What Causes Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can have many different origins. The prevailing view among researchers and clinicians at this time is a Bio-Psycho-Social Model, meaning that Eating Disorders develop from multiple factors. Genetics is a factor, specifically when it comes to temperament and personality which may predispose a person to develop an eating disorder. Psychological factors such as co-occurring anxiety disorders or major depression are risk factors as well. For some clients, there is a fear of growing up and assuming adult responsibilities. Others function well externally, but inside are deeply confused. Some are trapped in the role of perfectionism, being “the good child.” Some clients experienced a major loss during childhood. Others experienced tremendous pain in social interactions. Some clients’ families suffer from generations of unresolved trauma. Some are enmeshed, without appropriate boundaries.
Once the eating disorder takes hold as a “survival strategy,” it can take on a life of its own, perpetuating a cycle of anxiety and isolation. As the cycle continues, it takes more of the same behavior to achieve the desired effect – more restriction, more food, more binging and purging, diet pills, laxatives, exercise, etc.
When a client is no longer dependent on the eating disorder, the whole world can feel upside-down, and initially, impossible to manage. This sense of crisis is a key reason Castlewood exists. We provide a safe, well-cushioned container for the distress, along with the support of a caring community, to help clients learn how to stabilize, rebuild and transform their lives.
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