Posts by Arizona Connection Counseling

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Suicide and Eating Disorders – It’s serious

As I sit here writing, I feel numb and slightly shaky. My hands sweaty and my visions blurry. I just...

Teen/Young Adult Therapy

Teen/Young Adult Therapy

By Ariah Washington We all remember the roller coaster ride of highs and lows of being a teenager? In this...

Sex Therapy

Sex Therapy

The quality of your sexual relationship with your partner can be either the source of great joy, satisfaction and closeness...

Anxiety, Depression, and Emotional Regulation

Anxiety, Depression, and Emotional Regulation

If you are dealing with some kind of mental health struggle, you’re not alone. Recent studies show that anxiety disorders...

Child/Family Therapy

Child/Family Therapy

Ideally children grow up in an environment where loving parents meet their physical and emotional needs on a consistent basis....

Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss

Grief and loss are an inescapable part of the human experience.  Grief is experienced as prolonged sadness related to loss....

Self Image, Self Harm, and Eating Disorders

Self Image, Self Harm, and Eating Disorders

Attempting to change your food-related behaviors without exploring the Emotional reasons why you continue to overeat, is like trying to...

Trauma Healing

Trauma Healing

Beneath many challenges and difficulties are traumatic experiences. Depending on the impact of these events the damaging effects may be...

Relationship Therapy

We are all hardwired for connection. In fact it is our most basic human need. Our survival is dependent on...

Eating Disorders - It's Not About the Food

By Kelly Lopez

If it’s not about the food, what is it really about?

The eating disorder serves a function, it does a job. Despite the problems an eating disorder creates, it is an effort to cope, shield against, communicate, and solve problems. Behaviors may be a way to establish a sense of power or control, self-worth, strength, and containment. Bringing may be used to numb pain. Purging may be a way to release emotions. When one cannot cope in healthy ways, adaptive functions (behaviors) are created to ensure a sense of safety, security, and control.
According to Carolyn Costin*, some of the “adaptive functions that eating disorder behaviors commonly serve are”:
It’s not about the food, it’s a way of coping with low self-esteem, negative emotions, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, unstable home, difficulty resolving conflict and much more.
*Costin, Carolyn. The Eating Disorder Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments and Prevention of Eating Disorders. 3rd. edition, McGraw Hill, 2007.
Fuller, Kristen. “Eating Disorders: It’s Not All about Food.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 22 Mar. 2017