Sunday, February 13, 2005

Eating Disorders

I think I will research eating disorders. I was going to write a parable about the Beauty Queen. But in writing it, I'm not sure I know the patterns of her story so well. Another reason I want to research it is because I keep hearing, "Oh, she had (or has) an eating disorder." about various people. It's rather mysterious, how you could begin to abuse food or grow to refuse it.

To not like food!? Now that is quite a mystery to me, something to ponder.

One speculation, I suspect that people can condition themselves. I.e., something begins only as a way to lose weight, yet if you are throwing up and feeling nauseas from that then you have begun to condition yourself. Eventually, you will feel nauseas at the sight of food, etc. And who knows what psychological or social patterns can get in there to be associated with it all, perhaps built on such feelings too. Rats will starve themselves to death if they are conditioned with respect to a certain type of food by nausea once, rather than eat that type of food again.

So it is a strong form of conditioning, perhaps the strongest.

A side note,
I am not necessarily against feelings and their condition. For some reason that is a typical assumption that people who debate me make. Those who are ruled by their feelings have one little confrontation with the ratios of the rational and they begin to say, "Hey, I feel he must be a robot!" That is rather silly. No, I suppose I would say that I am for letting the rational/logic guide the emotional/feelings in a complementary way. It seems that it is best if they are married. That's my touchy feely feeling about that.

Anyway, I may write about eating disorders and try to get some understanding of their patterns, perhaps enough to write a little story on it. But I may not do so if I get bogged down with it. If someone already knows something about it, maybe leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

Well, I really don't know much about it. But from contact with people, or the family of a person involved with an eating disorder, I have learned a few things.

First off, for most girls the eating disorder seems to be an outlet for abusing themselves because they do not see their worth as humans created by God. This is similar to having an abusive boyfriend and staying with him because one actualy thinks the abuse is deserved.

I'm sure there are lots of patterns tied around this. I'm betting that the father figure has tons to do with it also, but really it comes down to that root problem of not seeing oneself as a creation of God, which gives a person worth and a reason to take care of God's creation instead of destroying it.


Jason - Band Member said...

It's not a matter of not liking food, I think. . . but one of control. Controlling what one can in a world where much seems uncontrollable.

mynym said...

"It's not a matter of not liking food, I think...."

Control is a good point.

Yet I think it "can be" a matter of the material, thus not liking and having some physical feeelings of dislike, such as nausea. My speculation for now is that it begins as something spiritual and then ingrains in patterns of behavior and manifests in feelings.

A side note,
There are some who may quibble yet I can see little distinction between the mental and the spiritual, the mind and the spirit. I do see the distinction between the mental and the physical, however.

I think that some Christians want to make sure that their claim is existential and in the very fiber of your existence. So they call that existential claim the spiritual. While they may say that the mental is important in some ways, their claim is somehow deeper. I think they tread a fine line towards mysticism there. Once the mysts of mysticism are in there people begin to think things like, "I know I am saved. Yeah...I think so. Wait...the mental isn't what they are talking about. What are they talking about? How can I know? I know that I know, don't I know?"

Etc., that seems like an ineffable sort of mysticism to me, which would be odd for those who claim to know the Word.

a : incapable of being expressed in words : INDESCRIBABLE (ineffable joy) b : UNSPEAKABLE (ineffable disgust)

As for me, I see little difference between a mental problem and a spiritual problem.

So as to eating disorders, it may be interesting to see if there are inversions of the Bread of Life going on.

There always seems to be some inversion of the true Version.

I haven't had time to research much yet, I'll get to it sometime. I was just curious about people's opinions, so thanks guys.


Gorilla said...

I was once doing eating disorder research with a dog, and just as I almost had him trained to not eat -he died. So, be careful!

Anonymous said...

Well, that was stupid.


Collin - Band Member said...

You could try talking to some people who have or have had eating disorders.

violet said...

I don't really like to say that I "had an eating disorder" because it's a behavioral thing, and it's different than if it was caused by some biological virus or bacteria. It's a choice--a bad one--but, it's an authentic decision that I made, and it's important to accept responsibility for that.
I think too often, people who act in unhealthy ways are too quick to label themselves as victims with disorders. I understand from experience that it is a really confusing place to be (to be struggling with all the lies and control issues that are integrated with this pattern), so I am not unempathetic to the suffering that would entice anyone to want to be unhealthy. That takes time and sometimes counsel to heal.
I do, however, think that disorders are largely selfish. There is a time for self-reflection, and a time to let God heal wounds, but I think that there is a strong lure to self-obsession that is associated with control related behavioural problems. There had to be a time when I just decided--"I'm done with being screwed up. I've got to move on, now. Nobody can change me; I have to change myself."

mynym said...

"I understand from experience that it is a really confusing place to be (to be struggling with all the lies and control issues that are integrated with this pattern)...."

Perhaps it is like anything having to do with the paradox of being thinking/metaphysical and feeling/physical beings at the same time, in the same time. Perhaps your physical state is a predisposition that you then make decisions about. Typically, in daily life and in writing here, you use your mind to make decisions. It seems you can't go crazy with such dualism, in either way. On the left hand, you can't pretend to be the hapless victim of your environment and genetics. Yet on the other hand, if someone puts a bullet through your head then you cannot "decide" with your mind that your brains will not be blown out. We all are to varying degrees the helpless victims of things like our environment and genetics.

There is a dualistic perspective on things like alcoholism, eating disorders, etc. There are patterns in the research showing that you can have predispositions to such things. (E.g. familial, if a person in the family has had an eating disorder or something similar (alcoholism) then it is two to twenty times more likely that others in the family will too. This can be physical/heritable, how is the genetic code being written, after all?)

It seems that you get to make some decisions about your predispositions, to ingrain them or to fight against them. If you do ingrain such things, it seems that they can get in your body and mind. Then, you very well may be stuck, at least some people seem to be. How in the world do things get through you to your descendants? That is an interesting question. Yet people who engage in eating disorders are often too narcissistic to be concerned with anyone else. Some little puppies that wind their leash around and around a tree, eventually choking themselves to death, will reject all help and continue to do so.

As you said, a strong decision, in simplicity and truth, is really quite simple and can break the chain. Yet people make it all very complicated because they don't want to give up their ingrained patterns. I.e., they've already decided based on their feelings. So what they decide is to avoid the decisive decision that you wrote of.

(A side note, is like being tall. That is a predisposition to playing basketball. Yet it is not as if all tall people play basketball. Anxiety is a predisposition to alcoholism, perhaps "genetic." Yet people still make decisions about things, or make a passive decision by avoiding decision. What most people mean by "genetic" is just physical, apparently they are unaware of other physical predispositions. Even there, if you are making decisions then you may well be changing your genetic traits, may be passed on. So this talk of the genetic as if it is the ultimate immutable physical reality or as if it somehow voids the impact of decision may not be correct.)