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Is an eating disorder the real problem, or just a symptom?

 

The Truth About Eating Disorder Symptoms

There are so many people who live a secret life, and sometimes a secret lifetime, battling an eating disorder. The physical, emotional and spiritual problems that manifest with eating disorders are so powerful and all-encompassing that it can be easy to believe that these are the primary symptoms that must be overcome.

Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. If you have spent any time reading books on eating disorder recovery (or spent time in therapy with me!) you know that an eating disorder is really an all-powerful coping mechanism that soothes enormous amounts of underlying stress.
 

Cause and Effect

If you think back on when you first developed your eating disorder (it’s often earlier than you first guess), it is almost certain that there was an accompanying stressful event(s) that occurred during that time period.

It’s not hard to see why purging several times a day, starving to the point of passing out, uncontrollably binge eating, obsessive counting of calories and other E/D symptoms can become the primary focus of concern. But if you compare those problems to those of being sexually abused, witnessing repeated violence, suffering severe abandonment and loss, for example, they pale in comparison.

What do you think are YOUR underlying stressors and/or traumas that first triggered your eating disordered behaviors (bingeing, purging, emotional eating, compulsive exercise, laxative abuse, orthorexia, body dysmorphic disorder)?

_____________

It is only when you identify these, and receive proper support to grieve, grow and heal, that you will be able to let go of your eating disorder for good.


 

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