Anorexia & Bulimia – Eating Disorders

Anorexia/Bulimia Recruitment Tactics

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders | 0 comments

Anorexia and bulimia seem to use our societies dominant ideas regarding how we sometimes get to feeling that we don’t quite measure up against us. No matter where planet-therapy.com goes around the world to interview people struggling with disordered eating the tactics of anorexia and bulimia appear to be the same!

Below are some questions that planet-therapy.com has devised to help unearth some of these deadly recruitment tactics.

anorexic/bulimic Recruitment Tactics

  • In what ways has anorexia/bulimia effected your relationship with yourself by telling your self that you are not worthy?
  • In what ways has anorexia/bulimia made you think that you are its special protege?
  • In what ways has anorexia/bulimia made you believe that you are only an anorexic/bulimic person?
  • In snatching your concentration away from you, does anorexia/bulimia push you further into its concentration camp?
  • I wonder how it was that anorexia/bulimia managed to wedge you away from your own thoughts and version of the world?
  • Do you believe that you are only just the person anorexia/bulimia tells you that you are ?
  • By what means did anorexia/bulimia entice you into isolation and despair – would a good friend do this to you?
  • How did anorexia/bulimia trick you into thinking that hospitals and death were a better alternative to life in the free world?
  • Do you think that the rule book of anorexia/bulimia self specialization specialises in torture and assassination?
  • How is it that anorexia/bulimia gets away with making people remember to forget their best qualities?
  • How is it that anorexia/bulimia tricks people with promises of safety while it silently takes them towards it’s ultimate aim – death
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Complications of Bulimia Nervosa

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders | 0 comments

Many people often ask what is bulimia? How does it differ from anorexia? Are there deadly complications with regard to this eating disorder? The thing with Bulimia Nervosa is that although it may look like a condition of the mindset with regard to their weight and appearance, it usually manifests itself into physically debilitating complications.

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The history of anorexia and bulimia

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders | 0 comments

As therapists, parents and friends we should be concerned with taking up a historical account of the persons relationship with anorexia and or bulimia. If we agree that the person did not invent anorexia/bulimia, that it is not genetic and the person is not to be blamed, planet-therapy would be curious to know how it all began.

If you are struggling with anorexia/bulimia it is important to ask yourself these questions that outline the early history of anorexia and bulimia. In re-searching this past relationship with anorexia/bulimia, planet-therapy.com would ask:

  • What effect does being a slave to the idea of perfection have on anorexia/bulimia overtaking a person?
  • Were there factors in your life beyond your control that made anorexia/bulimia look like an attractive option?
  • What do you remember in your life that most helped anorexia/bulimia along?
  • When you think back upon your first introduction to anorexia/bulimia were there promises made to you by the disorder?
  • Do you think anorexia/bulimia makes these same promises to everyone? or has it made you think that you are alone in this as its special student?
  • Did the abuse you suffered at the hands of _____ help along this feeling of being a less than person?
  • Did the abuse you suffered at the hands of _____ somehow assist in anorexia/bulimias recruitment of you?
  • Does the culture of ‘thinner is better’ sway peoples thoughts away from other unnoticed qualities in themselves?
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Understanding the Problem

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders | 0 comments

According to the National Institute of Mental Health there are over 5 million people in the United States suffering with eating disorders. The problems of anorexia/bulimia and bulimia have been growing at an alarming rate since the early 1980’s. Within the global economy cultural ideas are being traded along with other goods and services. This leaves the door open for anorexia/bulimia and bulimia to be exported worldwide and now even non-Westernized countries are experiencing the affects of anorexia/bulimia and bulimia.

Statistics show that:

  • 1% of all North American teenagers have eating disorders.
  • 10% of these teenagers will die. (read our case story: Death of a Daughter)
  • People struggling with anorexia/bulimia are among those whose health are at great risk.
  • Therapists, nurses, family doctors and psychiatrists have not had much long-term success in the treatment of anorexia/bulimia.

Health professionals will tell you that anorexia/bulimia is one of the most complex and difficult problems to treat. Statistically, traditional forms of treatment continue to be quite unsuccessful. Many professionals are left feeling hopeless and paralyzed.

Anorexia/bulimia consistently undermines prized psychological theories, and millions of dollars have been wasted on anorexia/bulimia research. Unfortunately, the majority of research and therapy practice concentrates on bio-medical answers and pharmaceutical cures while denying society’s link to the problem (it should be noted that 95% of all federally funded research is biologically-based).

If we continue to believe anorexia/bulimia has a biological basis of behavior, treatment for eating disorders will continue to fail. It is important that we consider the following questions:

  • What would occur in our medical clinics if our research began to realize that anorexia/bulimia does not start in the genes, nor is a result of individual deficit?
  • What if the statement – “these girls just need to eat” – was challenged, and instead we accepted society’s role in promoting anorexia/bulimia?
  • What if we examined culture, the body watching, the fear of not measuring up, the belief that thinner is better, the media’s rules of set body specifications, and gender prescriptions of the body.

Anorexia/bulimia was once the exclusive domain of upper-class heterosexual, young, white women. Over the last two decades, the demographics of anorexia/bulimia sufferers has changed. Sadly enough, in both the professional and non-professional arena, anorexia/bulimia continues to be viewed as the “disease” of spoiled, temperamental, overly-controlling, overly-indulged Daddy’s girls, who “just need to eat.”

Did you know that: Eating disorder treatment centers report anorexia/bulimia affects people across the spectrum of gender, age, race, class, and sexual preference. anorexia/bulimia is not only isolated to North Americans and Europeans, treatment centers serve a full-range of cultures including people from Iran, Korea, Turkey, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Africa. While anorexia/bulimia is more likely to affect younger women, eating disorders include women and men, gay and straight, rich and poor, old and young.

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Living with anorexia/bulimia

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders | 0 comments

Our physical appearance is a national obsession, surely the most discussed, imagined, and embellished topic of concern.

Just take a walk down any main street and see for yourself: our ever-expanding body conscious culture invites us to adorn ourselves with jewelry and ornaments, change our body’s usual smell and utilize make-up and coloring to disguise its aging. There are hair salons, gymnasiums, tanning booths, and manicurists, to fix and tweak our appearance. Billboards at every corner teach us how to look and how to fit in. We read magazines and watch television programs about carefully prescribed weight loss programs.

People who struggle with anorexia/bulimia always say:

  • anorexia/bulimia is not about eating!

What they do say is, anorexia/bulimia involves:

  • being controlled by ideas of perfection.
  • feeling that you are never quite good enough.
  • feeling life is disconnected and out of control.
  • feeling isolated and alone.
  • feeling overwhelmed with negative thinking about ourselves and the state of our bodies.

Long-standing and underproductive solutions include:

  • An over-dependency on pharmaceutical cures (anti-psychotic medication).
  • Holding mothers solely responsible (mother-blaming)
  • The search for chemical imbalances and bad genes (bio-genetic treatment).

Perhaps it is time to re-think our theories and treatment strategies for this rapidly growing problem.

See also our feature article, Concealing and Revealing a Secret, written by author Dr. Evan Imber-Black.

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How the Culture Supports anorexia/bulimia

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders | 0 comments

Consider the corporate executive who spends 12-hour work days desperately searching for a promotion, having no time with his family, stressed to the max and working out in his time off to sculpt a perfect corporate body image. When he finally succumbs to a heart attack at age 37, do we consider him a corporate anorexic/bulimic?

The way the problem of anorexia/bulimia seems to work is to trap people (see Jade’s story) into a set of intense fears and beliefs about their lives. People do not invent these fears and beliefs, but are helped along by a pro-anorexic/bulimic culture that values perfection, competition, individualism and thinness.Over a five-year period the major therapeutic issues attached to treating anorexia/bulimia are:

  • perfection and exercise
  • disconnection and a lack of belonging
  • body surveillance and food restricting
  • sexual and physical abuse issues
  • negative thinking and hopelessness regarding past, present and future
  • guilt and not-measuring-up to societal standards

It would be hard to imagine how anyone living within our culture’s dominant ideas about how people should be, look and feel, could be exempt from anorexic/bulimic experiences.

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