Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Using Social Media for Eating Disorder Recovery

For those who struggle with eating disorders, social media can be either a blessing or a curse. For a long time now troubling trends such as “thinspiration” and “pro-ana”—hashtags meant to encourage eating disorders and promote poor body image—have dominated the conversation. But some social media users have begun using these digital tools for good rather than ill—effectively becoming online ambassadors for treatment and recovery. An article from The Atlantic reports on one such user. Hayley Kremer, now a college student, has had an eating disorder since she was in high school. But rather than use social media as a shame spiral, she has used Instagram to photodocument her recovery—posting appealing photos of her daily meals and also shots of her own body as she goes through the recovery process. Kremer’s Instagram account confirms that an online recovery community is possible. As she has shared testimonies from her own recovery journey, thousands of followers have added their comments and revealed their own stories. More broadly, social platforms like Instagram include more and more users who are championing the virtues of eating disorder recovery. What that means is that you can use social media to facilitate your recovery—and to encourage others. An online community like Instagram can provide a certain level of anonymity—or at least distance—while also empowering you to share your story and to reap the same benefits as a more traditional support group. And by being intentional about celebrating your recovery, you can even foster a healthy sense of self-love, using social media to showcase your voice, your beauty, and your worthiness. Social media is not always a positive presence in the lives of those with eating disorders—but it can be, when used with the right intentions. It may even be something you’d like to try as you go down your own recovery journey. What are some of your favorite, positive examples of social media being used for recovery? Share some links on Facebook!