formyed (formyed) wrote in ed_ucate,

Eating Disorders and Emotions

I posted this on my own journal, and a friend encuraged me to share it here too! It's from a pretty great article, and it's one of the most insightful things I've read about e.d.s in a long time. I know that it's true of me!

Many people who struggle with eating disorders are
extremely bright and articulate and speak freely of their
feelings, so it is often not obvious that their words are not
helping them process emotions. They may accurately
describe feelings and explain both the current context and
historical explanations for them, but they may suffer from
what has been called alexithymia (Barth 1994, 2001;
Krueger 2001; Krystal 1988; McDougall 1989; Schore
1994; Taylor et al. 1999), or an inability to use these
thoughts or words to process emotions. The paradox of
intelligent, insightful people who cannot use language to
manage their feelings can be confusing not only for their
therapists, but for families, friends, colleagues, and clients
themselves. A relationship with a therapist who is interested
in finding ways to talk and think about feelings can
stir both hope and anxiety in clients with these symptoms."

- from, "Hidden Eating Disorders: Attachment and Affect Regulation in the Therapeutic Relationship", F. Diane Barth, Clinical Social Work Journal (2008) 36:355–365

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