Some thoughts on what causes Eating Disorders and how we can all work together towards Eating Disorder Prevention.
This section is dedicated to the big questions that often come through by e-mail… “Why do people get Eating Disorders to begin with?” and “What causes someone to get an Eating Disorder?” Complex emotional issues, there are many contributing factors to why an individual may suffer with Anorexia, Bulimia or Compulsive Overeating.
The first four sections we explore are … Love, Listen, Communicate and Validate. These sections contain quotes from the sufferers as to what they feel could have prevented their own Eating Disorders.
The next four are additional sections on some of the outside influences that may play a role in the development of Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating. These sections explore society and the media, food and eating, relationships with family, friends and other loved-ones, and the issues of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
Genetics may, for some sufferers, play a role in the onset of their Eating Disorder, but it is our belief that genetics alone are not the answer. If you’d like to read more on Genetics and Biology, click here.
It is important to remember that there is not one single simple thing that causes a person to develop an Eating Disorder. It usually lies in some combination of the social, environment, and biological attributes, and/or the family dysfunction of each individual.
The one trait that is obviously apparent in all sufferers of an Eating Disorder is their low self-esteem. Often they feel as though they are not good enough, that they never do anything right, that they are scrutinized by others for their appearance, and that their lives would get better if they could just lose weight. Sufferers can feel like they do not deserve to be happy, that they do not deserve good things to happen to them, and that they don’t deserve to have anything but what is felt as a miserable existence. They often feel like a burden to others, trivialize their own problems and feel as though other people deserve help more than them. Each section above, while exploring the causes of an Eating Disorder, simultaneously ventures into the depths of why each person suffers from a lack of self-esteem.
It is not uncommon for Eating Disorder sufferers to be viewed by others as compassionate, warm, giving, sensitive, and intelligent people. The problem is that each person suffering can not see in themselves the beauty that others do. Their own hate from within distorts their perception of how truly wonderful they really are.