What are reasons why people have eating disorders?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one particular reason why individuals with eating disorders lies in a distorted image of oneself.  The person with an eating disorder views themselves in a physical and psychological perspective fundamentally different than the rest of the world sees them.  It is for this reason that an eating disorder is fundamentally different and difficult to diagnose and grasp.  The perception of the outside world is not as important as the perception of the self.  It is for this reason that counseling for an eating disorder happens on both the level of physical and psychological insight.  This distortion between what is physically evident and what is emotionally perceived helps to feed and perpetuate an eating disorder.  There is not a fixed understanding for what causes it, but it is interesting to note that eating disorders are more common in nations and settings where there is enough food sources.  This helps to enhance the psychological causation for eating disorders, prompting an understanding of the issue on multiple grounds and not merely seeing it in a monolithic manner.