Eating Disorders

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I will say it till I am blue, one of my biggest pet peeves will always be when mental health disorders are used as every day slang to describe, what ever the person is trying to describe, besides a legitimate diagnosis.

Have you ever realized how often you hear the connotation, "omg you look so anorexic" to describe someone who is thin? Whether they be genetically inclined to a thinner build and possibly a faster metabolism or not, it is assumed she MUST be 'anorexic'. Again, we go into something I have previously mentioned, 'fad' terms in today's society. I once heard a doctor refer to a disorder as a 'sexy disorder', and by 'sexy disorder' (Ex. ADHD, anorexic, mood disorders, etc.) she meant, a disorder that is nonchalantly used and/or diagnosed. Not only did I find it humorous, but I found it to be true.

In short time, it will become perspicuous to my readers that a lot of key factors from my childhood and adolescent life were not only what shaped me, but led me to studying psychology and falling in love with the understanding of people. Early experiences in life help us develop into who we are. During each stage in development, we experience a psychosocial crisis which then will either have a positive or negative outcome in the development of our personalities.

Erik Erikson would probably say epigentic principles played a definite role in my personal development (if you get the reference, I hope you laughed as much as I did). Luckily, my psychosocial growing up as I was developing, had a positive outcome as far as, well now. If you're not sure who Erik Erikson is, his work was influenced by Sigmund Freud, only difference being Erikson believed our personality developed throughout our entire lives. Freud on the other hand, believed that our personality was developed by the age of 5.

A little bit of a sidebar from today's topic but some, what I think, are fun facts to know about psychosocial development;

  • Trust vs Mistrust (12-24 months)

  • Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt (18-24 months)/(3 1/2-4)

  • Initiative vs Guilt

  • Industry vs. Inferiority (5- 12 years)

  • Identity vs. Role Confusion (12-18 years)

  • Intimacy vs. Isolation (18-40 years)

  • Generativity vs. Stagnation (40 to 65 yers)

  • Ego Integrity vs. Despair (65+)

Although, the information above on psychosocial development may seem out of context. In essence, it is the stages in which we ALL develop and it is always good to gain further knowledge on them. If interested in learning more on Erik Erikson and his theory of psychosocial development, click the link below:



So I am sure we've all heard of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulima Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorders, even Laxative Abuse. Eating disorders are a complex illness. One that affects all ages, although typically on set throughout the adolescence stage.

Commonly, some people view eating disorders as a lifestyle choice. People struggling with anorexia nervosa typically tend to see themselves as overweight, even though they may be dangerously underweight. People with anorexia nervosa tend to constantly weigh themselves. They obsess over the scale in a sense. They eat with a lot of caution due how strict they are with the amount of food they consume and when they do eat, they eat in very small portions.

Did you know Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder?Although both men and women with anorexia nervosa die from complications due to their starvation, in women suicide is more common with anorexia.

Bulemia nervosa, although not any better than any other eating disorder, it is not as fatal. People with bulemia nervosa tend to binge-eat, followed by forced vomiting immediately after their meal is over, excessive exercise, taking laxatives, maybe even a combination of all said behaviors.

Did you know eating disorders typically begin by comments or teasing, because of physical appearance? 95% of adolescent with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. The chances of it affecting someone who is about 12-17 is higher. Since the moment we enter pre-school, appearance plays a big role in how others treat us, so a lot of times weight can be an issue. Bullying/'Fat Talk' among women play a ridiculously, HUGE part. The tendency that women have to 'sit and bond' while they 'fat shame' or make fat jokes about other women whether it be for malicious reasons or just to have something to talk about, that action alone has also been associated with causing eating disorders.

Now, because I have chosen to make a personal promise to myself and my readers to be as transparent as possible in my writings, I will admit, shamefully (believe it) that I was that 'mean girl' in high school for some time. I wasn't necessarily mean, but definitely was not kind or commiserate. I had too much time on my hands and easily fell into circles of judgment. I referred to other girls with demeaning words, because of their weight and although I would feel terrible about it at night (believe it or not, I DO regret being that 'mean girl' for some time. It is embarrassing but thank this beautiful universe for realization and personal growth). Fitting in while you are growing up sometimes pushes you to do and say mean things to and about others, blind to the fact that it DOES affect the person.

As a teenager, I technically didn't really struggle much with my weight, technically. I was always fairly petite and small due to genetics. When I got to high school there was so many pretty girls with big butts and I wanted to be one of them. I remember my freshmen year of high school, I was friends with mainly seniors, so for the most part you can imagine they were far more developed than I was as a 14 year old. I used to think to myself "why can't I look like them?". When freshmen year ended, I found myself pretty much friendless and became friends with different people. At some point in my high school career, I began to realize the effect my words were having on others. I began going through a tough time and Karma, good ol' Karma got me. The tables always turn and if that is not truth, I don't know what is.

At some point in high school, I was the one being called "fat","tanque de guerra" (I wasn't overweight at the time), there was another term I was referred to as, something along the lines of a toilet? I didn't quite get that reference when it was thrown at me, I'm not good with euphemisms, so beats me. Point being, there was a lot of name calling being thrown back and fourth about weight. It got to a point where, even though I was none of the names I was being referred to as, they did get under my skin. I stopped eating, for months. I remember vividly, when I would get a little bit hungry I would have one soda cracker, a string cheese and bottle of water. I became obsessed with weighing myself on the daily, there were times where I would weigh myself up to three times a day. I got to weighing 102lbs when I was at my lowest (I am 4'11 in height, so a healthy weight for myself is 124lbs).

Nevertheless, I was on a relentless pursuit on being "skinny". It got to a point where I was considered emaciated. My back bones would show, therefore I would refrain from tank tops or anything open back. I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, I was in complete denial at first and would say how much bullshit that was. After a few months of not eating I eventually passed out which was when my mom came to find out what I was doing (or lack of doing, really). For a very long time the image I had on my body was distorted, even after recovering from my eating disorder, it took a lot of will power to avoid getting on that scale every day. Eating was hard but I had to do if I wanted to get better. It took a lot of effort to get myself to the healthy-ish (debatable because I lack appetite, frequently) state I am at now.

Raising awareness, is clearly important to me and to so many others. Why? Because you truly never know what someone has or is going through. What we say and do to others, AFFECT others. Eating disorders are NOT a choice. The environment and your surroundings/peers play a role in eating disorders.

More commonly, in today's society there is such a distorted view on what a woman "should" look like because we see all these perfect cosmetically done bodies, but there should be no need to compare ourselves to anyone. There are so many misconceptions on what we "should" look like, that body dysphoria disorder (which, of course, I will be writing a separate post on BDD) is inclining, statistically. BDD affects 2.3% of the general population in America, equally about 1 in 50 people. Thus, more than 6 million to 7.5 million people in this country alone have BDD. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes.

We really all are perfect in our own ways. Our physical appearances is not everything. Our personalities are what draw people and that is something we need to implement into our thoughts. What we see on the internet is not always what should be, and that is okay. Just don't allow yourself to fall into it. Don't pick on people because they are overweight. How often have you overheard people make jokes about the "fat" person at the gym on the treadmill? While they are minding their business, bettering themselves and their health. We all start somewhere, and I believe that tends to be forgotten.

Also, STOP TAKING SNAPCHATS AND/OR VIDEOS/PICTURES OF PEOPLE WORKING OUT TRYING TO BETTER THEIR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. Not only is it not okay but ask them for their consent first, then see how shitty you feel for asking such a ridiculous question. Because that is what taking pictures of others with mean captions is, RIDICULOUS.

If you've read this far again, I appreciate and hope you've enjoyed it!

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu