Researchers helping young people, especially females, to deal with symptoms of anorexia and bulimia are concerned to find that these young people are self harming. Examples of self harm are given as cutting, burning, pulling out hair by the roots. There is also evidence that anorexics and bulimics are likely to have feelings of depression, anxiety, need addict help with substance abuse and commit suicide.
Although these young people, in terms of their anorexia and bulimia, routinely commit themselves to starvation, bouts of forced vomiting, bringing on a state of exhaustion, and possible death as a result of deliberate malnutrition, this doesn’t appear to be categorized, in the researcher’s eyes, to be self harming behavior. This is probably because anorexia and bulimia are called “diseases” – not that we know the causes – but we have a large commitment of resources towards helping teenagers deal with anorexia and bulimia. Self harming is, for reasons unknown, considered to be something different.
Now that this important discovery has been made – that anorexics are likely to exhibit symptoms of self harm and substance abuse – this should create some thinking – could it be that soon the researchers will discover, that the conditions are one and the same?
Holistic therapists understand all self harming behaviors as attempts by the sufferer to deal with emotional pain.
It is quite amazing that these researchers will quote statistics with precision, yet regard with the utmost suspicion what anorexics actually tell them – that when anorexics are cutting and harming – it brings a release from tension and emotional pain.
No doubt this possible evidence can be made the subject of neurological testing – just to see if there is in fact any biophysical truth behind the completely unsupported statements that these anorexics keep making.
All anorexics, prior to the onset of anorexia or bulimia, report symptoms of emotional distress.
Sometimes this relates to body image, sometimes to school grades, perhaps a response to tensions in the family. There is a reported case of two competitive sisters who were anorexic – although each was only eating two wafer biscuits a day – sometimes nothing would be eaten because neither sister would be the first to “break” and take a nibble of their wafer.
Just as we have recovering alcoholics and recovering drug addicts it would seem that we are now to expect a generation of recovering anorexics with a tendency to self harm.
If researchers put down their text books and reliance upon statistics, and made the effort to sit and really listen to what their so called “patients” are saying – in fact trying to tell them – it is possible that we could see a revolution in health care.
Anorexia, like rape, is all about power, and abusive use of the body. A person who has anorexia is aware that they do damage to their body. They also know that their behavior causes distress and concern to friends and family. Anorexia is about power and control, about depression and anxiety.
Anorexia arises, as with all other self harming behaviors, including substance abuse as a result of emotional feelings. It is about exerting power over anxiety and depression. Until these fundamental issues are resolved, there is no full recovery. As soon as the old pressures recur, for whatever reason, so will the self harming behaviors.
For substance abuse and all self harming behavior – holistic therapies help. Drug free detox, rehab and counseling- gives addict help for substance abuse. Holistic counseling gives help to deal with anorexia, bulimia and all self harming behaviors.