Self-Harm and Eating Disorders: More Alike Than You Think

March 24, 2014 Jennifer Aline Graham

Recently I spoke to a few Special Education classes about my book Noon. Whenever I speak about the book and the topics within it, I always ask if the students know what the many forms of self-harm are. I hear the usual cutting and burning, but almost always I hear someone say anorexia and bulimia.

Many people tend to forget that other addictions can be related to self-harm. I focus more on the emotional and physical aspects of self-harm, but eating disorders and drugs are also in the realm.

An Inspiring Eating Disorder Foundation

I know there is a wonderful blog that focuses on eating disorders, but after recently helping spread eating disorder awareness for a foundation called KMB for Answers, it got me thinking about how similar the two addictions are.Eating disorders and self-harm are more similar than many think. Both are addictions and eating disorders and self-harm can take your life.

KMB For Answers is a foundation that was created in the memory of young adult named Katie. She was one of my past roommate’s best friends and when I learned more about eating disorders, I realized how truly devastating they are. They are an addiction similar to self-harm. Like self-harm, they are something that the person truly cannot control and can be life-threatening.

The foundation was kind enough to add my book to the group of others that they show when promoting their organization. Since cutting is a major part of Noon and they thought that, since it is a mental illness, like anorexia, it would be a helpful addition.

Eating Disorders and Self-Harm Both Scar the Body

Even though self-harm leaves visible marks and scars, eating disorders scar the body from the inside. The disease affects the organs, including the brain, in a similar way that self-harm does. It makes the mind a scary place where thoughts are constantly in battle. Like many other addictions, this battle is not an easy one to win.

A family member of mine also struggled with an eating disorder and it affected not only her, but her family as well. It became a stressor for her and for her loved ones because we wanted to help her, but help became difficult. The family member and I never really talked about her battle with food and I’ve never discussed my battle with self-harm. They are just demons we dare not discuss and attempt to push into our past. Even though she has overcome those demons, it is an everyday battle.

Every mental illness is.

To find out more about KMB for Answers, visit “You are strong. You are beautiful. You are loved.”

You can also find Jennifer Aline Graham on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and her website is here. Find out more about Noon through

APA Reference
Aline, J. (2014, March 24). Self-Harm and Eating Disorders: More Alike Than You Think, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

Raksha Holla
March, 27 2014 at 4:46 am

This article is going to stay on my mind for a while now. Every word rings true. I know when I was obese all I felt was depressed and suicidal. Thankfully, I recently got my bariatric surgery done at Nova Specialty Hospitals, New Delhi and ended up losing a whopping 52 kilos in 1 year - most importantly, in a healthy and metabolic manner. My doctor, Dr. Sukhvinder Saggu was very nice and explained everything to me in great detail which removed all my fears. I am a much happier lady today and for anyone who is thinking of going for this surgery, I would say, Go for it! Obesity is a disease and the longer you keep it with you the worse you will feel.

Ellen Bennett
March, 24 2014 at 5:12 pm

It was so great to meet you, thank you for sharing your book; it is my next read!! I am so glad you are sharing you story; we need to start the conversation. You are amazing, strong, beautiful and loved. Hope to see you again soon.

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