Causes of eating disorders

While it’s unclear why exactly someone develops an eating disorder, some people believe they stem from social pressures to be thin caused by social media and fashion magazines. Others believe eating disorders are a way to feel in control.

Most specialists believe that eating disorders develop because of a combination of psychological, environmental and genetic factors.

Psychological factors could be:

  • Being vulnerable to depression and anxiety
  • Finding stress hard to manage
  • Worrying a lot about the future
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Controlling your emotions
  • Having obsessive or compulsive feelings
  • Fear of being labelled ‘fat’ or overweight

Environmental factors could be:

  • Pressure at school
  • Bullying or abuse
  • Criticism for your body shape or eating habits
  • Difficult family relationships
  • Having a job or hobby where being thin is seen as ideal

Genetic factors could be:

  • Changes in your brain or hormone levels
  • Family history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse

Your donation will make the difference

Just £10 could help pay for a call to our advice and information line, supporting someone living with mental illness who may be feeling in distress during this time.