Eating Disorders and Overeating Causes
Published on Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 7:39 pm and is filed under Mental Disorders
In the last 30-40 years the prevalence of eating disorders has increased. According to many psychologists, contemporary social trends for equity and equality between men and women mean for many women a chronic competition with men in all spheres of life, which is associated with the need to suppress women’s qualities and enhance men’s qualities. The image of modern woman imposed on advertising, forces women to give priority to their appearance. These social trends press women to arrange themselves all the time. Some women have concluded that the most accessible subject to control, which serves as purpose of emancipation, is the image of the own body and weight.
In the current research, the eating disorders are seen as maladaptive way of resolving internal and external conflicts: people with eating disorders use food as a way of symbolic communication with their sense of inadequacy.
Psychotherapists believe that a sense of failure is a direct consequence of the absence of important life skills and failure to establish effective emotional relationships with others. Eating disorders, especially bulimia and anorexia, are ineffective strategy for coping behavior, where food, body weight and body image are the main values of life.
Many researchers on bulimia believe that the cause of this disease is a lack of confidence in people. Due to the purpose of testing this hypothesis, the scientists conducted a study of patients suffering from bulimia using different methods – role playing, self-assessment, etc. psychologists and others received the results confirming that the lack of confidence in patients with bulimia is associated with cognitive decline, rather than behavioral disorders.
A family atmosphere can affect the appearance and development of bulimia. Psychologists providing psychological care to patients with bulimia were compared with women suffering from bulimia and those who do not suffer. It was found that patients with bulimia perceive their family as less prosperous compared with another group of patients. They reported non-constructive family relationships, an increased emotional involvement of its members in each other’s affairs and reduced levels of verbal interaction in the family.
Overeating does not occur when there is a severe famine, but in situations of anxiety, tension and in a state of dysphoria. Although patients with nervous bulimia often manage to keep their weight within the accepted norm, they perceive themselves as not relevant to their own ideals and expectations, as well as not confirming to the expectations of others. Patients with this disease are characterized by a poor social adjustment, poor self-control, dependence on others, violation of sex-role behavior. From 35 to 78% (according to various sources) of patients who suffer from bulimia also have to cope with depression and stress.