Having a compulsive eating disorder can wreak havoc on your emotional and physical well being. An eating disorder can affect your work or school life as well as your social relationships with others. It can be difficult to get better from an eating disorder without first recognizing that you need help and then reaching out to a therapist, a doctor and friends and family for support. It may help you to understand that having a compulsive eating disorder is not your fault and is nothing you should be ashamed of, as there are a number of factors that can cause you to behave this way.
1. Low Self Esteem
Low self esteem is a common cause of eating disorders. Your compulsive eating disorder may have its roots in a long-term lack of self esteem and sense of self worth. Your low self esteem may have developed since childhood after years of comments about your weight from thoughtless people, or it could even have begun long before you began to have issues with your weight from other attacks on your sense of self worth. Although it’s difficult for someone suffering from a compulsive eating disorder to see, you may not even be at an unhealthy weight at all, but your low self esteem (perhaps worsened by the unrealistic expectations of others) is causing you to view yourself in a skewed way.
2. Societal Expectations
Both the expectations of society at large and the more immediate expectations of your friends and family can contribute to your low self esteem and your nagging sense of being overweight. The media has long celebrated an unrealistic, unhealthy trend in models and celebrities, usually showing only thin and/or buff people and sometimes even photoshopping those images to make them look even thinner and more in shape. Your friends and family may also believe that there’s something wrong with not looking like the people in the media do and may have given you messages for years that you’re heavier than the rest of them and therefore have a problem. However, you may actually be at a healthy weight because these expectations are unrealistic; in any case, a compulsive eating disorder is not the healthy way to deal with your desire for weight loss.
3. Biological Components
The causes behind a compulsive eating disorder are not always entirely mental in nature. You may have a biological problem that is causing you to be unable to feel full when your stomach is full, or causing you to turn to the rush you feel from food for comfort when you’re feeling down. Too little serotonin in the brain and a faulty hypothalamus can send your body the wrong signals.
4. Unrelated Depression or Anxiety
Sometimes other completely unrelated problems in your life will manifest as an eating disorder. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, whether due to a chemical component or stress in your life, you sense of self esteem may be affected and you may begin to feel that food it the only way you can exhibit some sense of control. You may also regard food as the only thing that makes you feel better. Address the deep issues in your life in order to tackle the eating disorder.