There are numerous factors that can contribute to having an eating disorder, and they vary from person to person. You can inherit the gene from your parents, for example; if one or both of them have or had an eating disorder in the past, it is more likely that you will have one as well. Identical (monozygotic) twins will more commonly contract an eating disorder in comparison with fraternal (dizygotic) twins and siblings.
Sometimes, psychological factors play a crucial part. They include:
- Depression, loneliness, anxiety, stress or anger.
- Lack of control over your life.
- Low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
- Feeling inadequate and hopeless.
- Being Impulsive.
- Difficulty expressing and even coping with emotions.
- Being neurotic.
Interpersonal reasons that lead to eating disorders can include:
- A history of sexual or physical abuse.
- Being bullied or teased about weight and/or size.
- Trouble with expressing your feelings and emotions
- Difficulty managing personal relationships.
Many people turn to dieting, purging and bingeing to feel more in control and to cope with strong, negative emotions. Unfortunately, this behavior usually damages their mental and physical health, sense of control, competence and self-esteem.
People with eating disorders often have an imbalance of chemicals that control appetite, stress, sleep and mood. Research has shown that some people who suffer from anorexia have high levels of serotonin, and this maintains their bodies in a permanent stressed state.
Media has a tremendous a big influence. Magazines, TV shows and advertising media focus on being slim and not being overweight. As a result, more and more people have started to associate being slim with success.
Models are a prime candidate for eating disorders. A typical model is portrayed as being very skinny. And if a girl wants to be a model, she has to do everything possible to achieve that goal, even if it affects her health in a bad way. This scenario has been seen time and time again.
Young people can easily be influenced by all these factors. They struggle to fit in at school, college, work, in their social settings and with their family and friends. They struggle to please everybody! And unless they are one of the more popular people in each of these groups, there’s always a certain amount of pressure if they are carrying extra weight.
Often times, several huge questions are flowing through the teenagers’ minds. “Do I really want to fit in? Will I do whatever it takes to make that happen?”
If the answer to these questions is “yes,” the result may be turning to an eating disorder, in an effort to help achieve their goals. Instead of finding a healthy way of losing weight through a good diet and regular exercise, an eating disorder starts to take over their lives.
If you or someone you know are suffering from an eating disorder, help is needed before any more damage can be done. See a doctor urgently and get control of your life back while you still can.