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Like I said in Part 1, eating disorders are disorders of feelings, emotions and self-control. But they are also disorders of thinking and coping. In this article we look at these two more closely. 1. Eating disorder is a disorder of thinking (or the disorder of thought processes). People start thinking in a distorted way about themselves, the world, and their place in it. They thought that gaining even 1 kilo invariably leads to gaining 10 to 20 kilos. Their misconception about how they look is called body image distortion. People think that they are fat although they are actually very thin. This is also called "broken eye syndrome" because people who have this syndrome see themselves in a mirror differently from what they really are. For instance, a skinny person sees a fat person look back at her/him. This happens because the brain processes information received by the eyes in the wrong way. When their eyes see the image of a human body, the impulse goes from the eyes to the brain for interpretation of this image and this is where the mistake occurs - a wrong interpretation process in the mind is the result. When people come to their therapists and asked to write their thoughts in a diary, they often write something like this: "I can't eat because I will get fat. I can't eat because what if I get out of control and it turns into a binge. I can't eat because I just had a binge last night. I can't eat now because I may as well wait until later when I can eat all I want and purge." You can see their thought processes are far from being remotely normal: there is a strong preoccupation with food and the fear of becoming fat if they keep anything down. All sufferers thoughts are related to food, eating or starving. Many sufferers also admit that they dream about food at night. Before they fall asleep they are dreaming of what food they could eat the next day and what these foods would taste like. Sufferers have a strong fear of becoming fat. They always agonize about it and worried that this fear will never go away. Another element of people's disordered thinking was a tendency toward rigid "black and white". For example, I am either perfect or I am not. There was no middle ground for them. One hour they may think they are the best and the next they feel like they were so bad that they even don't deserve to live. Often sufferers think about other people this way too, for them they were absolutely great or horrible and low. There is no grey area for people with eating disorders.

It can take a long time to make them understand and accept that there are plenty of other colours in the world and that the "black and white" are only minority colours. Leonardo Da Vinci once said "The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions." this applies to eating disorder sufferers completely 2. An eating disorder is a disorder of coping. For sufferers, their eating disorder is the way they cope with everyday stress such as school, homework and pressure from their friends. Their eating disorder becomes their coping strategy. Most people do different things to relax and enjoy themselves (relieving stress) like knitting, gardening, decorating, reading, watching movies, but for eating disorder sufferer it is their ED. Sufferers often have difficulty managing strong emotions, such as anger, sadness, boredom, and anxiety. They use food and starving or binging to help them manage their emotions; but it is possible for them to learn other coping strategies for the management of stress instead of abusing food. There are much more to understand about eating disorders like, disorders of identity, values and lifestyle, relationships and behaviour. But that would be a next article.

Dr Irina Webster MD is the Director of Women Health Issues Program. She is a recognised authority in the eating disorders area. She is the author of the published book "Cure Your Eating Disorder: 5 Step Program to Cure Your Brain - Neuroplasticity Approach". To learn more about Eating Disorder Books Cure Your Eating Disorder: 5 Step Program to Cure Your Brain" go to

==== ==== For more information on Eating Disorders please check this out; ==== ====

What Are Eating Disorders - Part 2.txt