Friday, May 21, 2010

Check out the exciting new Commentary on Culture & Eating Disorders Blog

Anxiety and Eating Disorders

written by: Fiona Place, Author of
Cardboard: A woman left for dead

Today I would like to take a look at the role of anxiety in eating disorders. I believe this is an important issue because although the experience of anxiety is extremely common amongst people with eating disorders it is often only given cursory attention. Often only seen as a ‘symptom’ to be managed rather than an experience to be understood.

In part this is because it is far easier to present or understand an eating disorder in terms of ‘a desire to be thin’. To think of it in terms of - if a person can simply stop wanting to be ‘thin’ then everything will return to normal. Their weight, their eating, their life. It is also in part because understanding the role anxiety plays in a person’s eating disorder requires thought, patience and individualized attention.

So what is anxiety? How best can we understand it? First, let’s take a look at the definition at the website:

Here anxiety is described as:

1. distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.

2. earnest but tense desire; eagerness: He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.

3. Psychiatry. A state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.

Finish reading blog at:

For more on this you may like to read an author interview I did with Suko's Notebook in which I discussed Cardboard: A woman left for dead and the protagonist Lucy's experience of an eating disorder and anxiety. Suko’s Notebook

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