Psycho-Babble Eating | about eating | Framed
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Re: Does an ED require a mental component?

Posted by Racer on January 19, 2008, at 21:55:29

In reply to Does an ED require a mental component?, posted by CareBear04 on January 19, 2008, at 11:28:48

That's a hard question. The problem has to do with denial, since a lot of people with anorexia deny that they have any intention of keeping their weight down, or that there's a problem with their eating patterns, etc.

One of the symptoms of depression is a loss of weight without intent. That means that in someone with depression *and* an eating disorder, the waters are pretty muddy. Anxiety can lead to weight loss, too. For me, high enough anxiety can lead to emesis, which can look like a different sort of eating disorder than the one I actually have. So, weight loss can be a sign of depression or anxiety.

On the other hand, low enough weight is also a sign of an eating disorder. Binging followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors is an eating disorder. Certain patterns of thinking about one's body or one's weight are signs of eating disorders.

It's hard to tell just how much of a clear psychological component there must be for a diagnosis of an ED. Also, it's pretty easy to tell a doctor, "nope, not interested in keeping my weight down, I don't think I'm fat, I'm just not that hungry/food upsets my stomach/etc." Therefore, a lot of doctors make the dx based on actions, without worrying about intent. In fact, some doctors will make the dx based on weight criteria in the absence of clear physical causes.

How did this come up? I'm guessing you're hearing an ED suggested for yourself? Sometimes we're not really aware of our own intent in these things -- that's what makes EDs so difficult all around.

Hope that helps.




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