Eating Disorders

Anxiety and Anorexia as a Form of Self-Harm

Anxiety and Anorexia as a Form of Self-Harm | Libero Magazine

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When most people think of self-harming behaviors, cutting comes to mind first because the physical harm you’re doing to your body is visible from the outside. But having an eating disorder or suffering from anxiety is a very strong form of self-harm and many don’t realize just how bad it can be.

Thinking back to sixth grade when my Ed began, I remember hating my body so much that I unconsciously started eating less in order to punish myself for what I looked like. I didn’t want my body to change so I did what I thought would keep me little: Not eat.

In time, the harm I was putting my body through was enough to make my energy, metabolism, and heart rate slow down drastically and my periods also stopped completely. My body was rebelling against me. It was trying to fight back in order to keep me alive.

In a way, struggling from an Ed, is just as harmful if not more, than cutting oneself. Cutting is seen on the outside clearly, but an Ed is seen only when the person decides to acknowledge that help is needed.

When I finally realized that I was hurting my body on the inside, I was too deep into my behaviors to get out quickly. As bad as I wanted to stop harming myself, I couldn’t. It became the norm and I did it without even thinking. Years and years of recovery have gone by and yet here I am, still harming myself with my behaviors and thoughts.


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On a similar note, I also struggle with social anxiety; yet another form of self-harm. Instead of hurting my body in any way, I am hurting my chances of having friends, meeting new people, forming meaningful relationships, and even just holding a small conversation. I am stopping myself from having a life, from laughing.

And yet, like the eating disorder, I am still doing it. I am still sucked into the lies of the anxiety and the lies of Ed.

Getting out would save my body and my life, but it’s always easier said than done.

However, I am making strides towards freedom every day. I get one step closer when I choose to listen to my heart voice instead of Ed’s, and I get one step closer when I take the risk to meet new people even though I may be shaking in my boots.

It’s the little things that make a big difference. Small challenges turn into huge improvements which in tern eventually lead to a life free from self-harm.

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Tayla is recovering from anorexia. She hopes to major in Culinary Arts/Business one day. She writes about eating disorder recovery and anxiety.

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