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Emotional anorexia: deprivation of the soul

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Is emotional anorexia a real thing?

The idea that someone can be spiritually and emotionally starved is not new, but according to psychologist Robin L. Smith, it can be just as dangerous as not eating.

Author of Hungry: The Truth About Being Full, Smith says that when emotional hunger is ignored, neglected, shamed, blamed or misunderstood, "it can make us even hungrier," Smith writes.

"I realized that for so much of my life, I was hungry for a real life and a real me,” she said. “I had spent so much time focused on pleasing others. I had been calling myself full off of crumbs, emotional crumbs, when what I really wanted was a meal. My hardships helped me see that what I was hungry for was myself, for true fulfillment.”

Signs of emotional anorexia

The signs of emotional anorexia, Smith says, can be vague but potent. Neglecting needs, minimizing one's desires or using denial to avoid pain are all symptoms. Physical problems like fatigue, insomnia or irritability may also show up.

Smith argues that the key to dealing with emotional anorexia is to be "consciously and compassionately awake" to your feelings, recognizing what you really want and not settling for less than you deserve.

"Our hunger isn’t something to be ashamed of, but is something we should nurture, care for, address and attend to,” she said.  “Once we know what we’re looking for, we can use that information to build a healthy, rich and satisfying life.”

Source: She Knows