Reasons People Develop Disordered Eating

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.

Society

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.

Sports

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.

Bullying

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.

Genetics

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.


Eating Disorder Addiction

Eating Disorder Addiction

Food is a basic need for our survival and our bodies depend on the nutrients in food to stay healthy. For some people, food consumes their life. Sometimes people turn to food for comfort due to stress, depression, or anxiety. Eating disorders come in many forms such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. In any form, an eating disorder can cause physical disfiguration, impairment, obesity, and death.

A person who has an eating disorder develops an addictive relationship with self-destructive eating patterns. An individual with anorexia will starve his or herself because of their distorted perception of how they look. A person with anorexia literally starves to death. The lack of food causes extreme weight loss, hair loss, and impairs the body's organs. Eventually, anorexia leads to an early death.

An individual with bulimia eats normally or binge-eats, then immediately and intentionally vomits the food. He or she might like the taste of the food but throws up to avoid gaining weight. Bulimia can cause tooth decay from the stomach's acid that comes up with the food. A person who has bulimia is at risk of developing severe physical impairments and death.

An individual who has an eating disorder shows similar characteristics of a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. These addictive behaviors are self-destructive, harmful, and deadly. When a person has an eating disorder, he or she loses control and the ability to stop.

Eating disorders are related to some of the psychological effects of starvation, which appear to be similar to symptoms of addiction. A person with an eating disorder is preoccupied with food and experiences the urge to binge, is irritable, depressed, and overeats as a response to stress. The effects of starvation can make a person feel they are addicted to food. This can cause the person to avoid food. The avoidance of food reinforces the person to feel addicted.

The causes for developing an eating disorder or drug addiction are very similar. Social pressure, impulsivity, stress, and emotional trauma are reasons a person turns to addictive behavior. Eating disorders and substance addiction develop from stressful situations as a way to cope with emotional distress.

A person with an eating disorder or addiction could be self-medicating for mental health complications such as depression or anxiety. Eating disorders and drug or alcohol addiction are chronic diseases with high relapse rates. All require treatment for recovery.

Recovery needs to take place in mind, body, and spirit. That is why Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic approach to treatment, providing a multi-faceted partial care program rooted in evidence-based therapies, proven healing methods, and 12-step inspired recovery. Call us today for information on our programs for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, including eating disorders: 833-801-5483.


Eating Disorders are a Disconnect Between Mind and Body

Eating Disorders are a Disconnect Between Mind and Body

Sadly, so many people in Western culture suffer with imbalances in their relationship to food and their bodies.  These imbalances can manifest in a variety of ways which diagnosed as overeating, anorexia and bulimia to name a few.  While the names and expression of these imbalances may vary, at the core, these people are suffering from a disconnect between the mind and the body.  Food and the way that it nourishes our physical life can be a profoundly mystical experience.  When a disorder has presented, the sufferer has lost the beautiful cycle of food sustaining the physical body so that a life is being lived for its spiritual purpose.  

Often, these imbalances are often paired with dysfunction in the way that people connect commune with others while consuming food.  Our ancestors experienced deeply reliant community in relationship with food whether they were of hunting and gathering or agricultural times.  The food connection was not limited to the consuming of food, but included a necessary shared lifestyle to make food possible for all.  Over the generations, we have lost this communion with others around the life-cycle of our food.  This cultural change is present in eating disorders, whether expressed as co-addiction, the shared addictive consumption of food, binge eating in isolation or eating in community only to purge in secrecy later.  Consider how each of these manifestations may be altered by having a lifestyle of communion around food if secrecy from others related to food was not possible in our lifestyle.

It is in the separation and secrecy from others that our mind is given the space to get trapped in a obsessive-compulsive loop.  In separation from a tribe, the irrationality of our addicted mind can seem rational.  Our desire to escape from powerful feelings overrides our ability to make a healthy choice.  The recovery journey offers the opportunity to reconnect to others by vulnerably sharing where our minds is taking us with food.  This becomes a wonderful bridge to invest in beautifully connected relationships by revealing where the addicted mind wants to go and receiving the support to make different choices to heal the mind and body.  Communion with food and others can be possible today.  

If you are struggling with addiction, alcoholism, and/or mental health, know that there is hope. There is a solution. Harmoniously fusing together the best elements of clinical care, holistic healing, and 12-step philosophy, Enlightened Solutions has created a program of total transformation for men and women seeking recovery. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs in New Jersey.


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An Eating Disorder at the Dinner Table

Eating disorders are not always obvious. On the other hand, eating disorders are not always hidden as well. Many wrongly assume that an eating disorder is most strongly evidenced by how thin someone is. Mostly that is because people wrongly assume eating disorders are about eating. Just like alcohol and drugs are really symptoms of the mental illness that is addiction and alcoholism, food, weight, and eating, are just symptoms of eating disorders.

Having an unhealthy obsession over food consumption, weight, body image, and body mass index is indication of a problematic way of thinking. That unhealthy obsession can be displayed in numerous ways. Similar to the way an addict or alcoholic goes to great lengths of dishonesty to protect their addiction, someone with an eating disorder will protect their illness. Binging and purging are easily hidden. When weight loss, or weight gain, or not noticeable, these harmful and potentially fatal practices can carry on under the radar.

“Weight loss,” chief executive of the National Eating Disorders Association Claire Mysko explains, “is not necessarily associated with a lot of eating disorders. Certainly with some- and with anorexia- that is a sign. But for most people who struggle with eating disorders, you wouldn’t necessarily know it from looking at them.”

Anorexia is a prevailing eating disorder that can affect men and women of all demographics, cultures, and appearances. Since anorexia mostly involves restricting a diet, commonly to the point of starvation, weight loss is a regular symptom. However, not all eating disorders are about restriction. In fact, most eating disorders include the practice of binging and purging. Binging is eating a copious amount of food to the point of feeling sick. Purging means using a method like vomiting, abusing laxatives, or excessive exercise, to get rid of that feeling. These practices can cause subtle fluctuations in weight, but no drastic weight loss.

The pervasive stereotype of what an eating disorder “should” look like prevents thousands from seeking treatment for their harmful habits. Eating disorders can cause heart failure, stroke, intestinal problems, and weight problems.

If you are concerned you or a loved one might be experiencing an unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, or body image, call Enlightened Solutions today. We offer care for dual-diagnosis issues. Eating disorders are commonly accompanied by substance abuse of drugs and alcohol. For more information call 833-801-5483.