Eating Disorders

What Causes Eating Disorders?

            Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing psychological, interpersonal, and social conditions. Scientist and researchers are still learning about the underlying causes of these emotionally and physically damaging conditions. We do know, however, about some of the general issues that can contribute to the development of eating disorders.

          While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are most often about much more than food. People with eating disorders often use food and the control of food in an attempt to compensate for feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem overwhelming. Dieting, bingeing, and purging may begin as a way to help some people cope with painful emotions and to feel as if they are in control of their lives, but ultimately, these behaviors will damage their physical health, self-esteem, and sense of competence and control. To learn more about the factors that can contribute to eating disorders, click here:

Eating disorders are complex conditions that can arise from a variety of potential causes. Once started, however, they can create a self-perpetuating cycle of physical and emotional destruction. Professional help is advised when coping with any eating disorder. For a discussion of the types of treatments available for eating disorders, click here.


If you would like to know how to help a friend with an eating disorder, click here.

For more information, you can contact Eating Disorder Awareness and Prevention Inc. at 1-800-931-2237, Please know that you can also contact Student Counseling Services at 805-493-3390.