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Eating Disorders and life with one - Discussions, Opinions, Advice. watch

    • #3
    #3

    I've had an eating disorder since I was 14. Actually that's oversimplifying it - I haven't had *a* eating disorder, I have bits of all of them. It started with my anorexic phase - I wouldn't eat unless people made me, and even then it would take an hour to eat half a sandwich. Some of my friends noticed but I ignored them, and my school nurse said things but she was useless and didn't really do much.

    After that, I switched to my bulimic phase. Being able to eat anything then felt like a kind of freedom. But making yourself sick is disgusting and sometimes impractical, so slowly I started to binge and not purge which led to me gaining huge amounts of weight.

    Now, I don't really know what I am. I managed to lose weight kinda healthily so I'm not at my max weight but I'm not thin either. I use diet pills, I skip meals, I calorie count obsessively - but sometimes I lose it all and binge (sometimes with, sometimes without purging). I've seen doctors but they don't really know what to do with me; I was diagnosed as EDNOS at one point but that was as far as that went. It seems I either need to become properly anorexic and starve myself to dangerously underweight or just struggle on as I am.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've had an eating disorder since I was 14. Actually that's oversimplifying it - I haven't had *a* eating disorder, I have bits of all of them. It started with my anorexic phase - I wouldn't eat unless people made me, and even then it would take an hour to eat half a sandwich. Some of my friends noticed but I ignored them, and my school nurse said things but she was useless and didn't really do much.

    After that, I switched to my bulimic phase. Being able to eat anything then felt like a kind of freedom. But making yourself sick is disgusting and sometimes impractical, so slowly I started to binge and not purge which led to me gaining huge amounts of weight.

    Now, I don't really know what I am. I managed to lose weight kinda healthily so I'm not at my max weight but I'm not thin either. I use diet pills, I skip meals, I calorie count obsessively - but sometimes I lose it all and binge (sometimes with, sometimes without purging). I've seen doctors but they don't really know what to do with me; I was diagnosed as EDNOS at one point but that was as far as that went. It seems I either need to become properly anorexic and starve myself to dangerously underweight or just struggle on as I am.
    Anonymous, it sounds to me like you're still very much being gripped by a rather terrifying eating disorder. One that's manifesting itself almost subliminally. I'm in the fortunate situation of being able to admit it to myself what I am, and what ails me, but until you can identify and pinpoint that you're both suffering from an ED, and that you need to overcome it, you can't beat it.

    I suggest you think about the origins of your anxieties and talk to someone professional about it; knowing exactly what you're facing and where it stems from is half the battle.

    Alternatively you're very welcome to ask any questions here or private message me, whereas I'm sure none of us can give professional opinions, we can offer our own support to the best of our abilities. Finally, whatever you do, do NOT suffer this alone, or let it fester.
    • #3
    #3

    (Original post by TotoMimo)
    Anonymous, it sounds to me like you're still very much being gripped by a rather terrifying eating disorder. One that's manifesting itself almost subliminally. I'm in the fortunate situation of being able to admit it to myself what I am, and what ails me, but until you can identify and pinpoint that you're both suffering from an ED, and that you need to overcome it, you can't beat it.

    I suggest you think about the origins of your anxieties and talk to someone professional about it; knowing exactly what you're facing and where it stems from is half the battle.

    Alternatively you're very welcome to ask any questions here or private message me, whereas I'm sure none of us can give professional opinions, we can offer our own support to the best of our abilities. Finally, whatever you do, do NOT suffer this alone, or let it fester.
    The problem is that because my problems meant I gained so much weight, now I'm actually at a healthy weight for my height. If you saw me in the street you wouldn't know I have problems. I have a good job and that's going well - my manager does remind me to have lunch sometimes but she thinks that's just coz I get engrossed in my work.
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    Anon, your actual weight is actually irrelevant. There is such a thing as an overweight anorexic! Eating disorders are mental issues. Psychologically, you can be in total turmoil whilst on the outside you can be perfectly healthy. Pinning down the issues to what causes your compulsions/habits and anxieties is something you need to really consider doing sooner rather than later.

    You'll thank yourself for it, trust me!! I only wish I was stronger in order to combat my own demons more effectively to reach the point of being a healthy weight, but I personally would rather be overweight and completely devoid of these horrible habits, regiments and anxieties than being thin and living this life of restriction.
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    Really am shocked to hear this Toto. Your story is an amazing one. Brilliant what your doing here as well in this thread.
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    (Original post by TotoMimo)
    ...
    How do you make so many threads about food? Like McDonalds and chocolate and 'my dinner doesn't look like that' etc.. since you obviously don't eat, how do you know what any of it tastes like? And why do you care about it then?

    Sorry if I'm being callous..
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    (Original post by Bubbles*de*Milo)
    How do you make so many threads about food? Like McDonalds and chocolate and 'my dinner doesn't look like that' etc.. since you obviously don't eat, how do you know what any of it tastes like? And why do you care about it then?

    Sorry if I'm being callous..
    Anorexics are, by definition, obsessed with food, calories, restriction, and thus knowledge is power. Ironically, I am probably more of a foodie now at this point in my life when restriction is elemental, because my compulsions mean I have to pick and choose (and thus truly savour) my "treats".
    • #3
    #3

    (Original post by TotoMimo)
    Anon, your actual weight is actually irrelevant. There is such a thing as an overweight anorexic! Eating disorders are mental issues. Psychologically, you can be in total turmoil whilst on the outside you can be perfectly healthy. Pinning down the issues to what causes your compulsions/habits and anxieties is something you need to really consider doing sooner rather than later.

    You'll thank yourself for it, trust me!! I only wish I was stronger in order to combat my own demons more effectively to reach the point of being a healthy weight, but I personally would rather be overweight and completely devoid of these horrible habits, regiments and anxieties than being thin and living this life of restriction.
    One of the DSM criteria for being anorexic is that you have a low weight, so whilst it is possible to be diagnosed as anorexic if you're not it is a lot harder. And really, I'm not - I'm a little bit of everything all rolled into one. Anyway, the NHS doesn't have enough resources to even treat dangerously ill anorexics properly.

    I am trying, and I think the fact that I've struggled for over 10 years shows that. If I hadn't I would be dead by now.
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    (Original post by TotoMimo)
    I hear you. At my absolute darkest of days, I was weighing SALAD. It's terrifying the hold the numbers have on you, and even loosening the grip a little bit now feels like I'm free - but to an outsider, it must seem hellish. However, when you know what I've endured before (and many others have too) in circumstances where regiment almost killed me, my life now (even though it's still heavily restricted) feels a world apart.
    Oh I definitely know what you mean. I look back on it sometimes and wonder how I survived off that little food, like now, if I feel hungry for so long I can feel myself getting lethargic and moody...I can't imagine that basically being my life for 6+ months.



    (Original post by .Scout.)
    *hugs*
    I know exactly what you are going through.
    I didn't have the best start in life; I had a tough childhood which caused me (and still to this day causes) a lot of pain and upset. I ultimately used food as a way of gaining some control over my life. I was literally obsessed; I would think constantly about food - yet would deprive myself from eating. I would weigh everything, stand religiously on the scales and eat in private. This made me feel powerful and made me feel as if I was in control.
    I was hospitalised, I failed my A Levels yet still was delusional; I still craved control and thought that there was nothing wrong with what I was doing to myself. Now, I'm at university and at a 'healthy weight' but does that mean that everything is okay? No.

    To an outsider, everything would seem a-okay. I no longer look skeletal and my obsession with food and cookery shows makes it seem as if I have a passion for food; but in reality, I'm so close to slipping back into my old ways. I may be healthy now but I know that i'll never be able to fully recover as I just can't shake off this mindset.
    :hugs: I'm exactly the same as you...I still don't feel "right" on the inside, but I don't look ill anymore (I mean, people always still tell me I'm skinny, but I just don't see that at all), so people think I'm fine. I am literally still so obsessed with food, I read cook books, watch programmes, spend so much of my time baking (which I then give to my boyfriend )...so to everyone else it probably looks like I'm embracing food, but honestly, I think it's just another way of coping. I know it sucks, possibly even more when you're a normal weight because no one else can understand what's happening on the inside, but you've done an amazing thing getting into university and being a healthy weight. That shows how strong you are and how much you can be in control of your life :hugs: I don't think I'll ever fully "recover" either, I can maintain this weight but the thoughts will never go away. My mum is now in her 60s and she suffered from an ED when she was about 18-20, and I still the behaviours in her all the time...I think I always knew something was wrong with her thoughts even as a child. I think the important thing is to learn to cope with your thoughts and not act them out, and know that they're stupid thoughts and that to everyone else you probably look amazing and they see you as strong healthy person. You're doing amazing, don't give up the fight :hugs:
    • #4
    #4

    I believe it's because of the very erroneous, silly notion that people develop the disorder through a pursuit of vanity.

    It's surprising how quickly your body retains fat and water when you've restricted so long - a terrifying prospect to someone with an eating disorder - but you must stick with it.

    I'd love to open up the floor now to all and any input here into this very diverse topic, to hear perhaps your own stories or any input or advice you can give myself, my peers and anyone else potentially developing one of these insidious conditions.

    All my love to everyone and the absolute best of luck in your own daily battles, regardless of what they may be![/QUOTE]

    Okay

    I feel a bit of a coward going anonymous when you were so public but I have friends on here who know me in real life and when I struggled with eating disorders at my lowest I barely socialised with others, went to a school where I had no "proper" friends (i'd moved schools that year), and refused to have any photos whatsoever taken of me so it's something i've kept relatively hidden - my close friends and boyfriend know i've got eating "issues" but (other than my boyfriend who wasn't my boyfriend at the time) I believe they feel i'm just a silly girl who thinks she's fat when she isn't and goes through these phases (/ relapses) where she'll be ridiculous about food.

    My Mum always went with the "vanity" excuse, something she'd shout at me (through frustration I can now appreciate with the benefit of hindsight) - I believed she couldn't understand it, didn't (openly) appreciate that it is a mental disorder.

    To the anon talking about being a healthy weight - google EDNOS, and remember the DSM is a flawed classification system and is not perfect. It's like someone may have high grades but not actually be clever. I completely relate, I wouldn't admit my past because I worried people would think I was a fraud and actually wanted it!

    I think for me my boyfriend was my rock (gained a stone in the time i've been dating him, almost two years, but this produced the other side in that I was eating because it was pleasing people so I started to relate eating to being happy instead of not eating) and my family.

    At the end of the day, I don't want to die and I have a lot to live for - I've embraced life so much and some serious things happened that really made me appreciate everything I DO have - my weight and how I eat should be such a tiny part of who I am and I couldn't believe how much of my life I had wasted worrying about it.


    Keep going, the high i'm on for life now is something that is definitely worth all the tears and pain.
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    I believe it's because of the very erroneous, silly notion that people develop the disorder through a pursuit of vanity.

    It's surprising how quickly your body retains fat and water when you've restricted so long - a terrifying prospect to someone with an eating disorder - but you must stick with it.

    I'd love to open up the floor now to all and any input here into this very diverse topic, to hear perhaps your own stories or any input or advice you can give myself, my peers and anyone else potentially developing one of these insidious conditions.

    All my love to everyone and the absolute best of luck in your own daily battles, regardless of what they may be!

    Okay

    I feel a bit of a coward going anonymous when you were so public but I have friends on here who know me in real life and when I struggled with eating disorders at my lowest I barely socialised with others, went to a school where I had no "proper" friends (i'd moved schools that year), and refused to have any photos whatsoever taken of me so it's something i've kept relatively hidden - my close friends and boyfriend know i've got eating "issues" but (other than my boyfriend who wasn't my boyfriend at the time) I believe they feel i'm just a silly girl who thinks she's fat when she isn't and goes through these phases (/ relapses) where she'll be ridiculous about food.

    My Mum always went with the "vanity" excuse, something she'd shout at me (through frustration I can now appreciate with the benefit of hindsight) - I believed she couldn't understand it, didn't (openly) appreciate that it is a mental disorder.

    To the anon talking about being a healthy weight - google EDNOS, and remember the DSM is a flawed classification system and is not perfect. It's like someone may have high grades but not actually be clever. I completely relate, I wouldn't admit my past because I worried people would think I was a fraud and actually wanted it!

    I think for me my boyfriend was my rock (gained a stone in the time i've been dating him, almost two years, but this produced the other side in that I was eating because it was pleasing people so I started to relate eating to being happy instead of not eating) and my family.

    At the end of the day, I don't want to die and I have a lot to live for - I've embraced life so much and some serious things happened that really made me appreciate everything I DO have - my weight and how I eat should be such a tiny part of who I am and I couldn't believe how much of my life I had wasted worrying about it.


    Keep going, the high i'm on for life now is something that is definitely worth all the tears and pain.
    Everyone should read this bit, it's so true.
    • #5
    #5

    (Original post by briesandwich)
    :hugs: Tommy, you are such a brave person to speak so openly about this, and you've highlighted a huge misconception people have about eating disorders. It makes anorexia seem so superficial when people believe they starve themselves to look "good".

    I, too, suffer from Anorexia, triggered mostly by previously abusive relationships, bullying and a "rocky" home-life. I won't go into detail about these things, I feel so ashamed to have let people run me down like that.

    I had to be taken out of my second year of College because I became so underweight and unwell. I sunk into a horrible depression in the months waiting to start College again because all my 'friends' essentially forgot about me, and I felt like I'd lost my purpose without something to work towards like University.

    Fast-forward (about a year or so) to now, I'm about to start my exams in my third year of College, and still struggling. Yesterday my therapist told me that I'd lost weight again (despite adding a glass of milk to my diet :mad:) and if I don't gain 0.2kg by next weeks weigh-in I'll be put into hospital. I'm working myself up completely over this, because I'm terrified of having to cancel my exams AGAIN - which would mean not going on to be a Mental Health Nurse in September. So I'm eating an extra banana and a glass of orange juice a day, and even though I hate myself for it and crying like a loon every hour, I know it'll get easier and that if I don't do this I won't be able to help others in my situation.

    Please continue with your treatment, it is one of the greatest achievements beating an eating disorder and no doubt you will be an inspiration to others when you do.
    It deeply worries me that someone who has poor mental health themselves, wants to become a mental health nurse. Sweetheart you will be of no use to anyone until you are well in yourself. Focus on you before you try to help others, who may evoke sad and difficult feelings in you, as many may have similar early life experiences.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It deeply worries me that someone who has poor mental health themselves, wants to become a mental health nurse. Sweetheart you will be of no use to anyone until you are well in yourself. Focus on you before you try to help others, who may evoke sad and difficult feelings in you, as many may have similar early life experiences.
    I may not be 100% better physically, but mentally I'm in a far better place than I was a year ago. I've worked very hard to get where I am now and having the chance to help others is my motivation to continue battling.

    Sorry if that seems like I'm snapping at you a bit, I've thought long and hard about this issue and I see completely where you're coming from. If by September I hadn't improved considerably I would definitely delay my course, but right now I'm in a positive frame of mind and after hearing today that I've gained a lot more weight I can only see things going up from here. Thank you for caring though, it honestly means a lot. :hugs:
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    I also believe that Brie's personal battle will give her a greater insight and allow a better sense of empathy to potential future patients that someone with standard "textbook" knowledge might not. Only by experiencing this for one's self do you truly get to appreciate how viciously restrictive and gripping the disease can have on you, and I think a patient will appreciate this.
    • #2
    #2

    In IP there were mental health nurses that clearly still struggled with disordered behaviours and it was immensely triggering. Eating meals with tiny spoons, refusing certain vegetables because they weren't cut in a certain way, talking about how uncomfortable they felt in their clothes, making their own foods, etc.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    In IP there were mental health nurses that clearly still struggled with disordered behaviours and it was immensely triggering. Eating meals with tiny spoons, refusing certain vegetables because they weren't cut in a certain way, talking about how uncomfortable they felt in their clothes, making their own foods, etc.
    I can assure you that I'd never set foot in such a place if I was still displaying disordered behaviours. It's made me really angry to think they would talk about how their clothes felt in front of everyone. :mad: surely if they did have a history of disordered eating they would know how damaging that can be to hear?!
    That aside, I hope IP treated you well and you're healthier now.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It deeply worries me that someone who has poor mental health themselves, wants to become a mental health nurse. Sweetheart you will be of no use to anyone until you are well in yourself. Focus on you before you try to help others, who may evoke sad and difficult feelings in you, as many may have similar early life experiences.
    I disagree. My therapist used to have COE and though it wasn't the same ED, she understood my thought processes a lot better than the other therapist I had who had no personal experience with EDs. I think it's up to the person to decide if they feel well enough to go into that profession and with mental illness, I find it's mostly people who've had personal experience who want to go into that field anyway.
    I'd assume she would have thought long and hard before deciding to go into that career and so as long as the eating disorder isn't active and she's physically and mentally well enough to deal with the stress, I think it's pretty commendable.

    Does anyone find EDs get more embarrassing and difficult to admit to the older you get? I'm only 19 and I can't help but feel like I should have grown out of it. :/


    Exam stress is making everything worse. Because I got pulled out of school last year when I was doing my last year of A levels, I've put so much pressure on myself to get into my first choice uni this year but I'm terrified I'm not going to get the grades I need. It's weird because even though I haven't been behaviourally or physically well since I left hospital, it feels like something has snapped in my head and I'm just as terrified to eat as I was when I was hospitalised. I need to revise and I need food in my body to be able to take exams, I know that, but I just can't eat. I'm more scared about failing my exams than I am about myself. I know this will make me far more likely to fail... The scary thing about it is it feels like coming home. Like everything has slotted into place and everything will be ok. What the hell is that about? Anorexia is evil and it systematically destroys your life. Or worse. My Psych and nurse know but I'm not in any medical danger right now and I've just been through IP treatment so how can they help me anyway? I just need to suck it up and deal with it, I guess. Any tips on how to actually manage it?
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    Diamond, my career at 26 has halted and been very severely damaged because of this infuriating condition. I am not more embarrassed; that doesn't even factor in any more. Call it being "sick and tired of being sick and tired." I just want a regular life again.

    The truth about managing it is you need to talk about it. Sounds lame and "the typical response." But no, it's absolutely the best weapon. When I first told my family, they formed almost a perfect network of help; I assumed they would be judgemental and sneaky-talking about me behind my back (despite knowing they were nice people, the anxieties take over!). My employers were absolutely brilliant and put my job on hold whilst I started recovery, I moved home to be close to my family, and now I am slowly gaining weight and fighting the mental demons. They don't pressurise me into eating the same meals; they allow me to go at my own pace. But being in proximity to them allows me to accept a lot. "Want a cup of tea?" "Yes please!" "We got those new snowballs, want one?" ...

    .....

    "Actually, yes please."

    Breakthroughs can be the smallest things in the right company.
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    My Mum used to suffer from anorexia, she was around 4 stone at her lowest. This was years ago, way before I was even born. But now she's a healthy 8 and a half stone, and in all honesty, I don't think I'll ever be prouder of anyone, than my Mum.
    I want you to know, you can and will do this. You just have to stick to it.
    My Mum always explained to me that Anorexia is like a light switch, one day it just gets flicked, and it starts it all off, it could have been many things from the past building up and then something small and almost unknown, triggers the ilness off, but then on day, it gets flicked back again, and you ask yourself "I'm either gonna die...or eat?" And you have to decide which one. Seems to me like you're getting yourself onto the right track, and for that, well done you deserve to be happy, and you deserve to eat and don't ever feel guilty or disheartend when you do! Good luck, you'll do brilliantly!!
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    (Original post by Vikki1805)
    My Mum used to suffer from anorexia, she was around 4 stone at her lowest. This was years ago, way before I was even born. But now she's a healthy 8 and a half stone, and in all honesty, I don't think I'll ever be prouder of anyone, than my Mum.
    I want you to know, you can and will do this. You just have to stick to it.
    My Mum always explained to me that Anorexia is like a light switch, one day it just gets flicked, and it starts it all off, it could have been many things from the past building up and then something small and almost unknown, triggers the ilness off, but then on day, it gets flicked back again, and you ask yourself "I'm either gonna die...or eat?" And you have to decide which one. Seems to me like you're getting yourself onto the right track, and for that, well done you deserve to be happy, and you deserve to eat and don't ever feel guilty or disheartend when you do! Good luck, you'll do brilliantly!!
    That's a decidedly glamorous (and hopefully true) way of viewing this disease. Hopefully I can personally overcome it in this kinda way; just click! "man, what am I doing?!" - then better!
 
 
 
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