Living with anorexia/bulimia

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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