An Eating Disorder is an ‘expressive’ disorder. This means that it expresses deeper, psychological problems. (It is a recognised mental disorder.)
These inner feelings are usually feelings of pain and confusion, or a negative perception of one’s self. This leaves the person feeling a lack of control. In order to deal with this, food is used as an inappropriate way of taking control.
From this point on, the only things that will determine the contentment of the person is their eating habits and their body shape and weight. They become preoccupied and obsessed about these two things, thinking about them all the time.
This results in the person developing an abnormal eating pattern. Normally people eat because of a physical need telling them they are hungry. In an eating disorder, a person does not listen to a physical need; they do not eat depending if they feel hungry or full. Rather, a person listens to a psychological need which makes them feel that they should, or should not eat.
Because an eating disorder affects the way you think, it also leads to a person having a distorted body image. Therefore the person will think that they are much bigger than they truly are.
Unfortunately, because of these changes in the relationship with food and body image, other aspects of the person’s life are also affected. Physically, emotionally and socially the person suffers greatly.