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Obsessive Eating Disorder

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obsessive eating disorder
Can Anorexia nervosa be caused subconsiously or involuntarily?

My previous question has symptoms that I recently searched on self-diagnosis websites that are recommended by my family physician. They have said that may have Anorexia Nervosa, an Eating Disorder. Can it be caused involuntarily or subconsiously??

As a person who has struggled with anorexia myself, I feel that I am well-equipped to provide insight here (and will take an opportunity to express a bit of frustration…sorry!)

At first, I was led to agree with the general idea that anorexia is the product of some freudian experience or the culmination of a heavy burden of low self-esteem and stress. Indeed, my sophomore year of high school, during which I developed the disorder, was extremely busy with advanced classes and marching band; I had no free weekends and a heavy load of homework on top of band practice daily. Somewhere in the mix, I got the idea that I should “idealize” my health; that maintaining a healthy weight was not actually fairly effortless (as it had been for me all my life), but that it took meticulous attention. The obsession stuck, not with wanting to look like a model but with wanting to control portions and exercise as much as possible. I knew I wasn’t overweight, but somehow I feared that it would be extremely easy to get that way.

And as surprising as it sounds, I was terrified to find that my weight had plummeted. I was initially blind to what my body looked like, but, CONTRARY TO EVERYTHING PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK ABOUT ANOREXIA, I KNEW VERY WELL THAT I WAS RAIL THIN AND WAS JUST AS UNHAPPY ABOUT IT AS ANYONE ELSE, family, friends or otherwise. The problem was deepened not by a drive to look movie-star skinny (in fact, I am deeply offended by this misconception) but by an irrational fear of taking my necessary weight gain too far and a tight grip on doing things the same way again and again. And do you know what? No matter how deeply my therapist tried to get me to delve into my life, there was NOTHING wrong with my childhood; I had and still have happily married parents, two younger siblings whom I love dearly, a dog and two wonderful cats. I was a straight-A kid with enough brains not to have to study all night to do well, and I enjoyed going to school and the people I interacted with there daily.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that I believe that my Eating Disorder (and perhaps that of others) was mostly, if not ENTIRELY, the result of a chemical imbalance of some kind that messed with Serotonin or something along those lines, leading to irrational obsessive behaviors that even a sensible person is no match for. For example, when I took Prozac for a year, I returned to a normal weight, and many of my compulsions calmed down. Having been off of it for a while, I have lost weight again and experience a myriad of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. I am thinner than I want to be and feel self-conscious about it to the point of frustration, yet for absolutely no logical reason, it is extremely difficult for me to get my act back together and just restore my weight. Something gets in the way, and, to (finally) answer your question, YES, I’d say that anorexia can be caused subconsciously or involuntarily. As much as people want to believe it, these things don’t just happen to people because they are vain or have low self-esteem, which explains why it is almost impossible to just think one’s way out of it.

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