Could this be you? You don’t have much self-confidence (this applies most often to females, but males are not immune). You’d love to feel in charge of yourself, your emotions, your life. You’d do anything to be someone others love and admire. You don’t feel any of these things are true — for you.
Add to this that you live in a culture that tells you the world is yours if you’re thin. That you, or anyone, can become model-thin (or fat-free buff) if you just diet and exercise enough.
You may be a little precise or obsessive by nature. And you may have fewer of the natural brain hormones that buffer most people in life. You may even have a history of some kind of trauma that you have yet to resolve.
These characteristics are the ingredients for making an eating disorder. Because you feel vulnerable, an eating disorder is, above all else, the way you struggle against internal doubts, trying to cope. Dieting is how you try to put together a sense of control and self-esteem. Bingeing is how you comfort yourself or respond to the extremes of dieting. You have come to rely on your eating disorder symptoms so completely that the thought of surrendering them is terrifying — even when they begin to cause a lot of physical and emotional trouble.
Eating disorders are treacherous. They destroy and even take lives, and they make sufferers doubt and hate themselves. But the happy news is that the majority of people who pitch into treatment and stay with it through recovery get better. They go on to think about and engage in other things, become successful and fulfilled, and leave their eating disorders behind. So can you.