In a society obsessed with dieting and losing weight, it’s difficult to tell what is normal and life threatening. Eating disorders are serious illnesses that severely disturb a person’s eating patterns and behaviors. Common signs may include obsession with body shape, weight, and food. Patients may also be perfectionists and have a distorted view of self-worth.
Being the Best and Thinnest
While striving to be the best seems like a nice goal, people with the illness practice it in the wrong way. Eatingdisorder.care and other eating disorder help centers note that some think they will feel better if they are thinner, which then affects their ability to think clearly or evaluate the real world objectively. Most are competitive and deny help from other people. They strive to be the best or thinnest.
Misperceived Flaws and Punishment
It is important to remember, however, that not all those with eating disorder believe that they don’t deserve to enjoy food. Some binge eat, starve, or purge to punish or discipline themselves. They don’t hold on to such behaviors to get attention; they do those things as punishments for an incorrect perception of their flaws or actions.
Rigid Standards and Inadequacy
With a desire to be the best, they also hold rigid standards for themselves and others. Most are envious of thinner people and want to emulate them. This is why some often feel inadequate, escaping negative emotions through anorexic rituals or eating more. This then results in anxiety, depression, guilt, and hopelessness.
When eating, they may also want to control where the family dines or consistently choose low fat or unappealing options. In social situations, meanwhile, they always strive to please everybody. They may also present themselves as independent, while rejecting help or advice from loved ones. Anorexics, for instance, are usually controlling, while those with bulimia struggle with controlling their impulses.
It is essential not to leave eating disorders untreated. Seeking treatment is always important to address medical issues, as well as resolve psychological and interpersonal issues underlying the disorder. The right treatment usually involves medical and nutritional counseling, psychotherapy, medication, or group therapy. Simply changing thoughts is not enough; patients need to work with the right medical team.