toggle mobile menu Menu
toggle search menu

Site Navigation

Supplemental

Menu

Eating Disorders: Things That Put a Person at Risk

Topic Overview

Certain needs, fears, family dynamics, and ways of communicating, thinking, and feeling put a person at greater risk of developing an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. Some of these include:

  • A need for attention.
  • A need to please others, be in control, or be perfect.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Fear or ambivalence about growing up or developing sexually.
  • Difficulty dealing with conflict or communicating anger, sadness, or fear.
  • Problems with family relationships, including trouble separating from the family.

However irrational, an eating disorder brings a sense of identity, achievement, and power to certain people who have these personality traits.

A small number of people who have eating disorders also have been sexually or physically abused. They may seek to control their environment by controlling their food intake.

People who have eating disorders may also:

  • Have problems with moods, particularly depression.
  • Act more childish than other children or teens who are the same age.
  • Have difficulty getting along with other people, because of either irritability or an inability to interact socially.
  • Have rituals or require that things be done in a particular order every time (obsessive-compulsive traits).

Credits

Current as ofMay 28, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
W. Stewart Agras MD, FRCPC - Psychiatry

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Healthwise is a URAC accredited health web site content provider. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.