LIVING like two people and lying to doctors about eating habits to protect a “best friend” is the feeling of a woman suffering with an eating disorder.
Morgan Bennett has dealt with an eating disorder and described it like a friend you cannot let go of.
“The disorder is a safety net and you lie about what you’re eating because in the back of your mind you know something is not right,” she said.
Women shared their stories as part of an art show opening yesterday which exhibited creations from people who have been faced with an eating disorder.
Sherylin Jones has nine art works on display out of the 30 and said she wanted people to understand what it was like from the inside looking out.
“There is a lack of understanding of eating disorders and we want to eliminate the stigma,” she said.
“People say it’s for attention but it’s not a choice.”
Ms Jones said having an eating disorder felt like you were trapped and out of control.
“There needs to be an awareness on how it impacts daily life,” she said.
“The most basic things are a struggle like socialising, grocery shopping, showering — it just makes you think of your weight.”
Ms Jones said creating her art works acted as therapy.
The exhibition, called Inside an Eating Disorder, was organised by the Eating Disorder Awareness Group which is part of North East and Border Mental Health Service.
Group facilitator Kim Haebich said she hoped the exhibition would give eating disorder sufferers courage to seek support.
“People can learn from what has been created and help them understand how they feel themselves,” she said.
Ms Haebich said the exhibition was not only to support people dealing with an eating disorder but also those who have no attachment to it.
“If people are more aware of how other people are dealing with an eating disorder, then they will be a better support,” she said.
“They can show a person they are not alone.
The art works will be exhibited at the Wangarratta library this month.