attached / Anna Rose

“There is a real need for more comprehensive eating disorder care that acknowledges the multiple roles that individual experiences of gender and sexuality can play in eating disorders and body image issues. it is clear.

“For patients who identify as gender diverse, their experience in accessing care does not affirm their gender identity and fails to really address relevant factors. .

“Certainly more work is needed in that area.”

‘They are neither welcomed nor understood’

Anna is not alone in their experience.
According to clinical psychologist Dr. Jane Miscovich Wheatley, international research shows that people in the LGBTIQ+ community may be at higher risk for body image and dietary concerns.
She says people within these communities may also have difficulty getting treatment and diagnosis.
“We have found through clinical practice and new research that a higher proportion of people in the LGBTIQ+ community experience body image issues, excessive exercise, restricted diets, and binge eating. Did.

“However, people often don’t present to the service because they don’t necessarily feel welcomed or understood, and the presentation may not be what we expect. ”

Dr. Miskovic-Wheatley leads the IncludED study, Australia’s first LGBTIQ+ community-wide survey designed to improve our understanding of eating disorders and their diagnosis.
Conducted by the Inside Out Institute for Eating Disorders, the study was launched on Sunday at Mardi Gras Fair Day alongside the EveryBODY ​​Welcome Campaign, with seven national eating disorder organizations We met to discuss and promote comprehensive care and services for eating disorders and bodies. image problem.
Dr. Miskovic-Wheatley says the health care system needs to be more open-minded about how eating disorders manifest.
“If we’re not open-minded about what we’re doing, we’re doing our community a disservice. [eating disorders] “It may look like,” she said.
“If we don’t open our hearts, people won’t ask for help and support when they need it.”
World Pride 2023 coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Australian Gay Pride Week, the 45th anniversary of the Mardi Gras parade and the 5th anniversary of Australia’s Marriage Equality Referendum.
LGBTIQ+ Australians seeking mental health support should contact QLife on 1800 184 527 or . There is also a list of support services.
Intersex Australians seeking support can visit Intersex Peer Support Australia.
Readers seeking assistance with eating disorders or body image concerns should contact the Butterfly Foundation at 1800 33 4673. For more information,

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/eating-disorder-treatment-is-letting-down-queer-and-gender-diverse-communities/710w48zy5 Calling for Eating Disorder Services to Better Support LGBTIQ+ Patients at World Pride 2023

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