How To Cure An Eating Disorder On Your Own

WHAT CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR EATING DISORDER?

Even if you are not sure, write a summary of what you think contributed to the development of your eating disorder. After finishing this worksecrets, you might want to come back and add anything new that you learned.

EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT ABOUT THE FOOD

There are four main reasons eating disorders are more than a problem with food:

1. An eating disorder is not caused by any particular food and is not a simple addiction to food.

2. An eating disorder is not caused by, but is fueled by, a cultural obsession with appearance and particularly weight.

3. Although many people diet, underlying risk factors make certain people more susceptible to developing an eating disorder.

4. It’s the biological makeup of you, not the biological make up of the food you eat that contributes to the development of an eating disorder.

AN EATING DISORDER IS NOT CAUSED BY ANY PARTICULAR FOOD AND IS NOT A SIMPLE ADDICTION TO FOOD

Although it is a controversial subject, there is no proof that an eating disorder is an addiction. However, there are similarities to an addiction, such as engaging in the behavior despite aversive consequences, being secretive, the need to increase the behaviors, and even feeling withdrawal when trying to stop the behaviors, which are important to address. The various Keys do help with those issues; for example, Key 1 helps you look honestly at the adverse consequences and Key 7 teaches you how to reach out to others rather than remain secretive. Research on binge eating indicates that for certain people, bingeing on highly palatable foods can cause a dopamine brain response similar to what happens with cocaine, and can be thought of as causing an addiction to bingeing. However, it is bingeing on these foods rather than eating a normal amount of the food, like having a dessert at night or a candy bar at the movies, that triggers this response. All that being said, if you feel like an addiction model would be helpful for you, our experience has shown that thinking of your eating disorder as a behavior addiction (bingeing) rather than a substance addiction (sugar and white flour) will help you have more success. Although there is disagreement in the field, we believe that an eating disorder is not something you will have for the rest of your life. Once you are recovered, there will not be foods you must abstain from to prevent you from relapsing, but there will be behaviors you have to change.

AN EATING DISORDER IS NOT CAUSED BY, BUT FUELED BY A CULTURAL OBSESSION WITH APPEARANCE AND PARTICULARLY WEIGHT.

There are many studies and indicators that body dissatisfaction plays a role, even if not the only role, in the development of an eating disorder. In one study of adolescent girls, body dissatisfaction emerged as the most potent predictor of who will develop an eating disorder. (Behav Res Ther. 2011 Jun 28.) Messages about the importance of appearance over substance and the emphasis on being thin affect most of us in some way, but those who develop eating disorders seem to be especially vulnerable. Exploring and dealing with how the cultural obsession with appearance and thinness affects your perception and attitude toward your body is important.

You might think you are not all that affected by living in this culture. Even asking you to think about it is like asking fish how are they affected by living in water. When you have nothing to compare to, it is hard to know how you would feel about your body if you had grown up in a culture where appearance and thinness were not so highly valued. Although we do not think the culture causes eating disorders, it promotes dieting, and the more people who diet, the more cases of eating disorders will occur. The following assignment asks you to explore the culture’s effect on you.

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