Food is the basic need of every human being. But sometimes it literally "drives you crazy." Clinical psychologist Yulia Vladis told us what an eating disorder is and why it can be caused by factors that are not quite expected.

Eating Disorders: Symptoms and Treatment

Varieties of RPP

An eating disorder in adults is a mental disorder that is based on an unhealthy relationship with food, preoccupation with it, as well as own weight, the desire for ideal shape, and even physical exercise. Even an excessive passion for sports can turn into a disorder. What specific violations are we talking about?

1. Anorexia

This is a psychological disease that can cause significant damage to our physical and mental health. The essence of anorexia is the desire for a very low body weight, up to critical, and also an obsessive fear of gaining weight.

A person cuts his diet sometimes up to a complete rejection of food. At the same time, he can actively go in for sports, if only not to gain weight. Eating disorders in adolescents are often of this nature. All because of the desire to comply with social norms and be accepted in the environment.

2 Bulimia

It is characterized by recurring episodes of overeating. At the same time, a person feels that he is losing control over himself and his weight, he feels shame and guilt for everything he has eaten.

Shame and guilt lead to compensatory behaviors such as vomiting, use of laxatives, subsequent fasting, and excessive exercise. In most cases, bulimia is a consequence or precursor of anorexia.

3. Compulsive overeating

It is similar to bulimia, but without the compensatory behavior. A person with this disorder can eat excessive amounts of food without even feeling hungry. He eats to distract himself from thoughts, deeds, difficult life situations. After cases of overeating, a person overtakes a sense of guilt and depression.

4. Orthorexia

Orthorexia is an over-preoccupation with eating healthy, “right” foods. Everything can start with the pursuit of a healthy balanced diet, and end with the exclusion of entire food groups grown in the wrong land. Like in that cartoon: "It's the wrong bees making the wrong honey." Also a person with orthorexia may spend hours shopping looking for the "right" jar of peas.

Slightly less frequently listed are such forms of RD as peak and rumbling-surgitation disorder. In the first case, we are talking about an irrepressible desire to eat something inedible, and in the second, about the absorption of one's own vomit.

Now you know the answer to the question of how to understand that you have an eating disorder, and you see that the symptoms of an eating disorder in an adult can be different. Depending on them, we can talk about the nature of the violation and further treatment.

The main danger that this disorder is fraught with is its smooth course. Initially, the manifestation of the same anorexia or orthorexia is perceived by society as a positive trend. But gradually the desire to build a dream body takes on painful forms.

Others, without realizing it, may even support a destructive pattern of behavior. In our country, it is customary to praise a person who has lost weight . But we do not know for certain how he achieved this. If we are talking about an eating disorder, then any compliment will only reinforce him in the confidence that he is doing everything right.

Who is prone to RPP

It is impossible to say exactly who is more prone to eating disorders. It happens in both men and women, more often in adolescence, when the formation of personality takes place.

In some cases, ED is hereditary: if parents were extremely selective in food, paid too much attention to body image, broadcast fears to the child about being overweight, then he can take this as a signal to act. That's why, if food is divided into “good” and “bad” in the family, the mother is always looking for “fat” on her body and literally lives on the scales, it is likely that the child may develop eating disorders.

Causes of eating disorders

It is difficult to identify any single cause of the development of disorders. Rather, it is a combination of factors - the environment, physiology, the psychological state of a person. RPP is always a complex issue. And yet there are dominant factors that can eventually lead a person to frustration.

  • Conflicts with the image of the body, when a person does not accept it, rejects it, tries to remake it under the ideal. So a woman may have the following beliefs: “If I am thin, they will love me more, or I will be more beautiful” or “Men love only slender ones.” If a person has such beliefs, he always tries to keep his diet and weight under control.
  • Striving for the ideal. Perfectionists often suffer from eating disorders . They do not allow themselves to make mistakes, especially in matters of figure. Perfectionism leads them to rigid diets and grueling workouts.
  • Self worthlessness. RPP is also characteristic of insecure people who do not feel recognized in society. Through their achievements in the body, they are trying to prove to the world that they also deserve attention. But disruptions in nutrition only hurt their self-esteem more.
  • Unexperienced emotions. With the help of food and physical activity, a person tries to suppress them, hide them in his body. If at the same time a dialogue with loved ones is not established, then the person feels even more isolated, and the disorder only gets worse.

PSC and secondary benefit

Psychosomatic factors often hide behind the logical causes of an eating disorder. They are also called " secondary benefit ", when a person, for some reason, needs to cause one or another physical manifestation in himself. For example, with the help of the same anorexia and orthorexia, a person wants to achieve thinness.

It can hide a number of secondary benefits:

  • Desire to be small and weak. In this case, the answer to the question “what is eating disorder among girls” will be the desire to relieve oneself of excessive responsibility. After all, a small person is not endowed with unnecessary responsibilities; one can live easily and irresponsibly.
  • The need for protection. A person can be firmly convinced that if he is thin, then he will be given more care.
  • Getting rid of femininity. There is even such an expression “there is nothing to grab onto” - this is what they say about ascetic women, asexual for some men. In this case, through thinness, a woman tries to suppress her sexuality so as not to be an object of desire for men. And maybe she wants to suppress reproductive function. This happens when a woman has a fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Or there was a negative sexual experience, violence against a woman.
  • Desire to become invisible . It may seem to a person that thinness is the safest state - when no one sees him and does not pay attention to him.

All these reasons lie on the surface, but to find yours, ask yourself the question: “What will happen to me if I get better? ”With regard to compulsive overeating and bulimia, here we can safely talk about the psychosomatics of excess weight. It is he who is trying to gain the body in disordered meals. The reasons can also be different:

  • Feelings of guilt that turn into self-punishment . There is even such an expression "I bite myself." The feeling of guilt turns into a panic state, and it starts the mechanism of self-destruction. Then bad habits appear, food waste that a person throws into the body and, of course, compulsive overeating , as well as bulimia.
  • Search for protection . This often happens if you are forced to associate with unpleasant, toxic people. Extra weight keeps you safe. And it also allows a person to stand out from others. Get big to be noticed. Completeness is not in vain associated with authority.
  • Unexperienced emotions . We seize them, swallow them together with junk food. Lack of interest in life. Food replaces all the joys, something important, desirable, something that is missing in your life.

Eating disorder treatment

Eating disorders are a vicious circle. Experiences result in constant monitoring of nutrition and weight. Then the person breaks down, and this provokes a feeling of guilt. Experiences become even more, and restrictions are intensified. As a result, a person is exhausted both physically and psychologically.

That's why you can't let the situation take its course. It is very important to find the main cause of the disorder in order to work it out and start a full life. Ideally, undergo collective therapy with a psychologist, psychosomatologist and nutritionist, only then will a stable result be achieved.

What to do if your loved one suffers from RPP? Firstly, to understand that this is a real disease, and not the whim of an "always losing weight girl. "If at the initial stage the violations look harmless, then in the future they can cause serious damage to the psyche and health. Therefore, you should not devalue this violation and give advice like “Stop doing stupid things.”

Also, phrases like “Yes, quit your diets, you are already so thin” are unlikely to work. They will not convince a person suffering from RPP. It is also very important to realize that food breakdowns occur at a time of severe stress . Therefore, if such situations occur, support your loved one.

Perhaps this will save him from another precedent for compulsive overeating or bulimia. In a situation where you see that a person is already completely losing control over himself and his eating behavior, be sure to push him into the good “hands” of a psychotherapist.