I am teaching my toddler to use his words rather than just whine or point or grunt at what he wants. Language development encompasses several milestones for children. According to speech-language pathologist and expert, Caroline Bowen, PhD:
Language has been called the symbolisation of thought. It is a learned code, or system of rules that enables us to communicate our ideas and to express our wants and needs. Reading, writing, gesturing and speaking are all forms of language.
There are a lot of theories about how human language developed in prehistoric times. Suffice it to say that we have come a long way from grunting and gesturing at each other like my toddler currently does. Think about the incredible capacity we have for communicating through verbal and written word at this point in time through the use of technology. Yet, interestingly, we have regressed into communicating in pictures (instagram) and emojis, which isnt all that different from the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
In the process of advancing technology, we have lost our ability to speak our thoughts and needs. Instead, issues like anxiety, depression, suicide and eating disorders are rampant. I don't think this is coincidence.
There is a lot of research that demonstrates that the more images we view in magazines or on social media, the more we internalize the "thin ideal" (society's value that thinness = beauty), and the more disordered eating behaviors (like dieting) a person will engage in. The less we use our words to communicate, the more detached we get from each other and from reality. (C'mon, you knew that most of the photos you see online are altered, right?). The less we talk directly to each other, the less connected we really are, regardless of how many online "friends" or followers we have. It's hard to be vulnerable and authentic when you are texting in cartoon emojis.
People all over the world are stuffing their feelings with food, purging them out through vomiting, laxatives and exercise, or denying their feelings even exist through restricting. these behaviors are a form of communication, spoken in the language of ED. Healing from an ED is about learning to use ones voice and communicate more assertively and effectively. Easier said than done in a world where everyone else around you is speaking in cute little cartoon characters.
Perhaps it would be worth your time to have a real in-person conversation with someone important in your life this week.