Beliefs form the basis of our actions, particularly beliefs about ourselves. Depression and anxiety are comorbid with eating disorders giving an exaggerated negative image of self, others and the future. This article looks at how beliefs and anxiety may interfere with accurate interoception and the cycle that this creates, particularly with eating disorders
Muscle Dysmorphia (MD) is classified as an obsessive-compulsive, body image disturbance disorder that involves excessive exercise as the primary focus with disordered eating as a secondary component. The compulsion is to achieve high levels of muscularity and leanness. It has also been known as ‘reverse anorexia’ called ‘bigorexia’.
If I could sum up what recovery from an eating disorder, or any other kind of addictive behaviour, looks like in just a few words, it would be “Freedom to love who you are.” I believe I am correct in saying that most of us want to be loved unconditionally, yet we place conditions on ourselves. As such, many of us can’t even love who we are unless we stick to these ‘conditions’, even though they are harmful.
The hardest habit for a person suffering from an eating disorder or disordered eating to break is the regime that makes them feel ‘safe’. Even though negative consequences result from regimes such as restricted dieting, excessive exercising and bingeing, or purging, laxative use and the abuse of other substances.
It takes 21 days to form a habit, whether it be a good or a bad one. That is not a long time considering how long these habits may last in someone’s life. If they are bad habits that last for years, then the consequences are damaging.