Eating disorders and intimacy (

Chief Marketing Officer Julie Holland Faylor, MHS, CEDS is the National Eating Disorders Examiner. Read an excerpt below from her blog post "Eating disorders and intimacy": When we think about intimacy, we often think just about sexuality. While sexuality is certainly an important component of intimacy, intimacy generally refers to the overarching idea of interpersonal connection and relationships. Indeed, sex is one way humans connect with one another on a meaningful level; however, many other actions and feelings can be described as intimate—including honesty, transparency and communication. If honesty, transparency, communication and sexuality comprise intimacy, it’s not surprising that individuals struggling with eating disorders often have problems achieving healthy intimacy and connecting meaningfully with others. Eating disorders thrive in secrecy, and women and men with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder work tirelessly to hide their behaviors and mask the fact that food, weight and shape consume their every thought. They will often withdraw from friends and family, or cut off communication altogether, particularly when others voice concern or the need for intervention. For those that continue to communicate with loved ones, chances are they are not sharing the truth about their restriction, bingeing and/or purging. Physical intimacy is also challenging for eating disordered individuals, who generally have severely distorted body image. Because they feel such intense dissatisfaction with their own bodies, it’s unlikely that they will be able to comfortably engage in intimate situations with spouses or significant others... Visit her blog to read the article in its entirety.

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