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Understanding Eating Distress and Eating Disorders
We have been hearing a lot about Eating Disorders in the media over the years, but very little about Eating Distress. What is the difference?
Eating Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating Disorder and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified are labels listed in psychiatric manuals defining a person’s behaviour. Different types very often overlap and even the top experts agree that it is difficult to make a clear diagnosis. But all of these labels are only the symptoms of the condition known as Eating Distress (ED).
Eating Distress is a condition where the mind culminates all of the negative assumptions the person has about him or herself. The negative mind becomes more powerful than the positive mind and has much more influence on the person’s thinking, feeling and behaviour. This state of mind develops subconsciously and the person is not always aware that they are victims of this negative condition.
Often we read that sufferers have low self-esteem. However, in reality, he or she has no sense of self at all. Therefore, this condition is extremely abusive and manifests itself with highly self-destructive symptoms in which an eating disorder is one. They are all different manifestations of one basic condition.
People suffering from Eating Distress have difficulty with the simple act of eating when hungry, and stopping when they are full. The condition takes over the control of their food intake. Often it can be recognisable by an unhealthy obsession with food and body, which comes to occupy centre stage in the sufferer’s life. Food becomes the most important relationship – but it is never a happy one or an easy one. Slowly and surely everything is eventually excluded while thoughts constantly centre on food or the body.
Eating Distress is not a problem; it is a solution to other underlining issues. It is also a way of communicating with inner unhappiness. Controlling the body is a way of controlling life. Control is the centre of the sufferer’s life. ED is very preoccupying. That is the function of the disease. It occupies the mind fully and excludes other issues. It is a cushion against painful reality. ED is a symptom of how the person relates to the world. Obsessive thinking about food is only a lonely substitute. ED is a very private disease and is usually not brought voluntarily to the attention of health professionals.