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Mental Health & Eating Disorders

  • The Connection Between Anxiety And Eating Disorders

     

    Overview

    About 67% of individuals with eating disorders also have some type of anxiety disorder, the most common being mental illnesses. Those suffering from anxiety often have low self-esteem and body image issues, making it easier for them to be susceptible to eating disorders and unhealthy eating practices.

    Eating Disorders as Harmful Coping Mechanisms

    Anxiety disorders often cause individuals to try to and find coping mechanisms that can help them to handle the symptoms and feelings they have. However, a lot of the most common coping mechanisms aren’t healthy. In fact, some can worsen symptoms or create additional disorders altogether. A lot of those with an anxiety and eating disorder usually develop their eating habits in an attempt to cope with their anxiety.

    Unfortunately, harmful coping mechanisms affect the individual much more as time goes on. In this attempt to cope, the guilt and anxiety worsen. For those with bulimia and other purging related disorders, the guilt follows an alleviation of anxiety that had been lifted after purging, binging and purging, and other practices. The guilt and anxiety that follow purging are almost always much worse than before. More purging occurs in an effort to mitigate the feelings of sadness and guilt. It works for a short time, but then the cycle repeats itself.

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  • Stressed Out – Eating Disorders And Stress

     

    Stress and Anorexia Nervosa

     

     

    Stress has been proven to be a huge factor in eating disorders — anorexia being the most common. Not only can an increase in stress cause anorexia nervosa, but patients with anorexia are much more susceptible to stress than individuals who don’t. A lot of individuals with anorexia use it as some kind of coping mechanism, making their coping skills inefficient. In addition, having anorexia causes patients to internalize their feelings, have unrealistic standards for themselves, and have issues in dealing with unexpected emotions or life events. All of these factors make individuals with anorexia nervosa much more vulnerable to stress, only worsening their unhealthy condition.

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