Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Fathers and eating disorders


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Phoebe K.

Phoebe K.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 278 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 February 2014 - 04:06 PM

Hi all,

 

I have been trying to find what the fathers and the church say about eating disorders.  These are a very prevalent problem in the world now, but have found it very difficult to find any orthodox resources on the subject.

 

I know it is a very emotive and delicate subject, but also very miss understood even within the church.  I have noticed the misunderstandings come mostly when a condition like this prevents people fasting or have little control over their eating.  I notice that people can be very judgmental at times when people who do not seem unwell outwardly are exempted from fasting strictly or at all sometimes.

 

The issues with self harm that many of those struggling with eating disorders have, is also very misunderstood by people who have not been through it or been very close to someone with these problems.

 

Can anyone who know of  texts point me to the writings of the Fathers or texts of the Church on this area please.  In part I am trying to put together some resources for a young adults festival I am involved in.

 

Phoebe



#2 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,517 posts

Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

I think preventing people from fasting because they look sickly is probably a modernist thing. If we go back in time to a few decades ago and enter into villages it was probably quite common especially for the much older folks to have fasted eating just "xerofagia".  That is dry uncooked foods such as fruits, raw vegetables and nuts. Some bread and alittle olive oil being the most fancy food in their Lenten diet.

 

The thing is many of these eating disorders like obesity was never a major problem going back just a few generations ago, so it was really on no ones radar. The industrial revolution and technological advances made life easier for us which usually means  we become less active doing less manual work thus burning less calories. Also the cultural changes now overlyemphasized beauty in the form of Hollywood, fashion magazine, cosmetic companies, etc  leads to eating disorders especially among women.

 

Most writings on this subject will fall under the subject of gluttony and vanity. Here are a few writings and quotes from Church Fathers about this subject, but may not be what your looking for:

 

http://www.orthodox....s/gluttony.html

 

http://orthodoxchurc...m/tag/gluttony/

 

http://www.newadvent...hers/350705.htm


Edited by Kosta, 07 March 2014 - 10:12 AM.


#3 Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 397 posts

Posted 29 March 2014 - 05:46 PM

Works on gluttony do not, I don't think, address anorexia-type disorders, which (with overeating--which can actually be different from gluttony, as it depends on the root of the problem) relate to other issues.



#4 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,517 posts

Posted 30 March 2014 - 02:40 AM

That's where vanity comes in.

#5 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:30 PM

Crassly and cruelly attributing anorexia to mere "vanity" would be like saying that someone with severe "major depressive disorder" merely is indulging himself in the sin of "despair", needs to stop taking anti-depressants, stop seeing a therapist, and just confess "pull himself out of it". There is a difference between an eating disorder and vanity or gluttony. If anyone likes, I can pull out reams of biomedical publications (I happen to work in molecular neurobiology, among other pursuits). That being said, there are far more people indulging in gluttony or vanity than have actual eating disorders. Is someone with arthritis indulging in sloth if there is no visible sign of the arthritis (no swelling of joints, etc.), merely someone who says they hurt too much to move? Where is the compassion or charity when with telling someone with a mental disorder that it's all just a matter of their personal choice to indulge in sin?






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users