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Anorexia caused by narcissism - Agree?

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13-03-2016, 21:11   #1
sgtkate
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Thread based on comments by Joan Bakewell here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35799546

I think she's got a point, and if you read her comments closely she wasn't playing down the severity of anorexia at all, she was just offering a vague reason as to why anorexia is only found in populations with a food surplus. Some studies did find evidence of anorexia in Africa, but only in people who were regarded as wealthy for their country and were not suffering from malnutrition or poor access to food or water.

Discussing reasons behind why something exists is surely a must to help get rid of it, prevention better than cure as they say...
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13-03-2016, 21:40   #2
Solomon1
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Originally Posted by sgtkate View Post
Anorexia caused by narcissism - Agree?
Ego definitely plays a part

But it's mostly about control
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13-03-2016, 22:09   #3
Isabelle
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Ego definitely plays a part

But it's mostly about control
True.
The way I understand it, anorexia stems from a person becoming addicted to controlling their diet. Sometimes this is related to a feeling of lack of control of other facets of their lives. Many people restrict their diet at some point to lose weight, but I believe that some people are vulnerable to taking this to a dangerous extreme, and becoming addicted to controlling their body by denying it proper nutrition.
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13-03-2016, 22:29   #4
Eric Arthur
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She seems to have made the elementary mistake of thinking (or at least saying) that anorexia is about food. I expect that a fuller contextual quote didn't make the edit.
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13-03-2016, 22:34   #5
RonJeremy
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More fuss about nothing. Someone's been "offended"
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14-03-2016, 09:21   #6
sgtkate
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Originally Posted by Eric Arthur View Post
She seems to have made the elementary mistake of thinking (or at least saying) that anorexia is about food. I expect that a fuller contextual quote didn't make the edit.
Possibly it was taken out of context, but I don't believe so massively. Why don't we see anorexia in areas with poor access to food? Or do we see it just masked as something else, say physical self-harm or accepting sexual abuse?
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14-03-2016, 09:33   #7
JFKvsNixon
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Originally Posted by sgtkate View Post
Possibly it was taken out of context, but I don't believe so massively. Why don't we see anorexia in areas with poor access to food? Or do we see it just masked as something else, say physical self-harm or accepting sexual abuse?
Remember that correlation does not mean causation.

Isn't anorexia triggered by someone wanting to take control of a situation that they feel that they've lost control. If so, maybe the specific pressures that we have in our society, which also doesn't suffer from poor access to food, acts as that trigger?
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14-03-2016, 09:36   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtkate View Post
Thread based on comments by Joan Bakewell here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35799546

I think she's got a point, and if you read her comments closely she wasn't playing down the severity of anorexia at all, she was just offering a vague reason as to why anorexia is only found in populations with a food surplus. Some studies did find evidence of anorexia in Africa, but only in people who were regarded as wealthy for their country and were not suffering from malnutrition or poor access to food or water.

Discussing reasons behind why something exists is surely a must to help get rid of it, prevention better than cure as they say...
It's a mental health issue and it sounds like she's trivialising it.
What next, tell people with depression to cheer up and tell the suicidal not to be so selfish?

---------- Post added 14-03-2016 at 09:38 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFKvsNixon View Post
Remember that correlation does not mean causation.

Isn't anorexia triggered by someone wanting to take control of a situation that they feel that they've lost control. If so, maybe the specific pressures that we have in our society, which also doesn't suffer from poor access to food, acts as that trigger?
Or perhaps if someone needs to find an issue that they can control, and they are in an area with poor food access, then that thing can't be food...
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14-03-2016, 10:00   #9
sgtkate
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It's a mental health issue and it sounds like she's trivialising it.
What next, tell people with depression to cheer up and tell the suicidal not to be so selfish?[COLOR="Silver"]
If you read the full interview it's very obvious that's not her point at all. She's saying that we have created a culture that encourages problems like anorexia as a society, not blaming individuals for it. Doesn't really come across in the selected BBC quotes.


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Originally Posted by Cyclone View Post
Or perhaps if someone needs to find an issue that they can control, and they are in an area with poor food access, then that thing can't be food...
Hence why I asked were things like physical self-harm and so on a similar outlet for re-taking control? Perhaps we need to look at all self-harming (of which anorexia and bulimia must be?) as a wider picture. As you say if it's about taking control then that's a good reason why we don't see eating disorders in poorer countries, but I would suggest if we looked deeper there would be a whole range of self-harm going on.
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14-03-2016, 10:04   #10
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The lady's comments make sense. The girls and woman affected live in Countries where there is no shotage of food and problems seem to be self inflicted due to looking too much in the mirror and reading too many fashion trends. My prescription is to give these silly girls and women a job on a production line in a factory or vegetable picking on a farm.
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14-03-2016, 10:17   #11
sgtkate
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Originally Posted by Gamston View Post
The lady's comments make sense. The girls and woman affected live in Countries where there is no shotage of food and problems seem to be self inflicted due to looking too much in the mirror and reading too many fashion trends. My prescription is to give these silly girls and women a job on a production line in a factory or vegetable picking on a farm.
That wasn't her point. Her point was that people like you and me and everyone we know, all the newspapers and the media have created a culture where it puts such pressure on younger people that they end up with a mental health disorder. She wasn't blaming the sufferers at all but discussing how we can try to change as a society to stop more people becoming affected. Also interesting that you focussed on girls and women who suffer. You must be aware that 4 times as many men (19 for 100000 for me and 5 per 100000 for women) commit suicide than females.
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14-03-2016, 10:17   #12
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Originally Posted by Gamston View Post
The lady's comments make sense. The girls and woman affected live in Countries where there is no shotage of food and problems seem to be self inflicted due to looking too much in the mirror and reading too many fashion trends. My prescription is to give these silly girls and women a job on a production line in a factory or vegetable picking on a farm.
Fantastic!
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14-03-2016, 10:33   #13
Cyclone
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Originally Posted by sgtkate View Post
If you read the full interview it's very obvious that's not her point at all. She's saying that we have created a culture that encourages problems like anorexia as a society, not blaming individuals for it. Doesn't really come across in the selected BBC quotes.
Fair enough.
Perhaps though these pressures always exist, it's just that our society causes them to be expressed differently and we've actually gone as far as noticing and calling it a health issue?
Quote:


Hence why I asked were things like physical self-harm and so on a similar outlet for re-taking control? Perhaps we need to look at all self-harming (of which anorexia and bulimia must be?) as a wider picture. As you say if it's about taking control then that's a good reason why we don't see eating disorders in poorer countries, but I would suggest if we looked deeper there would be a whole range of self-harm going on.
Yes, probably, although the pressure to be thin might not exist, I'm sure other pressures exist (like worrying about whether you can get enough food in the first place to stay alive) and these will result in other pathological behaviours as outlets.

---------- Post added 14-03-2016 at 10:34 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamston View Post
The lady's comments make sense. The girls and woman affected live in Countries where there is no shotage of food and problems seem to be self inflicted due to looking too much in the mirror and reading too many fashion trends. My prescription is to give these silly girls and women a job on a production line in a factory or vegetable picking on a farm.
And that's why you don't work in mental health.
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14-03-2016, 10:36   #14
NigelFargate
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As someone who had a close friend with Anorexia, and who witnessed its ravages and the tragic course of this terrible illness, I can confirm that Ms. Bakewell does not know what she is talking about. Her flippant comparison between the incidence of Anorexia in first and third world countries is superficial in the extreme and based on ignorance, based as it is on a confusion between correlation and causation. Anorexia is not lifestyle choice. It is by no means solely or even mainly about food. Having studied the subject in some detail as a consequence of my friend's illness, I know that sufferers tend to be desperate to get well. Unfortunately, we are still in the dark ages in relation to mental illness, so it is unlikely that a cure for this lethal illness will be found anytime soon
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14-03-2016, 10:50   #15
danot
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Originally Posted by NigelFargate View Post
As someone who had a close friend with Anorexia, and who witnessed its ravages and the tragic course of this terrible illness, I can confirm that Ms. Bakewell does not know what she is talking about. Her flippant comparison between the incidence of Anorexia in first and third world countries is superficial in the extreme and based on ignorance, based as it is on a confusion between correlation and causation. Anorexia is not lifestyle choice. It is by no means solely or even mainly about food. Having studied the subject in some detail as a consequence of my friend's illness, I know that sufferers tend to be desperate to get well. Unfortunately, we are still in the dark ages in relation to mental illness, so it is unlikely that a cure for this lethal illness will be found anytime soon
Comparing anorexia to narcissism is like comparing a self harmer to jack-ass. Ridiculous. The woman's an idiot.
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14-03-2016, 10:56   #16
sgtkate
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Comparing anorexia to narcissism is like comparing a self harmer to jack-ass. Ridiculous. The woman's an idiot.
She was saying it's societies narcissism that is the issue, not individuals. Do you still disagree? Do you not think that society's obsession with body image is having an affect? Suicides are at their highest rate in recorded history, we should be looking at what's going on and why. Eating disorders are a part of that wider discussion.
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14-03-2016, 10:58   #17
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I don't think she approached it with the view of mental illness in mind and while I do agree with what she says, I do think it was probably taken out of context.

I do also think that first world countries where the pressure for young people and the rise in mental illness could also be compared to third world countries and the differences could be taken further. I don't think it has a lot to do with food abundance but more about the style of life people lead.
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14-03-2016, 11:11   #18
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Originally Posted by sgtkate View Post
She was saying it's societies narcissism that is the issue, not individuals. Do you still disagree? Do you not think that society's obsession with body image is having an affect? Suicides are at their highest rate in recorded history, we should be looking at what's going on and why. Eating disorders are a part of that wider discussion.
Can society suffer from narcissism?
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14-03-2016, 11:12   #19
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Originally Posted by sgtkate View Post
She was saying it's societies narcissism that is the issue, not individuals. Do you still disagree? Do you not think that society's obsession with body image is having an affect? Suicides are at their highest rate in recorded history, we should be looking at what's going on and why. Eating disorders are a part of that wider discussion.
It's definitely affecting individuals that suffer with compulsive and obsessive tendencies, but maybe such behaviour is hard-wired into certain individuals leaving them just as susceptible to anything that triggers it.
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14-03-2016, 11:56   #20
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Anorexia, like many mental health conditions can be caused by numerous factors. I think the easiest thing in the world is to blame the individual suffering. I've heard stories of people whose anorexia was brought on by bullying, abuse, interfamilial conflict etc.
It's a complex issue, and one that doesn't lend itself to easy soundbites or dismissive comments.
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