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Disordered Eating: How It Relates to Eating Disorders and Mental Health

By HERWriter
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Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

10) Physiological fuzzy thinking
11) Lying that comes with trying to hide it/guilt
12) Withdrawing from positive influences

Clauselle said that mental health can actually impact eating behaviors as well, not just the other way around.

“All in all, depression, low self esteem and low body [satisfaction] all play a part in how we eat, what we choose to put in our mouths, and how we live our lives,” Clauselle said.

There are many mental health issues associated with disordered, or disregulated, eating, Koenig said.

“Mental health and disregulated eating are intertwined through stress, trauma, childhood abuse and/or neglect, depression and anxiety,” she said.

Although disordered eating can be associated with mental health issues, this isn’t necessarily always the case, Brennan said.

“Our relationship to food and our body is intertwined with our mental health,” she said. “We experience emotions through physical sensations in our bodies. It makes sense that people would try to control the feeling of emotions in their body through the use of food, restriction of food or the undoing of food to get
relief from problems and pain.”

<< Women and disordered eating >>

Clauselle said that women can be more prone to eating disorders for three main reasons:

1) “Overpacked schedules. Whether women are career focused or a mom driving a kiddie cab, we are endlessly working and keeping active social lives. It is no wonder that we can be vulnerable to falling into irregular and poor eating habits.”

2) “Depression, Isolation. Once women get in a rut of poor eating it is hard to get out, as it affects so many areas of our lives, including low energy. Naturally then we don't want to work out; our self-esteem, how we feel about ourselves and looks, may plummet, which can lead to depression and isolation. Hormones don't make it any easier. Studies have found that depressed women have a more difficult time problem solving when stressful situations occur, especially when those situations include what to eat and when to eat.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.