Monday, July 05, 2010

Eating Disorder Tied to Fear


We all know people who use food as a comfort during stressful times – and people who simply quit eating during those times. And people who suffer from anorexia are no doubt suffering from low self-esteem and feelings of being unacceptable if they carry any fat cells at all. Of course, in their case it often progresses to something way beyond that, so that they actually look at their skeletal bodies in a mirror and see a fat person.

Now there’s a new eating disorder. Until recently, this disorder was rare and was included under the catch-all label of “Ednos,” which signified unrecognized disorders. But by 1997 there were so many sufferers that it was given its own name: orthorexia nervosa.

It is, simply, a fixation on righteous eating.

Sufferers, in an attempt to eat only pure foods, limit their food choices to a point that malnutrition ensues. These people are generally over 30 years of age and well-educated, so they spend some time researching and choosing the foods they will and will not eat.

A very valid concern with the quality of supermarket foods becomes an obsession, and
Orthorexics develop their own rigid rules around eating. They commonly refuse to touch sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods. Then they eliminate any foods that have come into contact with pesticides, herbicides or contain artificial additives.

I can sympathize with the basis of the disorder, because the more I read about the various pesticides, fertilizers, growth hormones, etc. that are added to our foods the more I buy organic. And there are some foods, such as overly processed "ready to eat" meals, that I never buy.

But in Orthorexics, fear has become the dominant emotion with regard to food. They're afraid to eat so many things, and have eliminated so many foods that they can no longer consume a healthy, balanced diet.

Their habits become just as destructive as if they ate nothing but fast foods.

One Bach Flower Essence that could help these people is Mimulus. This is the Bach Remedy for the personality that fears real life. Their fears are grounded in the fact that something bad could happen, even though it has not happened.

You might recognize a Mimulus personality by their frequency of illness and the length of time it takes them to recover. Their focus on taking care of themselves, and the attention they give to their illnesses usually delays recovery.
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