Eating disorders are complex biopsychosocial problems. This means that biological, psychological, and social (cultural) elements are involved.
Often, eating disorders occur when people try to feel better about themselves by controlling their weight, shape, and eating behaviour. After all, Western culture tells us that if we look a certain way (slim for women, bulked up for men) happiness and fulfillment will result.
Restrictive eating and/or excessive exercise set up complex physical and psychological changes that entrench the eating disorder.
Psychological treatment helps people reverse these changes, teaches healthy coping strategies, and resolves the underlying issues that contributed to the development of the eating disorder. In this way, individuals can move toward healthier and more fulfilling lives.