Who is to blame for your eating disorder?

Fashion designers are going head to head with Eating Disorder Specialists in the debate on eating disorders.

This video attempts to boil down the core issues for you so you can decide where you stand on the topic.

Does fashion create eating disorders?

Is the individual responsible for their eating disorder?

Families are to blame.

It’s in the genes.

Anorexia deemed a “brain disorder.”

All theories that are thrown out there, but none are definitive.

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9 Responses to Who is to blame for your eating disorder?

  1. Niika says:

    I don’t think fashion creates eating disorders, although it can be a trigger. I also don’t necessarily think people always get eating disorders because they have a bad body image, etc. I, for one, know that I actually had a very healthy body image before I got an eating disorder. I always laughed at even the slightest hint that I was supposed to be as thin as, say, a celebrity; I did not like the way the very skinny celebrities looked. To me, Beyonce, J-Lo, and Queen Latifah looked amazing. Renee Zellwegger was too skinny (at her low weights) and not attractive at all. Models? Models didn’t even exist in my world. They were just people in pictures to me.

    The way I look to other people has never been that important; the numbers on the scale, and the food manipulation itself, have always been the important things to me. I am rather underweight for my body type, and I do not think that I look good — in fact, when I am able to look in the mirror objectively (which admittedly isn’t very often these days) I think I am too skinny. But I still cannot make myself eat more food or gain more weight, because that would mean a loss of control, and right now I find that idea absolutely intolerable.

    Do I make sense at all?

  2. Niika says:

    Oh… I should probably add that almost from the very beginning of my restrictive behaviors, I have been guilty of looking at thinspiration as motivation. Why? Because I wanted to restrict, so I sought out anything and everything that would validate the desire to restrict and consequently lose weight. Pictures of very thin fashion models — and, later, celebrities — were one of many things I “abused” as brainwashing tools when I decided I wanted to severely limit my food intake.

  3. Jen says:

    I just wrote about this on my blog because I thought it would be to long to post here.

  4. mamavision says:

    Hi Niika: Thanks for your comments. Can you eleborate on why you choose to restrict? Is it a choice?

    You say the number on the scale and the food manipulation is the imporant thing for you- why?

    Finally, you state that the thinspiration images validated for you your desire to restrict your food intake. In what why did these images validate this for you- are you saying it made you fee less guilty about doing it or am I not understanding this point?

    Thank you, thank you!! Your comments are very much appreciated and touch on some key issues I neeed to understand.

    Take Care!

  5. juliesix says:

    I think I’m solely responsible. Started as a control issue, like so many do. I probably use celebrities as validation that I’m doing nothing wrong. If my partner says my chest is looking bony, I’ll point to someone famous and say “look, you can see her ribs too.” As far as family, I do remember fearing growing up to be heavier like the women on my mom’s side of the family, but turns out I didn’t inherit their body type anyway.

  6. Niika says:

    Okay… NOVEL TIME!! Ha. But seriously… this is really long. Sorry about that. I just have this need to explain things fully.

    I think I do choose to restrict — or, at the very least, it was definitely a deliberate choice at the beginning. I have thought about WHY I decided to restrict a lot, and I think there were a few things involved… it wasn’t any single thought process.

    1. I was overweight (BMI 28.5) and wanted to lose weight. However, I am a very impatient person, and so if I could do it fast I wanted to do it fast. When I found some pro-“ana” communities which talked about restricting to under 500 calories a day, and some of the weight loss successes they’d had with such restriction, I decided to try it. So, partially, it was a bit of a crash diet.
    2. Unconsciously, I was looking for a new coping mechanism. I had just been in the hospital, where they’d forbidden me to self-injure, and if I had they’d have discharged me right away. Not wanting to be discharged, I had fearfully stopped cutting myself. But that need for control was not to be so easily dismissed. Restriction seemed, at first, like an “easy” way to still have control, while at the same time not doing that unacceptable self-mutilation “thing”.
    3. Restriction gave me something to focus on that wasn’t my own depression or other “bad” feelings I had. Later on, the starvation effect really muted my emotions, which was an effect I loved. It may be worthwhile to note that I had previously been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and for me the main manifestation of that is really INTENSE emotions about EVERYthing. It had gotten me into trouble in the past (cutting, ODs, hospitals, etc etc); so when I got a chance to get rid of it, I jumped at it. Wouldn’t you?

    The number on the scale and the food manipulation have to do with that same control thing, as well as almost being a sort of obsessive-compulsive thing for me these days. If I don’t allow my calories to go “too high”, I am able to temporarily self-soothe, but when I cannot count my calories I feel very unsettled and agitated. Previously I had experienced this same sort of situation based around my weight every morning; but I weaned myself off that, and in its place got EXTREMELY obsessive with the food.

    As for the thinspiration, you’ve understood perfectly. Thinspiration gave me this clear message: “It is okay to want to be too thin, because all these women in the media are too.” When I was less psychologically vulnerable, I really thought all that was complete schlock, BS, whatever word you want to use… but when I suddenly NEEDED this coping mechanism and this control, and WANTED weight loss, thinspiration was there, waiting to fill the holes in my mind and spirit.

  7. Rika says:

    Like most mental disorders, it is a combination of causes. It’s a coping mechanism for stress, for a feeling of loss of control, as a way to deal w/ low self esteem, as a way to respond to comments from family and peers, as a way to respond to what we feel society expects from us. And by society I don’t just mean the media- I mean the boys we have crushes on, I mean our family and our coaches, be they sport or dance coaches. The behaviors engaged in in eating disorders have been determined to be addictive, so it is easy, depending on the person’s wiring, to become addicted to the behaviors (I did an 11 page paper on this and read tons of research on it). Anorexia is frequently found among the girls who are the “perfect daughters”, straight A students, over acheivers, etc. They put pressure on themselves that rivals the pressure it takes to create a diamond. disorders usually accompany disorders such as OCD or anxiety disorders. It can be caused by trauma such as rape or abuse. Eating

  8. Rika says:

    I should add that the reason I know all these contributing factors to eating disorders is b/c most of them exist in my life. I have been eating disordered since the age of 13 and I’ll be 22 this summer. It’s a long time to deal w/ this affliction, but over the years I’ve done a good bit of research on that from which I’ve been suffering.

  9. Heidi says:

    My grandfather was the cause of my eating disorder. He molested me when I was 7. I had to stuff away how I felt. I picked food. I stuffed all the bad down with food. I’ll be 33 next week and I still do this. :o(

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