According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, nearly 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. For about half of those individuals, depression is a simultaneous issue.
Many people blame television, pop culture, and social media for the onset of eating disorders. Indeed, the media bears its fair share of the responsibility (check out a NYT summary of this famous research study done on Fijian adolescent girls), however, the cycle in which many adolescents find themselves caught actually has much more to do with painful emotions than media pressure.
The cycle tends to go like this: You feel uneasy (i.e. anxious, sad, bored, resentful, etc.). You desire to cover over those feelings, so you use food as the drug of choice (either abstaining or consuming) to cover those feelings. After temporary relief, you feel guilt, shame, self-hate, or hopelessness, which renews a sense of self-hatred that then…
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