The common compulsive behavior found in bulimia and anorexia is the compulsive eating behavior. At the beginning the persons affected by bulimia or anorexia believe that they can control how much they eat. The truth is that they cannot do it. They even think that they can put an end to anorexia or bulimia when they want. Pretty soon these compulsive eating behaviors escape their control and run rampant and dominate their life. The loss of control over their eating habits occurs without the bulimic or anorexic even noticing it pass by. Bulimics and anorexics lose the capacity of feeding themselves under normal circumstances.
Often people with eating disorders describe how in their childhood they had a tensed family environment. Everything was controlled very strictly by their parents, leaving them no space to breathe and experiment. There are also the parents that want the supreme good for the child and by insisting and kindness they force their child to do what they want, practically planning his life to the minute details. These later type of parents don’t let their children experiment and find their way in life either. Their over protective behavior scars the child more deeply than a physical beating because the wounds of the body heal over time but the wounds of the spirit usually never get healed. Both types of parents ensure a dark future for their child because they don’t let him do anything by himself and experience life.
There are two types of mothers that create eating disorders for their children by their behaviors. On one side is the mother that never recognizes or acknowledges the efforts of their child. This leads to a state of confusion and suffering in the child’s mind which over time starts to doubt that their mother really loves them. On the opposite side there is over-possessive and overprotecting mothers. These mothers cannot let their children be different than what their mental image of them is. This mother looks at the achievements of the child only to the degree in which they reflect their own desires and outcomes of their child.
Under these circumstances food becomes invested with spiritual healing powers, even becoming a source of love. Food becomes an object of pleasure used anytime bad feelings take over the person. Bad feelings are suppressed or avoided by eating some soul soothing food. Eating food becomes a way to give meaning to living and existing.
When their internal conflicts explode because of added external or internal stress, these people lose control over their emotions altogether. In a desperate attempt to regain control or make the pain go away they turn to food and extreme eating habits. They use drinking and eating as a painkiller, a quick fix for an ever increasing problem. Usually the main goal of people affected by eating disorders is that of drowning their feelings with huge quantities of food.
Their compulsive eating disorder is felt even more when they are by themselves. When they are alone they feel the need to indulge in their eating disorders as a way to punish their loneliness and suffering.
What a food addict seeks is joy, a good feeling and in extreme cases even a reason to live.