December 1, 2011

The Rubber Band Effect

The anorexia nervosa/compulsive overeating worksheet is a tool for tracking conflicts and the influence that they have on eating disorder behaviours. Stress frequently occurs within relationships with people that we are close to including our family and romantic partners. To keep ourselves and these relationships healthy, it is crucial to respond to the conflicts as soon as we can.

We call this the rubber band effect. People tend to accommodate or ignore the minor infractions in their relationships until one day they can’t take anymore and the rubber band snaps. As a result, as a result of the stress, the eating disorder symptoms emerge. The small infractions come in many forms from hostile comments which are delivered in the form of bad jokes; or built up anger at being the one who does all of the house work.

Betsy was sexually harassed in her relationship. The comments started early on in the relationship, and Betsy never responded, and her eating disorder became worse as the comments built up. It is about opening up the communication and making your partners or family understand what your boundaries are. The earlier you address these issues the better for the relationship, and you are better able to control the eating disorder.

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