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Anorexia and Bulimia

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Back when I was in college I suffered from anorexia and bulimia because I was so insecure about my weight. I would have to say that the people around me who keep telling me that I don't look good has a major effect and probably the number 1 reason why I had those eating disorders. One day, I fainted during my class and my professor who is a doctor gave me a reality check that if I don't go back to eating right and healthy, I just might be one of those girls who could lose my life early. I didn't want that to happen of course so I made a decision to eat healthy and right and most importantly, not mind those people's opinion on how I look. If you are suffering from these disorders, feel free to message me and I'm willing to help you as I have experienced it myself and finally recovered from it. :-)

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I also suffered from bulimia when I was in college. Anorexia was never a problem for me though, because I've always liked food too much for that. I never fainted in class, but I did have to walk out once because my stomach hurt so bad from all the bingeing and purging. Friends and family knew and tried to help, but I had to make the decision on my own. The battle lasted about two years for me, and I went through a few therapists before I found one that worked for me.

It's always great to hear about somebody else who beat it... congrats!

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You must be very strong to overcome your eating disorder on your own. I'm sure you have lots of useful advice for people in a similar situation. I always like hearing success stories, it is inspiring for me. Too many of us think our problems are insurmountable and we are destined to be miserable, but that isn't the case.

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I had a very stressful time in high school and the way I dealt with the stress was to try to be perfect in any way I could. I put this in an earlier post, but when I finally did go to a doctor for things, we determined that what I had wasn't considered an eating disorder, it was considered disordered eating. I was able to have ebbs and flows in the disorder. So for a few months I would be "normal" so to speak, but then I would go through months at a time when I would either only eat some fruit all day long, or would purge anything of substance that I would eat. I ended up working through it with a counselor and in the end, what kind of kicked it the most for me was when I got pregnant with my first child. I knew that I had to be healthy in order for him to be healthy and I was able to do it for him; and subsequently my second child. I do wonder sometimes if when I am done having children if I will be tempted to go back to that lifestyle; but I have tools to deal with it hopefully should it get to that point!

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I use to not eat for months and months when I was younger mainly as I had a very bad image of myself and couldn't eat when I was stressed or upset . I have been not eating well now due to stress and worry and bringing up lots of pass events in therapy and not coping well and I knew I was slipping back In to my bad eating habits but couldn't or didn't want to stop. I now find myself not wanting to eat In front of people or people to see me eating or buying food I know its crazy but I can't seem to get out of this mindset it's exactly how I thought in the past . I also like the hunger pains as it makes the emotional pain manageable to handle and that's one of the reasons I don't eat much . I have to work so I have to eat some thing so I don't pass out I am not underweight so I know my body can handle it . I haven't eaten for enjoyment for 6 months now and I just eat when I really need to and something small like a few nuts or a tin of tuna . It's really hard to stop once I get in this mindset as a big part of me doesn't want to as I need the hunger pains . I haven't told my therapist about my not eating I did tell her last week that its one of my coping methods to handle the emotional pain but I did not tell her how bad my thinking is getting about food .

Spider

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Spider. You MUST tell your therapist. She will be will be working in the dark and any session will be wasted. Why won't you tell her? Is it the fear of what she may think of you? Therapists don't form opinions other than purely clinical ones. She will not criticise or condemn. You really MUST tell her. It seems you are punishing yourself. Why? I looked at some of your previous posts and I know you had a trauma that has affected you deeply. It is so diffcult to talk at this distance but yours is not an unusual case, contrary to what you may think. Unless you open up FULLY to your therapist  she is treating you with one hand tied behind her back. Give her the chance she deserves. I am sure she wants to help. Trust her.        Jon. 

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Thanks it has come up in previous session a little about my eating habits but I am not great at opening up and it takes me time to feel comfortable talking about things . I have actually added a second session so I can talk more. I did talk more about my eating habits and how it's another of my coping methods it's not that I don't tell her everything its just when I feel able to tell her , I do think everyone judges me and it takes a lot for me to trust and she knows that so she dosent push me and knows I find it hard to talk about certain things . I am very carefully what I say as people judge and yes I am starting to trust that my theripst is not a person that judges me but I have my bad days when I don't trust but I am trying . I know I have to be open with her and I don't lie if she ask me something I am not just as open about talking about things but I am trying .

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Hi spider. You say people judge you. Well, for a start no one on this site does so that's for starters. :).  Neither does your therapist so that makes a lot of us! :sexface:  When you have been subjected to real trauma trust goes out of the window and it is often difficult to regain it but given time it does return. Therapy, counselling is ongoing. It takes time to rid our mind of unwanted thoughts and feelings. The deeper the trauma the longer it takes but it can be done and you will do it. Honest spider, you will.    Jon.

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Hi I'm new to this , but thought someone on here might understand instead of have a go or get angry at me . I struggle with an eating disorder , I eventually went to the doctors and they sent my to go see someone, but all she did lecture me on how my body will shut down ect ect ect . I already know that . I know I'm not fat , but can't stop measuring myself, stepping on scales and comparing myself to other people . Sometimes I can eat , but I hate the feeling of being full makes me feel tired and guilty . I also feel it is the only thing in my life I have control over

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Hi vic, welcome to ac, we aren't going to have a go at you, of course not. You need understanding not lectures! That makes me mad. A counsellor with good experience in helping people with eating disorders would be helpful, I would do what you can to try and find one. We are here to listen, if you need to talk or vent or just want a friend. 

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I am anorexic..still fighting, but not with professional help.. I've been anorexic for the past 2 years and 5 months and I've had help here and there..didn't work.

Now I'm stuck in 93/94libs and nothing feels to have a meaning for me anymore.. sometimes I just want it over the hard way (if you know what I mean) and I tried it to be over but every time I failed.. I'm still here.

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Hi Vic and welcome. Lectures!! Boy have I had some of those. Ignorant people who do not understand will try to jolly you along with useless advice. Ignore them. You can be the most intelligent person in the world and still give silly advice. We speak from experience and though not able to enter into your particular form of anxiety I can understand how you feel. Anxiety has so many facets that it is impossible to deal with them  by one 'mend all' therapy. I agree with Gilly; for your condition counselling is so important, but you need to find the right one. Unless you have confidence in your counsellor then more harm than good can be done. It still amazes me that the sort of advice you have been given still persists. You need help not criticism or lecturing. Now recovery from your particular form of anxiety is possible, very much so, and I have seen it happen, so don't despair. I know how easy it is to despair, believe me, I do.

 

The same applies to you, Lillith. You are still here and that's where you are going to stay, here with us. You may not believe me now but there is life on the other side of anorexia, honest there is. As I said above, I have seen it happen. Please look for professional advice but from a sensitive person; a non critical person. I don't know where you live but there are groups that can help. I know looking for help can be tiring and seem to get you nowhere but you have to keep trying. Don't miss out on help for want of effort. Good luck to you both and keep posting if only to 'have a go'. It always helps.     Jon.

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Hi everyone,

I am new here, and I feel as though I very much so relate to Vic. There's just a difference between what I know and what I can bring myself to do. I have an eating disorder recently termed "orthorexia nervosa." Being that my mother is a personal trainer, I was raised with healthy eating. I went from being the center of my mother's world to garbage on the porch, and I used any method I could to get her attention.

 

I realized that she was proud of me for making healthy choices, and before I knew it, I was addicted to working out and started restricting my meal size. I never intended to lose weight, but I dropped 30 pounds. I am now at a healthy weight again, but I am struggling with the rules I have imposed upon myself.

 

How do I overcome my rules and the voice inside my head that punishes me for not working out? I find more tired than anything, and I need to find a way to beat this disorder for me.

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I also have suffered from both. More so in my younger years. Going down to 106 pounds. Feeling insecure, not pretty enough, fat and ugly. Thought people would like me better if thin. Maybe my parents would notice me. I still have bouts of bilimia at 43.

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Hi everyone!

I want to start by saying that I've read everyone's posts and find so many similar things happening to me. First I am diagnosed bi polar, OCD, ADHD, and CPTSD. I am NOT currently diagnosed anorexic based solely on the fact that "I don't meet the medical criteria" because in short I'm fat! However when I was younger I was diagnosed anorexic with bulimia tendancies. Basically back then I never ate, but if forced to, I would purge. Back then my problem came from the sexual abuse from a "friend" and the physical and mental abuse from my mother. All of this trama leading to my CPTSD diagnosis later.

Anyways I recovered, as much as anyone I guess. I mean does anyone ever really recover from an eating disorder? And don't even get me started on PTSD. There is no recovery for that. I guess the better phase would be that I found a way to "live" with everything. Long story short after years of anorexia, self harm, and drug use I finally found a way to live healthy again. Even healthy self harm is a huge issue for me. Any little thing bad happens and that's my go to. In fact I would venture to say that the only reason I ever had anorexia, or used drugs, was because it was a way to hurt myself without people seeing the cuts.

Fast forward to now...ten years ago I met my husband. The first guy I decided to try a relationship with because of my PTSD. Because of him I stopped self destructing and got better. I thought. But here we are and something in him has changed. You know that constant loop in our heads? I'm ugly. I'm worthless. I can't do anything right. I mess everything up. I'm fat. I'm disgusting. Well I battle that every second of every day, but about 6 months ago he started saying those types of things to me. On top of that he convinced himself that I was cheating. First I would never. Secondly it simply isn't possible for me. Because of what I went through I can't stand to be touched much less sex with anyone. Between the accusations and the constant verbal jabs I fell into depression. But not the tired all the time crying sort. The never sleep mind racing kind. Fully manic despite my meds. Before I knew what was happening I started cutting again. Luckily I stopped after a week. I guess I woke up. Idk. But then I stopped eating. It started with being so upset and anxiety so high that when I ate it made me sick. Eventually I got tired of puking and learned if I could keep meals down to just a few bites then it stayed down. But at some point I stopped eating. I stepped on a scale after others complimented me on losing weight. When I saw the lower number it became an obsession. That scale has replaced my husband. Every bad comment he makes I march to the scale. I'm on it sometimes more then 4 times a day. It has become an OCD tick. Due to everyone's concern it was suggested to use myfitness pal and track my intake so I can see when I need more calories and add them. Instead now that number has also become an obsession. The lower my calories the better I feel. An average day for me is about 300 calories. On days I work bc my job is so active I have blurred vision and dizziness.

But here's the clincher...I never meant to end back in disordered eating. I know it's not good. I almost graduated med school for Petes sake! But I just don't care. I've lost all control over my life. To my husband. To anxiety. To PTSD. (The nightmares are killing me!) but I found something I can control and I can't stop.

Before anyone lashes out at me, please know that I've been attacked over and over on other sites because I'm fat and therefore don't belong. I get that. I do. They accuse me of treating anorexia as a "pet" to have. Or a "fav diet" I'm trying. Please just don't. I'm not doing that. I'm at my end here because I'm too fat to find support with people with the same eating behaviors apparently. There's no place for me at the moment. Maybe if I lose enough then I'll find a place that accepts me.

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Hi everyone!

I want to start by saying that I've read everyone's posts and find so many similar things happening to me. First I am diagnosed bi polar, OCD, ADHD, and CPTSD. I am NOT currently diagnosed anorexic based solely on the fact that "I don't meet the medical criteria" because in short I'm fat! However when I was younger I was diagnosed anorexic with bulimia tendancies. Basically back then I never ate, but if forced to, I would purge. Back then my problem came from the sexual abuse from a "friend" and the physical and mental abuse from my mother. All of this trama leading to my CPTSD diagnosis later.

Anyways I recovered, as much as anyone I guess. I mean does anyone ever really recover from an eating disorder? And don't even get me started on PTSD. There is no recovery for that. I guess the better phase would be that I found a way to "live" with everything. Long story short after years of anorexia, self harm, and drug use I finally found a way to live healthy again. Even healthy self harm is a huge issue for me. Any little thing bad happens and that's my go to. In fact I would venture to say that the only reason I ever had anorexia, or used drugs, was because it was a way to hurt myself without people seeing the cuts.

Fast forward to now...ten years ago I met my husband. The first guy I decided to try a relationship with because of my PTSD. Because of him I stopped self destructing and got better. I thought. But here we are and something in him has changed. You know that constant loop in our heads? I'm ugly. I'm worthless. I can't do anything right. I mess everything up. I'm fat. I'm disgusting. Well I battle that every second of every day, but about 6 months ago he started saying those types of things to me. On top of that he convinced himself that I was cheating. First I would never. Secondly it simply isn't possible for me. Because of what I went through I can't stand to be touched much less sex with anyone. Between the accusations and the constant verbal jabs I fell into depression. But not the tired all the time crying sort. The never sleep mind racing kind. Fully manic despite my meds. Before I knew what was happening I started cutting again. Luckily I stopped after a week. I guess I woke up. Idk. But then I stopped eating. It started with being so upset and anxiety so high that when I ate it made me sick. Eventually I got tired of puking and learned if I could keep meals down to just a few bites then it stayed down. But at some point I stopped eating. I stepped on a scale after others complimented me on losing weight. When I saw the lower number it became an obsession. That scale has replaced my husband. Every bad comment he makes I march to the scale. I'm on it sometimes more then 4 times a day. It has become an OCD tick. Due to everyone's concern it was suggested to use myfitness pal and track my intake so I can see when I need more calories and add them. Instead now that number has also become an obsession. The lower my calories the better I feel. An average day for me is about 300 calories. On days I work bc my job is so active I have blurred vision and dizziness.

But here's the clincher...I never meant to end back in disordered eating. I know it's not good. I almost graduated med school for Petes sake! But I just don't care. I've lost all control over my life. To my husband. To anxiety. To PTSD. (The nightmares are killing me!) but I found something I can control and I can't stop.

Before anyone lashes out at me, please know that I've been attacked over and over on other sites because I'm fat and therefore don't belong. I get that. I do. They accuse me of treating anorexia as a "pet" to have. Or a "fav diet" I'm trying. Please just don't. I'm not doing that. I'm at my end here because I'm too fat to find support with people with the same eating behaviors apparently. There's no place for me at the moment. Maybe if I lose enough then I'll find a place that accepts me.

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Hi. Darkfallen. Welcome to AC. :).

I am so sorry to hear your story. You may be surprised to know that it is not an uncommon one. Abuse in families or from so called friends is only too prevalent. You have had a double whammy. First the sexual abuse then verbal abuse from your mother. I am not at all surprised you feel as you do. On this site there is no criticism or judgement. We don't go in for that I can assure you. I am only too aware of what happens on other anxiety sites and those people should be ashamed of themselves when they criticise. That is about the last thing you want.

Without knowing more I would suggest your husband is engaging in what I call 'shock tactics'. Some people assume that if they shout at or criticise an anxious person it will stop them being anxious. No way! Just makes things worse. But we can't blame them because it is difficult to live with a person with real anxiety.

I can't suggest an immediate answer to your problem. One thing's sure; you are not all the things you think you are; that is the anxiety talking.

No one on this site is going to 'lash out at you'. My goodness, where do these people come from?

You sound an intelligent lady, and having been to medical school you must have had the knowledge and courage to do that. Can you put that intelligence and courage to good use in helping your recovery? There is no such thing as a hopeless case. I have seen people far worse than you recover so take heart. Have a good look round the site. You will find a lot of info there that may help.

When you say you 'battle that every day' it may be that is why it continues. Fighting and battling cause more anxiety and stress.

You say there is no recovery from PTSD.  Maybe so, but, as with all anxiety disorders, you can learn to manage it so it no longer affects your life.

Eating disorders do need specialist treatment as you know and it is difficult to give advice for such on this site. Maybe there are other members who can help. Good to have you with us. Come back whenever you wish. We do listen and you are not alone.     Jon.

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Jon you are exactly right about living with PTSD and anxiety. I would like to think that over the years I've become quite good dealing with both. One of the ways I found to help me with anxiety is acceptance. For instance sleep is a HUGE trigger for me. Not only because of the night terrors that stem from PTSD, but also because some of my abuse was done to me while I was sleeping and I woke up in, let's call it "bad situations".

Therefore, sleeping has become a complete fear for me. People don't understand how I can be scared of sleep, and I admit that it is hard being so afraid of something that you can't live without. Although I guess it could be worse, I could be scared of oxygen, that would be horrible. Anyways when I try to go to sleep I used to end up in a full blown panic attack at the thought of closing my eyes. On top of that I would also get anxiety from frustration that I was tired and couldn't sleep. About 7 years ago I discovered something. Instead of climbing in to bed at night and freaking out about falling asleep, I accepted that I didn't need sleep. Simply put, now every night I start the process of sleep at 8pm. This consists of me getting in bed, sitting up, light on, and reading. I take my bi polar meds, and as of the last year I also take restirol bc my doc said enough was enough and has decided to try and force sleep, but my issues are so bad that ambien or lunesta don't phase me.

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Sorry that posted before it was finished.

Anyways...

I take my meds and read. I do NOT think about sleep. I don't even try to sleep. I find if I'm not trying to achieve sleep then I don't have panic attacks, and I don't get anxiety from frustration with myself. Instead I read, write, help people in my bipolar, PTSD, bpd support group and some nights I eventually pass out. I never am aware that I fell asleep and I only stay asleep for about 3 hours but at least I'm getting something without feeling like I can't breathe. Other nights in still awake when the sun rises and I just get out of bed and start my day.

So for me acceptance is the key.

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You know, I suggest you are on the way to recovery or, as I said before, good management. The 'bad situations' as you call them would certainly cause PTSD, no question, but memory can play some nasty tricks.  I wonder if you have attempted to forgive those who harmed you? Please don't misunderstand, I am not minimising your experience, far from it. What happened to you should never happen to a young person, but forgiveness can take a lot of the anger and fear out of it. People do things to others with no realisation of the harm they cause. It happens every day. A wrong word there; an act of greed or misplaced desire can cause a lifetime of anguish and fear. But you know that.

In regard to sleep. It is said that if we lay awake all night in a totally relaxed state we would not need sleep. I have yet to verify that theory but I see what they mean. It is the WORRY about not sleeping that causes the fear and anxiety. You seem to have got a routine that works so stick with it. Another factor is that the need for sleep varies considerably from person to person. Some need 10 hours others only 4. We get the idea that we must have at least 8 hours, but who says so? Go by your own body time clock.    Good luck.      Jon.

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