Monday, 18 February 2013

Day 183: Anorexia – Lifestyle or Disease?

When I was browsing through the internet on Eating Disorder related websites, the topic of ‘Lifestyle or Disease’ would always pop up over and over again.

On the one side you have the people who believe they are suffering from a disease and require to be cured – and that this disease is involuntary.

On the other side you have people who believe that they are following a lifestyle which should be respected by others and that you have a choice to participate within Eating Disorders or not.

The first group is considered to be ‘authentic’ within having a mental disorder, while the second group is considered by the first group to be ‘wannabes’.

The thing is that they’re both right and they’re both wrong.

Is anorexia or any other Eating Disorder really a ‘disease’? And is it really ‘involuntary’ like ‘catching the flu’ and having ‘eating disorder genes’? It’s a nice side to take because if you’re ‘sick’ and you’re ‘suffering’ and you didn’t have ‘any choice’ within it – then you are left in a position of zero responsibility because ‘you had nothing to do with it’. I find that to be unacceptable with regards to Eating Disorders or even other mental disorders like ‘Depression’ which are portrayed to be ‘diseases’. These mental disorders don’t just manifest overnight. Things like anorexia, bulimia and depression are manifestations which develop through time. You have to actively think about your body in a particular way, you have to actively take comments personal, you have to actively compare yourself to others, you have to actively, obsessively go through fashion magazines while being hypnotised by the ‘thinness’ you perceive, you have to actively put yourself in front of a mirror and remind yourself why you are not good enough, you have to actively not eat and hide your eating patterns, you have to actively put your finger down your throat and puke. There’s no ‘disease’ making you do those things: it’s all you!

Now, people don’t want to hear this because they immediately take it personal and believe that there is something wrong with them and that it makes them ‘look bad’ – because obviously they and everyone knows that this type of behaviour is quite disturbing. So if the behaviour is ‘out of your control’ you can wash your hands clean and just kind of shrug your shoulders at it. The problem with saying that you have a ‘disease’ and that it’s ‘involuntary’ is that you are placing the Eating Disorder separate from yourself, where it’s some sort of ‘Alien invader’ where you have no say. How are you supposed to cure/recover from that? You can’t, because you only have the ability to bring about change within yourself, you only have the power to change you. So if you see your eating disorder behaviour as ‘not you’, then all you can do is stare at it and be completely powerless – you’re placing yourself in victimization mode. On the other hand, if you realise and acknowledge that you are the one acting out this Eating Disorder and bringing it ‘to life’ – where you are the one driving it = you have the power to change it, because you know it’s you. You might not like it because it means that all these disturbing behaviours are indeed coming from you and your decisions and choices to participate within non-supportive thought patterns and actions – but at least you are then placing yourself in a position of self-responsibility and can actually make a difference within your Life.

This does not mean that I agree that ‘anorexia is a lifestyle’ – because obviously, there is a missing link between ‘Starving Yourself’ on the one side, and ‘Life’ on the other side. It’s more of a ‘abusing myself style’ than anything else and should in no way whatsoever be ‘respected’ or ‘recognized’ as a ‘formal lifestyle’ as ‘one of the many ways one can choose to live their life’. Eating disorders are harmful and damaging and you’re basically squeezing the Life out of yourself for the sake of your appearance matching some picture presentation. There’s nothing ‘Life’ about that, you might as well be a plastic doll or an image in a magazine. Though what people from this side do get, is the point that you are the creator and maintainer of your Eating Disorder and so it will be easier for them to stop – but of course only if they want to. Obviously if you see starving yourself as a lifestyle then there’s some serious mental disorder existent within you and as such you might not want to give this up at all as a result of that.

So No, Anorexia is not a Disease and No Anorexia is not a Lifestyle.

It is what it is = it’s mental disorder. And not in the sense of a ‘disease ’ or ‘condition’ of which you are the victim. It’s a mental disorder because you’re actively disordering yourself, and a long with it your body as well (and your body is really the real victim here). Anorexia or any other eating disorder can only exist as long as you fuel/participate within it. You have to in every moment decide whether you are going to act upon the thought that ‘you’re so fat and shouldn’t eat’.

Sure, there may have been events and circumstances which would make someone participate within an Eating Disorder more likely – but in the end it’s still up to self whether you make that decision to harm yourself this way or not.

The whole Pro-Anna (or ‘wannabes’) movement is merely an extreme form of what Eating Disorders actually stand for. They’re direct and straightforward about what they’re doing and how they’re doing it – and are only able to do this due to the vast level of acceptance and value that has been placed on one’s appearance over one’s physical well-being. I mean, is it a coincidence that with the advent of mass-media where we are bombarded with images from billboards, magazines, tv, internet over the last decade – that there has been an 80% rise in Anorexia cases? And where children are being diagnosed with eating disorders from an earlier and earlier age? I mean, there’s FIVE YEAR OLDS that have eating disorders! This is not normal, this is the direct result of our society’s values falling further and further away from valuing life and actual well-being over appearances and fake happiness. Our world is becoming more and more superficial and our bodies are the one’s suffering just like the Earth is suffering more and more under our unhealthy ideologies which do not promote actual well-being.

Check out the Desteni I Process Lite – a free course – to assist and support yourself in getting to know yourself and your mental disorders and assist yourself to a sound mind.

Check out the Equal Money Website as an alternative economic system that actually values Life and actual well-being over unsustainable economic growth.

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