Anorexia and Self-Injury

Anexoria and self-injuryAnorexia is a disease that is caused by low self-esteem, unreasonably high self-expectations and a strong need to have a sense of control over one’s environment. Anorexia makes feelings of low self-esteem even lower, because it continually reinforces negative self-beliefs. Anorexia and self-injury commonly occur together. Be aware of the signs of these problems, and seek help immediately for yourself or a loved one.

What Are Anorexia and Self-Harm?

Anorexia nervosa is a psychological condition where a person believes that he or she is overweight despite strong evidence to the contrary. People with anorexia nervosa refuse to maintain a normal body weight and may be dangerously underweight.

Self-injury is the act of harming the self either through cutting, burning, pinching, hitting or various other methods. Self-injury can be deadly and ranges from acts as serious as removing limbs to those as slight as continually interfering with the healing of scabs. Self-harm is a unique problem that has gained notoriety in the press in recent years. This seemingly rare condition has experienced a surge in “popularity,” but it has been around for thousands of years. Self-injury is largely misunderstood, and many people who suffer from this condition hesitate to seek help.

The Link between Anorexia and Self-Harm

Many people who struggle with anorexia also struggle with issues of self-harm. Both self-injury and anorexia act as a way for the individual to cope with anxiety or stress. People who struggle with anorexia and with self-injury tend to be high-achievers with low self-esteem and high self-hatred or anger directed toward the self. Both disorders are commonly misunderstood, and family members or friends may mistakenly believe that these disorders are an attempt to seek attention. Both self-injury and anorexia have been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Both anorexics and self-harmers come from all backgrounds, ethnicities, social classes, genders, sexual orientation, income levels and religions. These disorders affect all types of people.

Both self-injury and anorexia are progressive problems. They will become more serious over time if left untreated. Both eating disorders and self-harm can lead to death if untreated. Some individuals may harm themselves or try to aid weight loss through the use of drugs or alcohol which can lead to co-occurring addiction problems and overdose.

Self-Injury and Anorexia Require Treatment

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, self-harm or an addiction, we can help. We would like to put you in contact with quality treatment that fits your needs, your budget and you as an individual. Call our toll-free helpline to speak with one of our recovery counselors and learn more about treatment, insurance coverage for treatment, family support and family counseling, family intervention services and more. We are here 24 hours a day to help you begin your path to wellness. Call now.