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Reasons People Develop Disordered Eating

It can be hard to understand why someone would purge their food or not eat. People may see what they are doing as a choice when it is really a mental health disorder. By understanding the reasons why people develop eating disorders, we will be able to recognize the signs more easily.


According to Power of Positivity, one of the reasons people develop an eating disorder is when people try to fit in with society’s expectations. The world teaches us that we cannot be overweight and be considered beautiful, but to look skinny to get anywhere in careers, make friends, and gain respect. It can especially be hard when movies, television shows, and magazines show us women that are called beautiful and sexy, but not too many that we see attract the gaze of those they are romantically attracted to are overweight.

Instead of thinking about how important it is to be healthy, they focus more on how we should look toned with no flab anywhere. Because being fat is considered to be a condition no one wants to be in, we are taught to be afraid of food. More people in Hollywood, as well as models, should bring more awareness about being comfortable in your own skin no matter what shape you are.

Where You Live

It is also possible to feel self-conscious about yourself because of the area that you live in. You may work in a place where people are physically fit. You may feel like you have to keep up with everyone in the office so that you do not stick out like a sore thumb. By developing bulimia, you may feel that this is a faster way to lose weight to keep up with everyone. When people binge, they love how food tastes so they taste the food to experience it, but then dispose of it so that it is like it was never eaten. It is also possible that you could have been raised in an environment where you were belittled by your parents or an older sibling because of your shape. By avoiding food, you may think that it will be harder for them to continue belittling you if you look the way they expect you to look.


There can be a lot of pressure in playing sports. You are pressured to be a certain weight so that you can perform better for games, races, and dance performances. There are people who will starve themselves thinking they will athletically perform better. It can be very hard when they see others they compete against or the build of famous athletes thinking that they need to look just like them to win their games. Athletes need to be aware that more than anything, the best way they can perform in their sport is to be healthy and have the energy and strength to win for their team.


There are people who take down others who do not look like them to feel better about themselves. This does not have to be in school, but can be at work as well. It can also feel uncomfortable if your office goes to get dinner and sees you eating more than them, making them think it is okay to make jokes at your expense. If someone is picked on a lot, they may feel like the only way they can avoid this torture is by changing the way they look. Instead of letting these negative taunts affect you, you should stand up to them and be your own person instead of who everyone else wants you to be.


Eating disorders can be passed down to children just like with other diseases or mental health conditions. Just like when you look at families that have all obese family members, the same can go with those who use not eating or purging in their daily routine. Power of Positivity also says that chromosomes have been linked to eating disorders like anorexia. Twins are also said to have a higher chance of developing an eating disorder compared to other kinds of siblings.

Low Self-Esteem

Having low self-esteem can play a big part in developing an eating disorder. You may have been in a relationship where your partner left you for someone younger. You feel like you need to compete for that partner or for someone else to be attracted to you. You may be telling yourself that you are just trying to lose a few pounds until it becomes trying to lose too much that you need medical attention. Understanding your worth and seeing the beauty in you through treatment will help you get through your eating disorder.

Poor Coping Skills

It is possible to develop an eating disorder because you have problems dealing with what normally stresses you out. Because life feels so uncontrollable, you feel that the only way to get that control back is by deciding what goes or, in this case, what does not go in your mouth. There is no room for judgment when someone has an eating disorder as it is as much of a cry for help as breaking your arm. It cannot be ignored. By paying attention to the signs of an eating disorder and knowing these possible reasons, you can look into treatment to learn how to like yourself and view your body as beautiful.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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