What Causes Anorexia

What Causes Anorexia

In this episode we will talk about anorexia and what causes it.

Anorexia is usually more common with teenagers.

What are the issues from a holistic point of view?

 Listen to find out!

Listen to the show


You will learn some of the main causes for anorexia

  • Control issues
  • Perfectionism 
  • Conflict that cannot be digested
  • Desire to escape



Hello, dear friend, in this episode, we will talk about anorexia, and which are the causes for that, especially from a holistic perspective? First of all, what is the anorexia, this is one of the most common eating disorder. And it's mostly seen in women. But of course, sometimes men may have this as well. And it's very important to understand what's behind this, what is the deep rooted cause. And very often there is more than one, it's not only one thing. But I can guarantee you something, that it's not a coincidence. If you or your child or your friend have or have had on the wrecks, here, it's not a coincidence, it doesn't happen out of the blue. It's not just because of genes. There are specific reasons which are causing this particular eating disorder. And of course, bringing clarity, and increasing our awareness is the very first step. And now I want to talk about the most common reasons which are, I think, a little bit more obvious. And we can agree that it really makes sense. First of all, let's, let's define actually, what we mean by anorexia. Even though I believe that most of us know this, we have seen movies, maybe we have experienced something like that. anorexia is an eating disorder, which causes extreme excessive focus on diets or our nutrition. And eventually, the person has a very, very limited weight, to the point that it might become life threatening. Something also very typical for this particular disorder is that the person doesn't have an accurate judgement about their themselves about their body. And they actually believe that they are fat that they need to lose some weight, even if they're already on their weight. So this is very important. The person suffering from anorexia doesn't see reality clearly. And the we may explore this also, from a more holistic perspective, what is it that the person cannot see, and what other assumptions may also be wrong, if the person is seeing the body in a completely wrong way, then perhaps, they're also seeing themselves or their behaviour, or their qualities, also, in a more negative way. And of course, all of those things are connected. So the more kind of obvious logical reasons for anorexia are, first of all, control issues. When we feel like we don't have much control in our life, we tend to focus on the things that we actually can control. And usually what we eat is one of the main things that we can control. So a very common situation. If a child, a teenager, or even a young person has anorexia, it's because there is a very dominant person in their life, or a situation in which they feel like they don't have any control. And because that makes them feel very disempowered, or even helpless. They are trying to compensate by controlling the things that they actually can control.

And this is not always something that the person consciously recognise. It doesn't mean that they have this dialogue in their mind. You know what? I feel like I'm controlled by my colleagues. Or my mother or someone else or something else. So I will compensate and control my eating so that this brings me some sense of power. Of course, this doesn't work like that. But sometimes we can really recognise it. Because underneath that could be this desire to have some control in your life. And anorexia is actually quite common in teenagers. And this is, of course, a problematic age, you're growing up, everything is becoming strange and different, including your body, including all the hormones and your relationships. And of course, it's complicated face. And at this point, if the child or the teenager feels like they are really disempowered by someone else, or or a particular situation, this could be kind of a solution for them to bring back some of this control. So control over the body control over their diet and control over their weight. So, again, the control issues are a major component here. Another reason, which is also one of the more logical reasons I would say, is perfectionism. If we have this general attitude, and I believe that you know what I mean, especially if you are one, especially if you are a perfectionist, you know that that's kind of a general philosophy. You are a perfectionist about many, many things in your life. And you always feel like it's never enough. It's never good enough, what you're doing or who you are, or what you can do, it always needs to be better, there's always some mistake, there's always something that needs to be fixed. And of course, all of that is also affecting our attitude towards our bodies. And, again, there is something distorted about this. So when you're a perfectionist, you may overemphasise the meaning of some small details. And this can totally stop you from enjoying what you're doing, or putting yourself out there. And the perfectionist may also, of course, do that with their bodies, and their weight. And they may feel like it's never enough, you always need to do more, you need to eat healthier, or you need to eat less, or you need to exercise even more, or you need to do more cleansing. There is it's never enough Actually, that's the, you know, kind of the mindset in this situation. So this is a big point, perfectionism, and especially if we talk about teenagers, of course, the family environment would be extremely important if the child or the teenager feels constantly judged, if the the standards are extremely high, and even more important, if the child feels like those standards are impossible for them. That's when both the control issues and the perfectionism can be triggered. And yes, this may result in too much dieting, too much exercising and overall, some kind of eating disorder. So those are kind of like more, I think, logical, obvious reasons. Now I want to present you also a little bit more holistic reasons. And the first one is a possible conflict with the mother.

If the mother is somehow resenting the child, or if the mother is very cold or distant, or there's something of course we cannot mention all the possible conflict. Each family has their own story, but the common thing is conflict with the mother. And, of course, especially in this age, when we are teenagers, many people have some issues with their mothers. And of course, not all of them luckily have an eating disorder, the conflict needs to be something more significant. And it's usually not just like a one time conflict, like, you know, my mother didn't allow me to go to this party, or it can turn into a conflict. But usually, this won't change the dynamic of the whole relationship. By conflict here, we mean something very general, and kind of like consistent. And perhaps the better world word would be problem with the mother, because there may not be a direct confrontation with the mother. And yet, the Father, the child may feel rejected by the mother, or she might be missing or she may not be present. So this is very important. And the more problematic, the relationship with the mother is also the bigger chance for some kind of eating disorder we have. And of course, it's not always a direct link. So for example, if someone really has a called mother or a very problematic relationship with the mother, it's not a guarantee that they will necessarily have an eating disorder, because people may process things differently. But if someone already has the eating disorder in the anorexia, then we definitely need to explore the relationship with the mother. So my point is that this should not be done as a way to predict. So all you have problematic relationship with your mother, or there is a higher chance for you to have anorexia, we never ever do that. But if the person does have some kind of eating disorder, especially if it's anorexia, we need to dig deeper in this direction. And you will find that there is always something something about the mother. Okay, so the next big conflict or big topic is also related to the desire to escape. If the person has been in a situation, which in some way has felt threatening, you know, how we have this response, fly, or five. And the anorexia is kind of like the fly response. And everyone, of course, has a different perspective and reactions and all of that, but some people tend to avoid the problems by withdrawing, and kind of like trying to escape. So one of the factors here is desire not to exist. I wish I wasn't here, or I wish no one notices me. And, of course, sometimes, this could be because the person has suffered in the past, especially if there has been abuse, sexual abuse of violence, or any other negative life threatening situation, really dramatic situation. One of the possible responses is trying to hide and one of the strange ways of the body to translate this is into decreasing the body, making the body smaller, until eventually, you really disappear. So this is of course, a big topic and usually it requires help from a professional, a therapist, or someone who works with trauma or a holistic healer of some kind. Because there is usually some kind of trauma that is called This, the person is trying to make themselves disappear, in order to protect themselves from being hurt again. Another direction that we also need to explore, it's kind of close also to the mother topic, but it's also related to the femininity, as something more general. If the child, especially if this is a woman, or a young girl, if she has anorexia, or very often, this is also a conflict with her femininity, this could be also related to some kind of threat in the past sexually, especially or, or abuse as well. Or a very big discomfort with the feminine energy. Sometimes it could be because the child has been unaccepted, because of her gender. If the parents have wanted the boy, this can also be a big factor. And in the cases, when the woman, the young woman, or the girl cannot accept her own femininity, maybe subconsciously, she doesn't want to be like her mother, or other women in the family. Or if she has been a witness of a woman that has suffered, because she is a woman, it could be abuse, it could be some kind of trauma, or it could be being not unaccepted by the family or society. So femininity is another big area. Because what happens with anorexia is that the body loses the typical feminine shapes. And the slimmer the person becomes, the more the body looks like a child's body. Usually, when things are like very severe, women lose their period. And even the breasts are almost gone, because there is no fat tissue. And this body looks more like the body of a child. So symbolically, this person might be trying to regress, so go back to an earlier period, when they have been a child, when they hasn't, they haven't been recognised as a sexual object, for example. So this is also something very, very big, generally, what's the attitude of the person and what's their connection with the feminine energy and one one more factor I want to discuss is also related to family history and what I call family loyalty. and in this situation, we need to explore what significant has happened with the previous generations, it could be the parents, grandparents or even earlier, is there something significant like people who have been starving or people who have lived in huge poverty and very often you may find such stories, especially keeping in mind that there have been wars in the past and many families have had members who have been to wars. And even if they haven't, you know, during those times, there have been huge scarcity of all kinds of resources. And sometimes we may have unrecognised subconscious loyalty. And we may not allow ourselves to have more than our family has had.
This is not the only direction so sometimes things may go the other in the other direction. And there will be a special Episode on bench eating, because this may also be caused by some kind of story in the family related to severe lack and poverty. So everyone may process things differently. But for some people, the loyalty to the family may mean that they will not allow themselves to have. So, rationally, people don't recognise this, of course, they don't talk about it, they don't think about it. But sometimes it could be also a factor. So with that, I believe that we covered some of the main conflict. And there is one more, which I want to add here, which can also be related to anorexia. And it's a more general one, which we call conflict of the territory. If we feel like someone or something has prevented us from having something we want, someone in the in our territory is confronting us or is doing something to us. And we cannot process that. So for symbolically for the body, it sounds like I can't digest something. Someone has insulted me or has done something wrong. And usually this is a close person, someone who we truly value. And the thing that they have done is very painful, we cannot process that we can't digest it. This can also trigger eating disorders, and specifically, the anorexia. So let's summarise now, which are the main directions that should be explored, if someone suffers from anorexia, or if you suspect that your child may have this condition, or sometimes what I'm noticing is that things are not so dramatic, so that they can be technically diagnosed as anorexia, but the person is kind of on the fence. And they're almost there, but not quite yet. This is a very important state. And in this state, of course, we need to do all the work, because this is also a way for us to help with prevention. If someone is close to this condition, but they're not there yet, those issues should also be addressed. So don't wait until everything is like very serious and very problematic. And, as usual, the earlier we begin with therapy, with some kind of treatment with even deeper analysis of the situation, the better it will be and the easier the recovery would be. So my point is don't neglect the situation, if it's not extremely severe or too dramatic, because sometimes people might be kind of in the hallway. So preparing to get there, but they're not there yet. So, this is also a time that we need to we need to address. So, again, short summary, some main directions to look for, if someone is having anorexia or if they are more predisposed or kind of like close to this condition. Look for possible perfectionism issues with control conflict with the mother and the feminine energy
also, is there a conflict that the person cannot digest something that they cannot process and also the desire to Escape, not to be here. The other reason also family loyalty and any history and stories related to food resources in the family. And in the next couple of episodes, we will continue with the topics related to eating disorders. So stay tuned for more information and also ideas about how we can recover how we can prevent this. And what is the most important actually, in the cases when we have some kind of eating disorder. So I hope it was interesting for you. This topic is not necessarily an easy one, but I think that many, many people have some sort of eating disorder or eating issue, and it's very important to handle with that. So thank you very much for joining me and I will catch you next time.

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