This is the Butterfly Podcast from the Butterfly Foundation, your national voice for people living with body image issues and eating disorders.
Eating Disorders - Not What You Think
What do you think of when you hear the words "eating disorder''? The chances are, eating disorders are not what you think. If you've experienced one yourself or know someone who has you're off to a good start. Eating disorders are an extremely broad and diverse category of mental illness and most people are not aware of how prevalent they are.
This episode is being released for Mental Health Month 2020 and with eating disorders being the complex mental health issues that they are, we're going to go back to the basics. Even if you've experienced an ED or you know someone who has, you're probably not aware of how wildly varied they can be.
Over a million Australians are currently experiencing an eating disorder, and less than a quarter are getting treatment or support. And it's becoming increasingly clear that eating disorders are often under diagnosed. Everyone who experiences an eating disorder has a unique story to tell.
The Butterfly podcast is produced, hosted and edited by journalist Sam Ikin, who has lived experience of binge eating disorder, in partnership with Butterfly.
To find out more about eating disorders, visit the Butterfly Foundation website www.butterfly.org.au.
Young people, body image and #socialmedia
Social media is a huge driver of body image issues and young people are particularly at risk. Packed with unrealistic images and ideals, social platforms can be an incubator for mental illness - including eating disorders.
In this episode we hear from young Instagram creator Jenna Abbasi who explains how social media affected her eating disorder. We also talk to Zak, a year ten student, about how he manages his social media experience to stay body positive. And we hear expert advice from Danni Rowlands, Butterfly's National Manager of Prevention Services, Suku Sukunesan, expert researcher in Applied Social Technology at Swinburne University, and Cara Webber from the eSafety Commission.
Content warning: This podcast talks about eating disorders.
Gender, sexuality & eating disorders
Katie is in recovery from an eating disorder, and says her struggles with body image and disordered eating were triggered in high school, when she began to feel on "on the outer" from her straight peers.
One million people in Australia will struggle with an eating disorder during their lifetime, and a significant number belong to the LGBTIQA+ community. Yet only 25% of those living with an eating disorder will ever seek help because they don't fit the stereotype.
Kai, who identifies as trans, developed an eating disorder that suppressed his puberty, because he thought only women got eating disorders. Mitch came out as gay in the middle of a relapse of anorexia, but was told that his identity was just a symptom of his being unwell.
The history of discrimination against LGBTIQA+ people, along with not enough trained professionals to serve this community, is why many do not get the treatment they need. The good news is there are people working to change that. In this month's Butterfly: Let's Talk podcast, we talk to Katie, Mitch and Kai about their recovery, and to Dr. Scott Griffiths and Tarn Lee - two insightful professionals who work in the space. Let's talk.
The Butterfly National Helpline is free and confidential, and we encourage anyone who thinks they may need help with their body image or eating-or just want to find out more-to call 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or visit butterfly.org.au.
Men, we need to talk
Men, we need to talk. The stereotypical eating disorder sufferer is a young, wealthy, white woman, but there's a lot of evidence telling us that the stereotype is inaccurate.
Based on current numbers, one in three people living with an eating disorder are men, and there are a lot of men suffering in silence. In this episode of the Butterfly podcast: Let's Talk, one of the country's top eating disorder researchers, Dr Scott Griffiths from the University of Melbourne, says there could be a significant number of dudes with eating disorders we don't know about.
"Men are really reluctant to go and see a doctor in the first place," he tells us.
That rings true for the three men we profile in Episode Two of Butterfly: Let's Talk, including Carlton and Melbourne Football star Brock McLean.
The truth is, anyone, from primary school kids to middle-aged men-including sports stars like McLean-can get an eating disorder. This mental illness doesn't discriminate.
"I grew up in a very old school family," he tells us. "No complaining, no wingeing. If anything went wrong you just had to suck it up and get on with it." Experts say that traditional ideas around masculinity discourage men to seek help when they know they have a problem.
The Butterfly National Helpline is free and confidential and we encourage anyone who thinks they may need help with their body image or eating-or just want to find out more-to call 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673) or visit butterfly.org.au.
The tyranny of distance
There is a critical shortage of adequate support for people affected by eating disorders who live in regional and remote areas. We can all relate to feelings of frustration and distress after months of living in isolation during the COVID-19 event. But for people who live in remote and regional areas, the experience of isolation from desperately needed services and treatment will continue long after the pandemic has passed.
In this episode, we talk to three people who all have very different lived experiences but who have all experienced the tyranny of distance. Butterfly CEO Kevin Barrow joins the show to give his insights into why someone's postcode can make such a massive difference to their chances of recovery and what Butterfly is doing to bridge the gap.
Over 1 million Australians are living with an eating disorder, but less than a quarter of those receive treatment or support. This show connects you with experts, people with a lived experience and their families and carers. Whether you're affected personally, you're caring for a friend or family member, or if you want to find out more, the Butterfly Podcast is the best place to start.
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Love to hear a podcast on the lesser known ARFID . Fantastic podcast
Love the work you guys are doing.this podcast is done really well. Always look forward to new eps!