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What Are You Not Saying?

Emotions play a role in all eating disorders - they are always about more than food. Eating disorders may also coincide with low self-esteem, psychological disorders, a history of abuse, or even a certain genetic makeup.

When people with anorexia and bulimia restrict food and/or purge, it's a symptom of an inner distress they are trying to calm, get rid of or express.

Expressing our feelings can be challenging. We may feel ashamed by what we think or feel, or we may feel alone because we don't realize other people feel the same way. We may be concerned about how someone else will feel if we say what's in our hearts, or we fear that we'll lose their love and support if they find out what we're really thinking.

Purging and restricting are shields that keep a person hidden in isolation so they don't need to have these difficult conversations. In order to heal from an eating disorder, though, it is vitally important that you speak up about what's bothering you, rather than continue to use behaviors that are hurting you.

Even though you may only be thinking about the body image issues that drive you to restrict or purge, if you dig deeper there are bound to be other issues going on. And these issues will only get more painful the longer you avoid them.

Therapy and support groups provide a safe place where people with eating disorders can express their innermost thoughts and feelings without fear. You can experience what it's like to communicate openly without being judged or criticized.

A therapist can help you sort out your feelings to determine what you may need to say to the important people in your life. That might be asking for a change if someone else's behavior is negatively impacting you, or it might be making an apology for your own behavior. You can even role play and rehearse these discussions so that you feel prepared beforehand.

At the White Picket Fence Counseling Center, we specialize in treating people with eating disorders, food addiction and emotional eating. Please contact us today if we can help you.