by Stephanie Milstein, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist for the BRIDGE program at the Beaumont Children’s Hospital Hough Center for Adolescent Health
Year in and year out millions of individuals make, and then break, New Year’s resolutions. Generally, one of the most popular is “I’m going to clean up my eating and get into shape.” Sound familiar?
How about approaching things differently?
Whether the goal is to lose weight or something else, traditional New Year’s resolutions pave the way for something called dichotomous thinking or “black and white thinking.” This is when someone is only able to see the extremes of a situation, and is unable to see the “gray areas” in between. Dichotomous thinking is a very common defense mechanism employed by individuals with an eating disorder.