TreatmentOnline takes a look at a recent Newsweek cover story on anorexia. They bring up the rather ironic point that our thoughts seem to turn to food during this season...and then inevitably to eating disorders.
Some trends are quite disturbing...like the age of sufferers getting younger and younger, like the fact that boys are starting to join in, and like the fact that people of more and more ethnicities are getting in on the anorexic party. If you want to hear a harsh reality about anorexia, can't beat this one:
Successful anorexics die, not because they want to but because it is inherent in the disease...Unsuccessful anorexics often become bulimics, exercise fanatics or obese.
On the one hand I always say I can't understand anorexia or bulimia because having seen some anorexics in my time I can't understand how they don't objectively see their bones sticking out and how thin they are. I also can't imagine being bulimic because I hate throwing up.
But then if I'm honest I know that my own objective appraisal of my figure is completely warped. I can lie to myself as I gain weight, and I can see pictures of myself from a time when I was certain I was fat and think, "Gee, I'd love to look like that now!"
The bottom line is that people with eating disorders obsess about their weight and food...and in today's culture I would guess that most women they know have weight and food top of their mind a lot of the time. Yesterday two women friends and I were talking about studies that show that men think about sex 10 times a minute (OK I may be exaggerating, but it's a lot.) Women probably think about their weight/food/appearance as often. And not because we enjoy it like the men probably enjoy thinking about sex. Pretty sad, huh?