On Our Radar: Eating Disorders During Ramadan

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Saw this article over at BuzzFeed about the challenge of recovering from eating disorders during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast for up to 18 hours daily.

“The biggest challenge I face during Ramadan is the food during iftar,” she says. “Ramadan is the only time of the year my family and I actually sit down and eat together.

“The food is usually triggering because every meal is different. Nothing seems safe for me. Also, I do not feel comfortable eating together, [as] there are always comments made by certain individuals that make me feel more triggered.”

In some Muslim communities, she says, there is a misunderstanding of what an eating disorder is, and many dismiss it as a “diet”: “They think eating disorders is just about wanting to be skinny – they see it as a choice.

“In fact, I would never do this if it was a choice. I would never have hurt my family and friends the way I have if this was a choice. It is a mental illness. The cause is deep-rooted and it cannot just be ‘fixed’ just by praying to God. You need treatment, such as therapy and a dietician to help you. You need a support network of family and friends. Because of the lack of understanding in the Muslim community, I’ve had very little support from my family.”

Read the full post here.