Needless to say, for those who suffer or have suffered from an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or a binge-eating disorder, it can be an especially vulnerable time. “If the Alpaca Is My Spirit Animal shirt and I love this reduced availability of pleasant and enjoyable activities and social interactions was not stressful enough, these changes are happening against a backdrop of a terrifying virus that is killing thousands of people worldwide,” explains Kendra Becker, a psychologist at the Eating Disorder Clinical and Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Thus, individuals are using what coping skills they have and sometimes that includes unhealthy eating behaviors such as binge eating or high levels of dietary restriction.”
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In general, commenting on someone’s weight, especially for a person with an eating disorder, can focus their self-worth on their weight or appearance and reaffirm problematic thoughts that their weight is of high importance in establishing their value as a person. “People with eating disorders have high levels of body dissatisfaction, and comments praising weight loss are essentially reinforcing unhealthy eating behaviors,” adds Becker.