Anorexia and Bulimia have psychological roots that can be blamed on a lack of attention.
What's Behind Today's Eating Disorders
A generation ago, few people ever heard of bulimia or anorexia, nor could they explain these disorders. But things have changed. It's not unusual to come across people who starve themselves or purge their stomachs through vomiting and the use of diuretics.
Anorexia and bulimia are considered to be mental and physical disorders, brought about by a feeling of guilt and the need to remain slim and beautiful.
Society looks upon beauty and strength as marks of healthy men and women and emphasizes this belief through the media of print, television and the Internet. Those who do not fit this description feel ostracized, guilty that they did not do enough to fit into society's definition. This feeling of guilt still pervades even as average citizens today are more overweight and obese than ever before.
Eating disorders are usually formed from feelings of guilt as well as a loss of direction. Poor eating habits lead many down the road to physical and mental disorders. While being fat was once frowned upon is now acceptable even as it leads many to a lack of self-esteem. Bulimia and anorexia are complications due to self-esteem which mostly affects young girls who crave recognition and attention.
Young girls do not need to wallow in self-pity. Generally, they lack confidence in themselves and are often fixated on what society dictates as normal. They try to live according to an impossible ideal through intermittent gorging and purging. They have a poor view of themselves and their place in society. Not every girl can expect to look like a beauty queen, but they punish themselves through starvation.
What society does not do is treat the problem for what it is and not punish or ignore the one who feels inadequate.
Everyone in this world has the same potential, but this positive outlook is seldom emphasized during the growth period of children. Making them feel bad because they are different is a sure way to bring about depression, drug addiction or suicide.
We shouldn't ignore the problems of a young girl who pictures herself as ugly and unwanted. They require some recognition. The act of starving themselves is a method they use to get attention. That doesn't often work in a society where people tend to run from anything they don't understand. While this kind of problem is predominant in girls, boys show frustration outwardly through acts of violence. Such an incident occurred at Montreal's Polytechnique Institue in December of 1989. Marc Lepine was a frustrated youth as he felt unloved by the opposite sex. He took out his anger through the shooting of 14 women and injuring 10 more before ending his own life.
Society moves at a frantic pace. The first recourse to dealing with problems is often a prescription drug. But drugs suppress existing problems. They don't address the issue which eventually returns to the surface and ends up causing more damage than if they had been treated.
We would have a better and healthier society if we were more inclined to offer understanding and love to those who suffer instead of papering over an existing problem.
Personal growth depends on meeting challenges. It can't occur in a selfish “only me” society. With cell phones and email, many people have lost the interaction of face-to-face communication. These devices tend to isolate rather than bring people together. People begin to live in a protective cocoon, one that only leads to eating problems, anger, suicide and violence.
The problem is greater than just anorexia and bulimia. The use of technological devices has led to stagnant relationships and starved those who need help most of the love, self-respect and personal attention to their problems.