The Pressure of Eating Disorders
With all of the pressures of daily life, some look to eating disorders to help ease the pain. In recent statistics on the webpage for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health states, “It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder- seven million women and one million men.” Among the millions are actors Paula Abdul, Elton John, and Joan Rivers to name a few. (Eating Disorder Statistic 2006).With the disorders becoming a growing problem, physicians look at each case to see how the disorder affects the person individually. Previous victim Amy describes her experience: “Anorexia is like you’re running down a hill and all this wind is going through you hair and it’s exciting. But all of the sudden, you’re going too fast and you start to spiral out of control. You fall. Then you’re just sitting on the ground shocked, with all these bruises” (Lener, Lee and Brenda Lener 2006). This rollercoaster that victims experience on a daily basis causes immense emotional, physical, and social damage.
Eating disorders develop from, “A complex interplay of physiological, psychological, familial, and cultural factors (Rumney 2009). These problems arise from past experiences that have sparked the disorder. Each of these issues lead to the problem, “With the backdrop of these interacting factors, the onset of anorexia may be gradual, or may be more sudden, provoked by one or more triggering events” (Rumney 2009). Emotionally, patients describe the eating disorder as “comforting” or “reassuring” when all else fails. (Kontic et al. 673). I myself have experienced the emotional pressures of eating disorders. When looking for an escape from the everyday struggles of life, I found comfort in having control over my weight gain. Eating disorders are psychological. (Rumney 2009). My emotions directed me in the pathway of disruption. In my mind, I perceived my body image as something that could be “fixed” when my life could not. I had a distorted view of myself; one I came to find out no one else saw, except me. I contemplated surgery on several occasions with the mindset that, if I could just “fix” my appearance, my life would get fixed as well. I can remember crying myself to sleep because of the emotional turmoil that would go through my mind as I thought about ways to make myself more appealing. Every piece of advice I would get would simply go in one ear and out the other. When others told me I was beautiful or perfect the way I was I would think they were being hateful or fake. I was completely lost; nothing about me was stable. As I progressed through the years depression began to set in. Each day is a struggle as victims simply try to get through the day dealing with the emotions. It was for me.
Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behaviors; these disturbances lead to complications when individuals refuse to maintain a healthy body weight. (Rumney 2009). Extreme dieting, vomiting,...