Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mental Illness and Eating Disorders

People utilizing food to express their dysfunctional mental state is not a modern phenomenon, but with the expansiveness of media in modern times has come a more acute awareness of this issue. A friend of mine has long argued that even non-disturbing eating regimens such as veganism are the outward expression of inner turmoil and unresolved damage expressed through one’s control of food. Those in denial of the problems that have overtaken them who engage in self-destructive behaviors like bulimia, anorexia, binge eating and drinking, who explain away their aberrant practices as if they were some minor quirk, are creepy enough, but their supporters and defenders are just as emotionally unfit. After all, we are who we defend.
Going to the gym or practicing daily some physical activity like running, swimming, parcours, etc. allows for the shedding of — or at least a reprieve from — whatever mental or emotional problems we are carrying around. But choosing the opposite tact, turning the rage inward and damaging one’s self through an eating disorder, to use just one example, broadcasts to the entire world how fucked up we truly are.
Most of our damage has been accumulated in very early childhood, when we were voiceless and at the mercy of the adults around us — parents, neighbors, clergy, caregivers, teachers — and either could not or were not allowed to express our suffering. Those who grow up having an aversion to therapists must create some other way to articulate and disburden themselves from the pent-up rage they feel. The healthier way is through physical activity. The corrupting way, the dark way which turns the rage inward upon one’s self, can be a disturbingly public manifestation such as an eating disorder.
An eating disorder is a mortifying symptom under which lies other more sinister behaviors, such as living a hateful life and expressing ongoing tirades of rage towards others, as do many so-called media “pundits” who puke out their inner misery on any and all who irritate them in any way. These sick and malignant individuals are provided a voice by a corrupt and irresponsible media, with like-minded damaged people signing on as their “fans”, forming a club of sorts wherein, instead of collectively striving for a happier, healthier life, they pursue the exact opposite.
Physical exercise doesn’t cure mental illness, but it does provide a healthy constructive outlet for one’s personal suffering. Those who seek out the spotlight to broadcast their inner turmoil, who in fact celebrate and promote their destructive ways need to be recognized as the malignant individuals they are.
Shut off the TV and the computer and go for a run.

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