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Triggers and Factors of Eating Disorders – Is It Something I Did?

When you or someone you love is diagnosed with an eating disorder, one of the first things that comes to mind is “why me?” or “why them?” You rack your brain wondering if you contributed to it in some way, like having too many snacks around that led to a binge-eating disorder, or maybe you obsessed about a comment someone made about your weight and now you have anorexia nervosa. Whatever eating disorder is now present in your life, compassionate treatment will reveal that there are many triggers and factors that combined to create this situation, and it’s never just one thing. 

Factors for eating disorders fall into three general categories – genetics, psychological, and social.

  • Genetics – Research is indicating that eating disorders often run in families. Further research is also suggesting that an individual’s biochemical make-up can increase the chances of having an eating disorder. Family dynamics play a role; over-critical parents or parents who value physical appearance can also put you at a higher risk.
  • Psychological – People who often strive for perfection, have low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, impulsive behaviors, and abandonment issues, or who feel a lack of control in life, often battle with eating disorders more than others. 
  • Social – In today’s society, thin is in, and it’s hard to escape the pressure to comply when the media bombards you with it daily. Whether they intend to or not, friends and even your culture can add to the stress.

What triggers an eating disorder is very diverse. For some it’s a loss, like death or divorce, or a transition, like starting a new school or job; and for some, even puberty can bring on an eating disorder. Often overeating, dieting, purging, etc. are used as misguided methods of taking control of something when everything else seems overwhelming. If you’re struggling with understanding why you have an eating disorder, the staff of Rebecca’s House is here to help. Call us today at 1-800-711-2062.

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