We live in a world with intense social pressures to look, feel, and act in very specific ways. It is often these pressures (combined with trauma, anxiety, and other mental health struggles) that push people into developing eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia. When we obsess over our body image, we often find that our reality changes and we create these ideals that are impossible to attain. This may lead us to skipping meals, reducing calories, or finding way to maintain the body weight that we think we need to be happy.
Eating disorders can affect anyone, of any sexuality or background. But they are more common in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially common in the trans community. That is why it is so important for trans men, trans women, and the people that love them to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of eating disorders in order to identify them early and help them receive the help they deserve.
Why Would Eating Disorders Be More Common in Trans Adults?
Trans people spend much of their lives realizing that they are presenting in the wrong body. They are often envisioning the way they were meant to look and feel. This hyperfocus on their appearance – both before and after transition – means that there is rarely a time when they are not thinking about their body image.
Similarly, post-transition there is also a pressure to feel like there has been a transformation. When someone is able to finally present as a woman, for example, they often feel eyes on them to look the way women are expected to look. This is all during a time when there are often traumas, stigmas, and other social issues that make the pressures even greater, all while taking hormone supplements that can lead to emotional changes.
Finally, people that have suffered through bullying, anxiety, trauma, and violence are also more likely to develop eating disorders – and we live in a world where this is an unfortunate reality for so many of the trans people we adore.
Psychotherapy for the Trans Community
Pre- and post-transition is often a time where trans youth and adults are thinking about their physical body and the way they appear. But it is important to remember now to forget that adapting to change and finding happiness also come from within. Therapy is immensely helpful as a way to find more contentment with yourself and your life, as you become more true to who. Licensed in California, Texas, and Florida, I am able to speak to anyone that needs to gain more control over their mental health, and I am local to the Los Angeles, Culver City, and Pasadena area for those that would prefer to work with someone close by.
Please contact me today if you feel that you’re struggling, and let’s start helping you take better control over your mental health.