This is Thin Privilege

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On triggers

I have struggled with eating disorders since I was a teenager, for someone like me hearing diet talk can ABSOLUTELY be a triggering event. It can send me into a spiral of self loathing and disordered eating habits. Diet talk can TRIGGER a relapse.

For the record I do have diagnosed PTSD relating to a sexual assault I experienced as a child, so I know all about being triggered and having flashbacks. For me personally diet talk triggers much the same physical reaction, my heart races, I feel sick, I flash back to being a teenager hearing my mother parrot on about putting me on weight watchers while I’m in the bathroom throwing my guts up. I may recover from being triggered with diet talk faster than my other triggers, providing I’m not already in an emotionally fragile state and have the strength to avoid a downward spiral and relapse, but I am still triggered and it is still an awful experience.

For someone with an eating disorder being triggered can cause a downward spiral that can KILL THEM! Eating disorders can be lethal, triggering a relapse can be lethal.

PTSD is not the only illness that has triggers. People with depression can be triggered by images or talk of self harm or suicide (I know I can be), and I don’t see anyone claiming that because they don’t have PTSD it’s not a ‘real’ trigger and is just ‘something they don’t want to hear/see’. Doing that would be awful, ableist and just plain cruel, so why is it acceptable to say the same for diet talk when it’s clearly something that can and does trigger people? You don’t know who’s got an eating disorder, you can’t tell by looking at them any more than you can tell who has PTSD, so dismissing this sort of talk out of hand as not being a ‘real’ trigger is awful, ableist and cruel.

My eating disorder triggers are just as real as my PTSD and depression triggers.

Thin privilege* is never being told that having to hear diet talk isn’t a triggering event and is just something that you don’t want to hear.

* I realise that the OP of the trigger post identifies as a ‘small fat’, but this is still an example of thin privilege, just one that in this case has been internalized by a fat person.