Sydnie Ridley, M.S., MFT (MFT#36053)
Specializing in the treatment of eating
disorders, adolescents and depression.
What Causes One to Develop an Eating
- Low self-esteem appears to represent a significant risk factor for the development of eating
- Tendencies to be perfectionistic and to set rigid standards for oneself.
- Depression, anxiety, anger, emptiness or loneliness.
- Feelings of lack of control in life or feelings of inadequacy.
- Cultural pressures that place extreme value on "thinness" and
obtaining the "perfect body."
- Cultural norms that place emphasis on physical appearance and
not one inner strengths and qualities.
- Definitions of beauty that are extremely narrow and include only women and men of specific
body weights and shapes.
- Persistent and pervasive
media messages encouraging dieting likely lead to high rates of
chronic dieting in at-risk groups of adolescents.
- Difficulty expressing ones feelings and emotions.
- Family disharmony and troubled interpersonal relationships.
- A history of being ridiculed based on size or weight.
- A history of sexual and/or physical abuse.
- Family factors such as obesity in the family, parental preoccupation with
eating and weight, unrealistic expectations for achievement.
Biological and Biochemical Factors:
Researchers are still examining potential biochemical or biological causes of
eating disorders. It has been found that some eating disorder sufferers have
imbalances in certain chemicals
in the brain that control hunger, appetite, and digestion. Investigation into
the implications of these imbalances is still
Seek Help: Eating disorders arise from a variety of causes.
They create a self-perpetuating
cycle of physical and emotional destruction. All eating disorders require
Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center, www.EDReferral.com
Dept. of Health and Human Services
(1987, 1995). Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia.
Also adapted from EDAP, Eating Disorder
Awareness and Prevention, 1998, www.edap.com