StressThey say anorexics have a higher level of cortisol -the hormone most related to stress- and lower levels of seretonin and repinephrine which are related to positive feelings. One proposal is that we starve to slow the production of cortisol therefore depleting the high stress levels that contribute to the cliche of "Perfectionist, hard-working, driven anorexics." However, once we start starving our brain manufactures more receptors for the hormone so in the long term stress will not go down. Once we start to eat it is even more stressful becuase of the higher levels of cortisol *and* more receptors.
I don't know how right these scientists are but one thing I know for sure is that stress had alot to do with my eating disorder personally. When the stress of constantly having to make up for my brother's imminent fualts to my parents got too much controlling my food could calm me down. In a world where nothing seemed to be up to me, where everything was just so hard, where I knew that without me my mother might fall apart, that everyone expected so much in my head, controlling this one little thing could make all that go away. Being able to cut my food up or throw it out do whatever I wanted to manipulate my meals seperated me from my life. I purged my body of feelings when I could no longer cope and became emotionally anorexic. Other people hurt too much I didn't need them. Anorexia numbed my emotions that I was so terrified of feeling again. My bones became a mask for what I felt inside, and the past that I still hide. Not only was I starved of emotions but I purged myself of needs. I no longer needed the most basic neccesity- Food. I was better than everyone else. I was finally perfect. I was finally on top. And suddenly all my hard work would start to pay off. Everything was going to be okay. I didn't need, I didn't want, and I didn't feel.
Now in my "recovery" during a particularly stressful day the solution comes easy. Its almost mystical in my mind with those calming yet psychedelic colors, with sparkles and glitter, so perfect beautiful and attainable, so great almost untouchable. My own glass ceiling: Just don't eat. Everything will be okay if I don't eat. Going off my own little monotonous eating plans drives my head into bedlam over weather or not I should eat that sweet. To eat more than I allot myself every single day causes so much stress that its just more worth it not to. Its not worth the fight, but if I loose the fight I'll land right back into its trap.
Food is my cortisol and the screaming in my head is the over abundance of receptors. Not all the anti-depressants in the world could take this stress away.