Causes of Eating Disorders: It's Complicated

July 20, 2010 Laura Collins

I complain a lot about the lack of common ground out there about eating disorders. There are theories posited in conversation and in the press and even in refereed professional journals giving definitive, yet unfounded theories on the causes of eating disorders. So, why the lack of common ground?

I don't think it is deliberate, or a hidden agenda, or anyone's greed or carelessness. I think it is JUST COMPLICATED.

Like Stepping on a Water Bed

I wish it was possible to establish some firm ground out there on any of the many points I think we really need to agree on, but it is like stepping on a water bed: the space gets re-filled as soon as you try to hold down another area.

complicated-signsTalk about biology and people respond as if you are rejecting environment. Say, no, environment matters and people get stuck in thinking that environment is only what people around you have done - not biological environment and prenatal and chemical, too.

Say families don't cause eating disorders and you get a list of all the things parents do wrong. Say parents do cause eating disorders and you'll hear from a growing number of people to tell you why not.

Who To Trust?

It is hard to know who to trust. There are no Ten Commandments of Eating Disorders and no Official Office of Right Ideas. We can end up trusting those who say what we want to believe, what we're most afraid of, or those with the simplest answer.

So much of what we're all trying to do is be believed. If you think you've got the right answer, and you think others need to know it, then this is natural. It is frustrating to be right and have no-one believe you. It is even more frustrating to see people you know are wrong, being trusted more than you.

But it isn't all just a matter of opinion and it DOES matter. We can't just rely on passions and great marketing. We can't simply keep our heads down and only care about those in our own circle, nor can we simply wait for time and good sense to prevail. Lives are at stake, and it matters.

APA Reference
Collins, L. (2010, July 20). Causes of Eating Disorders: It's Complicated, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Laura Collins

Leave a reply