Why Do EDs Happen?
Interview with Giorgia - Part 1 -
The causes behind a binge eating diagnosis
There are many factors in peoples’ lives that can make them more prone to developing an eating disorder. Today we are trying to understand with Giorgia which might be the reasons that led her to receive a diagnosis of binge eating.
Q: Why do you think your eating disorder happened?
A: This is really an important question, I have asked this to myself every day for many years. Usually people affected by EDs have a very similar background, they all have been through hard stuff in their lives; this might be a traumatic divorce by your parents ,a loss or not having the possibility to fully enjoy your childhood. I am considered “anomalous” because none of this situation applies to me. I had a normal life and had a normal family, luckily I never saw my parents shouting at each other or engaging in a violent behaviour. The only thing I can say is that my mother was very strict with me when I was a child so sometimes our relationship was a bit conflictual. If for example I would get the highest score in an exam she would say that that is my job and I only did my duty.
I always had the impression she would care more about what she had to do instead of which massage she would pass to her children. I never could really open with her, if I tried to explain I was feeling ugly and sad she would say I am ungrateful and have no reason to feel like that. She was repeating that word so much that I ended up believing I was ungrateful, I even thought that I had been adopted because I felt so different from the rest of my family. My parents and sister never had problems with weight and I did, they all have blue eyes and I have brown eyes, all these little things that know make me laugh used to make me feel unsuitable. That was a really hard period for me because I knew I wasn’t feeling ok and my family wouldn’t believe me.
Being a binge eater is like living on roller coaster, there are periods where you put on a considerable amount of weight and this is of course noticeable and there are periods where you loose a considerable amount of weight and that is also noticeable. When my weight would increase my mum would tell me to stop eating and that I can’t control myself, on the other hand when I would loose weight she would say that I need to eat more and that I am not able to find a balance. Either way I was always doing it wrong for her. I don’t want to say that she was the reason why I got EDs but definitely feeling misunderstood and undervalued made it really hard for me to feel accepted and self-acceptance is at the basis of eating disorders.
Q: Did the relationship with your mother change since you are aware of your disorder?
A: Well, my mother doesn’t know many aspects of my therapy path, she doesn’t know I’ve been seeing a therapist and a psychiatric for months. In her opinion eating disorders and mental health in general don’t exist so she would never understand why I felt the need to ask for professional support. I used to be angry at my mother for many years of my life, I just wanted her to listen to me and show her support but I realised it is not possible; she was born and grew in different times with a different mindset and I know that she doesn’t do it on purpose. I want to heal from binge eating for myself because this has affected my life and I know my mother could have helped making the situation harder for me but I don’t want to live in the past anymore. I am focusing on myself and this is what really matters for me.
If you want to discover more about Giorgia's experience with ED, visit the link below to read the second part of the interview.