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Mind & Body

BE AWARE: A sufferer DOES NOT need to appear underweight or even "average" to suffer ANY of these signs and symptoms. Many men and women with all Eating Disorders, Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating look like everyone else... it does not mean they suffer less or are in any less danger.

The Mind...

Obsession and pre-occupation with food and the amount of food intake, with poor self image. We think and say things like, "I'm too fat," "I'm ugly," "My life would be better if I just lost weight." We believe we do not deserve good things or to be happy, and it's common to also believe we do not deserve help with or for our problems.

People suffering with Anorexia and/or Bulimia often get a sense of power out of their Eating Disorder. It is not uncommon to find an Anorexic or Bulimic who feels "high" after periods of starvation or purging. Compulsive Overeaters often feel the exact opposite; lack of power and a loss of control. See also "Power" below.

Low Self Esteem. Feelings of inadequacy. Poor self image and perception. Guilt, feelings like "I never do anything right." Fears of being stared at, judged or being thought of as stupid. Feelings like "nothing I ever do is enough."

Sufferers often think things like "my life would be better if I lose weight," or that people will like them more if they do.

It is common for Anorexics and Bulimics to be perfectionists. When they cannot achieve perfection in their endeavors they unrealistically blame and find a need to "punish" themselves by restriction or starvation, or binging and purging. Compulsive Overeaters tend to be perceived as unmotivated and lazy when in essence they are often depressed and isolated. In their need for affection they often fill the void with food.

Guilt. For not meeting the expectations of others. For falling short of our own expectations. For happiness when the "world" is so sad. For sadness when "there are people in the world with real problems" (though our problems are quite real). Guilt for feeling like a "burden" to people. Guilt for the Eating Disorder behavior itself. **Making us, the ones already suffering, feel more guilty by intimidating or forcing us to stop the behavior will only lead to more of the feelings that initially started the behavior.**

Power. A need to control physical and emotional surroundings. In this way Eating Disorders are a negative coping mechanism, used to control emotions or to keep them suppressed. It feels easier to think about food, food intake (or lack of), hunger and planning meals or avoiding them, instead of dealing with and feeling emotions. Eating Disorders can be used to punish ourselves for feeling at all, or for being "bad." Purging can be used to get rid of built-up negative emotions, and overeating to fill a void. Overall, Eating Disorders can have a very "numbing" effect, and can give those who suffer a feeling of power over their own emotions. (Compulsive Overeaters often feel a great loss of power).

Deception. Lying about food intake or lack there-of. Lying to avoid eating or to sneak food. Hidden use of laxatives, diuretics and purging. The deception and lying help the sufferer to maintain a feeling of control, and more often than not they feel tremendous guilt and self-hate for it (feeding back into the Eating Disorder behavior).

Depression. Mood swings, lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety or panic attacks, claustrophobia in crowded places, isolation and loneliness. Can lead to suicide.

The Body...


Frequent Headaches due to lowered blood pressure and decreased oxygen supply to brain. Always Cold caused by: loss of insulating layer of fat and/or decreased circulation due to lowered blood pressure and slowed heart rate; and a slowed metabolism.

Irregular and/or slow heart rate. Low blood pressure cause by low potassium in blood. Electrolyte imbalances and vitamin deficiencies.

Tingling in Hands, Feet, Face. Vitamin deficiency, specifically potassium. Electrolyte imbalances and malnutrition. Sufferers often tire easily and feel light-headed.

Dizziness, Lightheadedness, Feeling Faint. Caused by nutritional intake, purging and/or laxative abuse, slowed heart rate, malnutrition and dehydration, depression and/or stress.

Bruised or Callused Knuckles and Fingers. From sticking fingers in mouth and down throat to induce vomiting. Soar throat and/or swollen glands from the irritation the stomach acid causes during purging. Dry Skin, Brittle Hair and Hair Loss. Malnutrition and hormonal imbalances. Hair Growth on face, back and arms (fine hair called Lanugo). Hormonal imbalances.

Anorexia/Bulimia/Compulsive Overeating: Dental Problems. Teeth and gum deterioration, decalcification of teeth and enamel loss, arthritis, osteoporosis, infertility, back pain, joint discomfort, poor circulation, heart problems, feeling weak and unhealthy, sleep pattern problems, and exhaustion.

Compulsive Overeating:

Tendency to be warm or hot. Increased exertion requirements placed on the body by excess weight and increased digestive activities.

Fast and/or irregular heart rate. High blood pressure caused by increased weight gain and possible raised cholesterol levels.

Joint Pain caused by additional stresses on the body brought on by excess weight. Poor circulation due to constricted veins and arteries. Sufferers often tire easily.

Exhaustion decreased endurance, dizziness. Brought on by increased stress on the body, nutritional imbalances, fast heart rate and high blood pressure.

Varicose veins and spider veins, muscle soreness and joint pain, decreased mobility, hormonal imbalances.

Please Also See Physical Dangers


:: Mental Health :: Voices :: Perception ::
Mind & Body :: Symptoms :: Questionnaire ::
Misconceptions :: Diabetes :: Phobias ::
Genetics and Biology :: WWW.Warning ::

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