Mar 7 17 12:35 AM

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Interesting article on transgender and eating disorders:

Sarah Jacoby writes:In fact, according to recent research, the rate of eating disorders among transgender people is much higher than among cisgender people. And experts are only just beginning to understand why. ... 
"We found that transgender people were much more likely to say that they had received a diagnosis of an eating disorder in the past year," explains Alexis Duncan, MPH, Phd, senior author on the study.

Indeed, almost 16% of transgender participants reported being diagnosed with an eating disorder within the last year, compared to 1.85% of cisgender heterosexual women and 0.55% of cisgender heterosexual men. 

Transgender participants were also more likely to report those compensatory behaviors, suggesting that their increased rate of diagnosis isn't simply due to them seeing health professionals more often than cisgender people — they actually are suffering from the symptoms of these disorders more frequently. ...

 One potential explanation for these drastically higher rates is that transgender people are more likely to have higher rates of body dysphoria, explains [Elizabeth] Diemer. "This [could result] in a generalized body discomfort," she says. "They then start to engage in disordered eating behaviors to try to alleviate body discomfort or conform their body to what we socially conceive of as appropriate for a female or male body."... 

Another hypothesis, known as the minority stress model, suggests that those who belong to gender, sexual, or other types of minorities tend to feel more stress overall. That puts them at a higher risk for all kinds of health conditions, including eating disorders and other mental health issues.

=17pxBut there are many=17px other factors which determine whether or not you develop an eating disorder, says Dr. Duncan. Genetics, a history of trauma, bullying, other mental illnesses, and environmental factors (e.g. how your parents treated you) all play a role. "We're so new as a field that it’s hard for us to say that we have any factors that are really established [causes]," Diemer says.

In my own case intense dysphoria may lead to comfort eating, as if the bodymind tries to satisfy a hunger that cannot be satisfied.

What about you?
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#1 [url]

Mar 7 17 1:59 AM

Well I've kind of a theory that it's like the brain has a subconscious self-image goal state that it's constantly trying to reach. 
So the FTMs subconsciously want their boobs to just disappear and want to be lean and muscular, so they are constantly subconsciously fighting with themselves and on the surface level that produces anorexia, where no matter how thin they are in practice the subconscious still just isn't satisfied with what they look like.

With some of us MTFs it works the other way around, we want to be curvier and subconsciously are trying to reach the rather unfashionable 'mother goddess' gynemorphic type body shape to be seen as fertile and ready to reproduce, but due to our bodies running with male hormones the fat ends up sitting in all the wrong places, and again we can never be satisfied with our self-image no matter what we do. 

Both sides are really a matter of overcompensating for the mind-body mismatch, but while it's still mostly submerged in the subconscious it just appears as a really compulsive pattern of behaviour which is as much a mystery to the doctors as it is to us. 

I've seen quite a lot of comments in various places from FTMs who had inexplicable severe anorexia through their teens and 20s which only began to resolve itself when they started on testosterone.

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#2 [url]

Mar 8 17 3:09 AM


I guess what you say relates to the kind of relief so many FTM trans men feel when they have their top surgery. Their joy and pride over a flat chest is expressed over and over again, as is the MTF trans women's pride in growing breasts.

Whether this body dysphporia is caused  by them intepreting these sexual sex characteristics as symbolic for being a man or a woman, or whether it is caused by a mismatch with an internal, neurological, body map doesn't really matter that much, does it? (I am open to both alternatives).

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#3 [url]

Mar 8 17 4:51 AM

I have never thought that I have an eating disorder, but thinking about my eating habits, is this related to my dysphoria and body image.
I do the cooking in my house and pile the plates high of food for the wife and kids and they normally polish this all off, but for me I always only eat about a quarter/half of what is in front of me and throw the rest away, always been the same. I feel as though silently my mind whats me to keep thin, I can feel hunger for hours before I will need to eat.

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#4 [url]

Mar 8 17 5:47 AM

I've seen apparent FTMers who are obese.  They'd wear bow ties, men's shirts and pants, and very very short haircuts.  I think the reason for carrying on the mass may be to even out the breasts with the rest of the body if they do not wish to consider top surgery. 

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#5 [url]

May 14 17 2:52 PM

I'm not sure my experience fits the description of the article but I would like to share it nevertheless. I had an eating disorder for 10 years or more, starting in early adolescence, which has fucked up my development and life pretty badly, I guess. Anorexia I knew to tune so well that it never reached the point where somebody forced me into a hospital; navigating the 16.5-17.5 body mass index range almost all the time.
It might have had to do with:
- Trying to purge the crossdreaming guilt/shame.
- The wish to get rid of gynecomastia, which made me feel vulnerable, not a real boy physically (the mere presence of gland tissue was) and constantly terrified by the possibility of being discovered. Subconsciously this might have been irrationally perceived as some sort of "curse" brought upon me by my crossdreaming.
- Fear of growing up, as well as a certain disgust towards becoming thick and muscular; I think a mix of stubbornness (being too attached to the idea of myself as skinny young boy) and fear of responsibility/relationships (this is my family's theory). Maybe there was a bit of gender dysphoria in disguise there; this seems to be in contradiction with the second point, but I'm no longer sure about anything.

Or maybe it is just that I felt totally overwhelmed by life during all those years (I still am) and I just had to have something I could control. Sorry, that was a bit whiny.

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