about my Eating disorder recovery account on social media

The topic of discussion, eating disorder recovery account on social media, prompts a moment of reflection on their impact. Personally, I embarked on my own journey and shared it via my Instagram recovery account @doristrendfood for nearly three years, experiencing first-hand the power of connecting with others within the eating disorder recovery community. With this in mind, I am seeking to inspire through this reflection on the blessings and challenges presented by these accounts. It is important to acknowledge that while spreading awareness and advocating for recovery is valuable, the nature of social media can be complex, and it is important to approach it mindfully. To clarify, I firmly stand behind every post made to my recovery account and am grateful for the opportunity to share my story and support others.

Hey there! If you or someone you know is dealing with excessive worry or preoccupation over food, exercise, or appearance, it's totally normal to feel overwhelmed. But don't worry, seeking professional help can make a big difference! Early support and intervention can increase your chances of recovery and help improve your relationship with food and your body. It's important to remember that recovery from an eating disorder isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, and the journey may not always be smooth sailing. Research shows that only around half of patients achieve a full recovery.* So, it's always important to seek help as early as possible before the condition worsens. You deserve to live life to the fullest and enjoy food, movement, and socializing without feeling held back.

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the risks of eating disorder recovery accounts on social media

We will begin by discussing a potentially sensitive topic that requires a professional perspective. Although I may have previously shared content regarding “eating disorders” on social media, I have some reservations and view the topic critically. As someone who has experienced these challenges firsthand, I have recently decided to distance myself from discussing this topic any further.

I am invested in hearing about your thoughts on this matter. Have you had any negative experiences with an eating disorder recovery account hindering your progress towards recovery? Has consuming certain types of content proven more harmful than helpful? How frequently do you engage with content related to this topic, as well as other topics?

Let’s approach this conversation with professionalism and sensitivity to those who have been impacted by these issues.

As I reflect on my journey towards recovery, I have set certain guidelines for myself when it comes to sharing my experiences on social media. My goal was to spread hope and inspire others while avoiding sharing any content that could be potentially triggering. This includes refraining from sharing “body checks,” images from my most difficult times, or “before and after” photos. I understand that the road to recovery can be challenging, and it’s important to be mindful of the content we share and consume on social media.

From my own experience, I am convinced that an eating disorder can also be fed by such “eating disorder recovery account”, and one can be pulled further down the rabbit hole without even realizing it.

eating disorder recovery account on social media - more chances or more risks?

down the rabbit hole through social media

(based on the study: Harriger et al., the dangers of the rabbit hole, 2022) 

Numerous studies have indicated a correlation between social media usage and heightened body dissatisfaction. However, this association is significantly amplified with the incorporation of algorithmic technologies that yield personalized content. Albeit, such content is generally unrestrained and often provocative, designed to engage users for extended periods in a bid to generate more clicks and gather crucial data about their psychological state. With the absence of regulations or consumer safeguards, algorithms prioritize user engagement and retention, inevitably amplifying the exposure of individuals to negative or triggering contents such as those related to eating disorders or depression. This may be exacerbated by individual vulnerabilities, which can result in prolonged exposure to such ruinous contents, ultimately leading to potential negative consequences.

For example, on my private account, even the Discovery feed is constantly filled with content related to diets and eating disorders, although I’ve been mostly eating intuitively for over a year now and don’t even follow any recovery accounts. Why do I still see triggering content on my feed then? Because I also have a vulnerability for this topic and probably always will – which no longer restricts me in my everyday life, but it’s my responsibility not to nurture this vulnerability so that an eating disorder doesn’t break out again. Maybe you get the pointe by now: The algorithm can make it almost impossible to break free from the topic of eating disorders when all you´re seeing once you´re opening this app is content around eating disorders, fitness and/or dieting. And breaking free from this kind of content is incredibly important not just after, but also during recovery.

the chances of an eating disorder recovery account

Dealing with the still popular diet culture, including the moralization of food, the constant promotion of the slim ideal, health obsession, and the equating of weight with health can be challenging, especially for those of us who are particularly vulnerable to diet advertisements. Therefore, we need appropriate support for eating disorders to maintain recovery. Eating disorder Instagram accounts can actually play an important role in this.

A tip for you here is that you should not follow recovery accounts that are based on personal experience stories, but rather accounts run by therapists, dietitians, or nutritionists. Why? Because you will get really helpful tips for your recovery here, and usually there are no eating disordered full-day-of-eating, eating disorder behaviours or body pictures being displayed. Of course, it’s nice to see that you’re not alone in your recovery journey, but if these people gain weight or recover faster or slower, that will surely trigger unnecessary stress in you, which you probably already have enough of. So, do yourself a favor and follow, if any, exclusively people who can demonstrate scientifically sound knowledge on this topic.

A call any eating disorder recovery account

If you have a eating disorder recovery account, then I have a request for you: Please be mindful of your responsibility that comes with the decision to share content on social media. There are people who are very vulnerable to certain content and your posts could potentially lead them further into their eating disorder, where they may think they are not thin or sick enough. Please ask yourself if this is a responsibility you can handle. However, it is also not your job to help everyone recover from their eating disorder.

And then I would also like to share my experience with you: Already during my recovery, I had to constantly realize that the account was holding me back in some way from committing to full recovery: I did not want to gain weight too quickly or too slowly, and sometimes I felt bad because some things in my recovery were easier for me than it has been for others, but those others got more likes for sharing about how they struggled, etc. The fixation on numbers is probably very pronounced in those affected by eating disorders. That is definitely a point you should be aware of.

Instagram Essstörungs Recovery-Accounts / eating disorder recovery account on social media

And above all, what I have observed in the last few months is that I identified with the role of an “eating disorder sufferer” longer than it may be good for me. It was a nice time (at least mostly) during my social media presence and in some places, the account also held me back from slipping into less helpful behaviors, but maybe it’s just time to let go for good. And that’s exactly what I wish for you too. That you can decide to finally leave the topic behind, to jump out of the nest of the recovery community and spread your wings.

Out there, there is so much more than the bubble of diets, eating disorders, and the fitness scene. And deleting social media was the first step for me into this vast, exciting, but also unpredictable world.

Schlussendlich ist jeder selbst dafuer verantwortlich bewusst mit den sozialen Medien umzugehen 1 about my Eating disorder recovery account on social media


  • Allen, K. L., Mountford, V. A., Elwyn, R., Flynn, M., Fursland, A., Obeid, N., Partida, G., Richards, K., Schmidt, U., Serpell, L., Silverstein, S. & Wade, T. D. (2022). A framework for conceptualising early intervention for eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 31(2), 320–334. https://doi.org/10.1002/erv.2959
  • Harriger, J. A., Evans, J., Thompson, J. D. & Tylka, T. L. (2022). The dangers of the rabbit hole: Reflections on social media as a portal into a distorted world of edited bodies and eating disorder risk and the role of algorithms. Body Image, 41, 292–297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2022.03.007


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