Many factors are thought to cause or predispose people to disordered eating, including trauma, genetic risks, modelling of these behaviours, biological factors, rigid thinking and perfectionism, low self-esteem, dissociative experiences, impulsivity, early menstruation… and more. Research has consistently supported that social, familial, or cultural pressure to be thin (or lose weight), in conjunction with internalising the idea that it is imperative to be ‘skinny’ causes a negative body image. This negative perception and experience of one’s body then causes two things: negative feelings and restricting food intake. In turn, negative feelings and food restriction leads to binge eating and purging behaviours. People can get caught between extremes of not eating, or overeating and compensating for this (through purging or excessive exercise), and it can be difficult to see a way out. Of course, the pattern of disordered eating varies widely between people: one person’s experience of an eating disorder is markedly different from someone else’s. Disordered eating often causes significant medical risks and issues, even in a healthy weight range. People with anorexia nervosa have the highest risk of death of any psychiatric disorder.
There are several different therapies that have been scientifically tested for eating disorders, and can also assist with body image concerns and related difficulties. If you would like help to start your recovery journey- contact for an appointment today.