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Old 06-20-2012, 01:04 AM   #1
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ED Permanent damage

I was wondering if anyone from experience someone could describe what some of the tell tale signs are of damage done to your body after and eating disorder both physically and mentally. My mental health is generally quite bad and I feel very depressed most of the time. I'm not sure if its the eating disorder doing this or wether its damage caused by the eating disorder.

 
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: ED Permanent damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by helives View Post
I was wondering if anyone from experience someone could describe what some of the tell tale signs are of damage done to your body after and eating disorder both physically and mentally. My mental health is generally quite bad and I feel very depressed most of the time. I'm not sure if its the eating disorder doing this or wether its damage caused by the eating disorder.
Hello helives and welcome

For many,if the physical(outward) appearance doesn't look compromised,then others go under the assumption that all is well.

The best way to rule things out is scheduling an appointment with your doctor,for a complete physical.

Once there,explain all the parameters and be sure to leave nothing out.If you prefer,try writing down everything and bring the notations with you.

There's much to be said about the mind/body connection:
The way your body feels can dictate the minds mood and the way you feel psychologically can have an effect on how your body feels.

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Last edited by Phoenix; 06-20-2012 at 03:44 PM. Reason: clarification

 
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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Re: ED Permanent damage

Hi, eating disorders can cause chemical imbalances in the body, but as far as I'm aware, that typically has more to do with electrolytes, particularly for bulimics. I don't think that brain chemistry is directly impacted. I think depression is, however, a common issue that many people with eating disorders deal with. And that's most likely because (A.) depression was present prior to the eating disorder and is still present now, or (B.) the eting disorder has created a sense of depression.

Eating disorders are no fun to be stuck in. If depression wasn't there before the eating disorder it's pretty certain it's going to be a part of the disorder at one time or another, if it's not already a constant companion throughout most of the life of the eating disorder. That's just how it is. When life feels sucky, depression is pretty natural to be feeling.

When you work through your eating disorder and come out on the other side of it, so to speak, depression generally will lift. If it is more of a clinical depression that's ongoing and separate from the eating disorder, there are ways to manage that.

So in the long and short of this answer, I'd say that depression can be a side effect of an eating disorder, and if it is a side effect of your disorder, it's not creating irreversable damage. Your mood naturally will lift as you heal and life starts feeling more whole for you.

 
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Re: ED Permanent damage

I am in recovery from anorexia and I also suffer from depression. If there is anyone in a similar situation, have you worked out whether anorexia has caused depression or whether depression has caused anorexia? I am trying to determine which the catalyst, but I feel they are both intertwined too deeply.
Thanks!

 
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: ED Permanent damage

In my experience, I was generally very unhappy before my eating disorder started although I could still enjoy things in life. The depth of the eating disorder however is what caused the unhappiness about certain things to turn into life controlling depression.

 
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:42 AM   #6
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Re: ED Permanent damage

@jenga890, in general terms, do you think depression causes an eating disorder or the other way around?
And you say that once you begin to recover from an eating disorder, then depression usually becomes better. Does this change regardless of what one caused the other?
Thanks!

 
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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Re: ED Permanent damage

If you have clinical depression, my guess is that it is it's own issue that needs to be addressed. Something like that is chemically and/or genetically caused and won't just disappear with your progress through eating disorder recovery. I didn't have clinical depression, so my depression issue cleared up as I recovered. I still am prone to depression on occasion but it's more just a response that I tend to have because I'm a type A personality type and can be very hard on myself if I'm not careful. And when I'm feeling down about myself it is, of course, kind of depressing.

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Re: ED Permanent damage

Hi,

I would say that there are a lot of things that can occur after "getting over" and eating disorder. Granted, it will never really go away. It is a mental disorder and cant be cut out or radiated away.
Physically, I would watch out for low blood pressure, weak bones (I have had multiple breaks from WALKING now), and heart problems. The heart problems are what should be monitored most closely. The chance of your heart going into an abnormal rhythm (especially if you were an over exerciser or a puger) are much higher. If you are still at an age where bone growth is possible/still going on (late teens and early 20's) take supplements to help your bones build as much density as possible.
If you are a female and thinking about having children, the damage that you might have done to your body can for sure carry into your pregnancy and effect the baby. Miscarriage if much higher among females that have had eating disorders.
Mentally there are a lot of things that can still carry over after recovery. There will be "triggers" and it is your job to try and steer yourself away from them. Falling is so so so easy, and building a strong support network (even if you are not "in the thick of it" is crucial). Generally a relapse can be astronomically worse than the initial fall both physically and mentally.
Sometimes individuals who have had an eating disorder have a harder time connecting with people on a physical and romantic way. Because of lowered blood levels and malnutrition, hormones can be effected causing there to be less of a sex drive. On top of that, many people will still feel uncomfortable with physical contact after being in a hospital/inpatient setting or having to gain weight.
Insecurity is something that is common no matter how far along you may be in recovery and high's/Lows are to be expected. Depression is much higher along with anxiety.

I know its not a very pleasant picture, but this is the reality of an eating disorder. Granted, recovery is always better than being in the thick of it all no matter how you look at it, but because it is a mental illness, it can not be erased. It can be controlled and monitored though. I look at myself now and sometimes want to cry because I have done so much damage to myself physically and mentally. I cant connect as well with guys - sex is a scary thought (im 20) and kissing still kind of foreign. Breaking bones from walking and being told that carrying a child will be much more difficult for me when I get to that point is heart breaking.

Know that there is support out there and that the best thing that you can do is to keep a good attitude as well as a network of friends around.

 
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #9
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Re: ED Permanent damage

[QUOTE=samsa135;5029825]Hi,

I would say that there are a lot of things that can occur after "getting over" and eating disorder. Granted, it will never really go away. It is a mental disorder and cant be cut out or radiated away.



I disagree whole heartedly. I was told that after an 11 year battle with Bulimia, that I'd never totally get over it because the mental disorder business. It really depends on how you handle it. For me it was hypnotherapy, and that really worked for me. It was about respecting myself and making decisions that were good for me, not just on a food level, but a whole-life level. I did hypnosis, and the changes were immediate and phonominal for me. Before the hypnosis I was not open to talking to anyone, including my psychotherapist. And so eating disorder treatment was not going terribly quickly for me. I was gaining results, but not enough to really turn my whole world around. So, but the first thing hypnosis did for me was it really changed my interest and motivation to start speaking about what was going on inside me. It was a whole unexpected shift, even to my therapist. She commented on how open and communicative I was after that first hypnosis session. Then I found myself giving up my family's religion that I had grown up with my whole life because it didn't fit for me. It was a rough time and my parents couldn't understand, but we did eventually get through that and they've come to accept that I am not following their religion. And they're finally ok with that, enough so that we're very peaceful about our difference. I think that whole paradigm shift for me was the biggest part of my recovery to be honest. I feel like the minute I let go of trying to make religion work for me, I was in a healthier mindstate and was getting better with the eating disorder so much more rapidly. And then 6 months later I was ending therapy because I had made so much progress that I was feeling good about where I was at and my therapist was feeling good at where I was at.

I did have once in a blue moon episodes where I'd find myself binging and then purging, I had episodes after I left therapy that I somehow managed because I had gained enough tools in my toolbox by that point to work with the little backslides. But then in time the backslides were definitely much more noticeably less. I'm talking maybe I'd backslide with one purging episode maybe, oh let's say once in a six month period of time. Then maybe once within a years time. And then, I don't know when it happened, it was most likely a gradual process over a longer period of time, but I was beginning to notice I wasn't shy about my body and I actually could look in the mirror and say, hey, I look sexy today. And I'd really mean it, none of this fake it til you make it stuff. I really wasn't worried about my body, and I was eating junkfood with friends without wondering how to sneak away to the bathroom, or anything like that. I was just living like a normal person.

And let me tell you, I haven't backslid at all in at least 2.5 years. I ended psychotherapy in 2006 So here we are in 2012, so that means I was dealing with some residual backslides here and there for around 3.5 years after officially ending therapy. And my life is so much nicer being full of so many other cares rather than how fat I am and what I am going to eat.

The great thing I was noticing just the other day is my emotional eating patterns are now fading, too. It used to be that my mind would always be thinking about what I was going to eat next and when I was stressed I would overeat. Now, lately I'm noticing that my stress levels are super high and I'm not dealing with the urge to eat. There's just no drive to cram a bunch of food down my throat to drown my sorrows. And that's a huge thing for me. I actually don't remember a day in my life where I haven't stress eaten, even as a little kid. It really feels good to claim this degree of success after so many folks told me I would never fully recover and be normal because the ed was this mental disorder I was now going to have the rest of my life.

I dont' know what it is, but I'm a fighter, and maybe that's how I've been able to come this far out of my 11 year stint with bulimia and overeating. I've put on weight, of course, and I still like my body. I think it's sexy and I wasn't ever all that fearful to flaunt in front of my bf when he and I were still together. I think it was him helping me a bit, though, by telling me he loved my body. And for whatever reason I was definitely at a point then where I was able to believe him and enjoy it. If your still in the eating disorder mindset it isn't going to be easy to hear and believe someone when they say that kind of thing, but I had definitely progressed pretty well into recovery and was already believing in my own mind that I was sexy and pretty.And to hear it from someone else just gave me what I needed in order to not someday question that belief.

I am on a mission to personal growth in my life, it's this innate drive I have. I'm always working on myself and maybe that's part of my success, but I do believe that if you tell yourself that you won't ever fully recover and you will have the ed mental disorder even long after your solidly into recovery...that's just what your going to end up with. If you keep your options open and believe there is some possiblity of full recovery to the poit where it seems weird that you even did have an eating disorder once upon a time, it's likely you will find your way to that spot, too. But the ed mental disorder is a bunch of hogwash in my experience. Only believe it if you want to be tied to your ed for the rest of your life because what you beileve is more than likely what you'll get.

 
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Re: ED Permanent damage

Jenga. you rock. you are my hero. what an inspiring comment.

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:00 AM   #11
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Re: ED Permanent damage

The overt signs are often there such as bloating,weight fluctuations,dizzyness,migraines and so on. Often precipitated by the covert such as hyperglycemia (high blood sugar),electrolyte imbalances,teeth/tooth damage,esophageal damage or reflux (eating too fast) and onset diabetes. A physical workup by a physician will reveal any of the above.
If this is hidden from family and your family doctor then consider a gynecologist as far fewer family questions are asked and they are often ignorant as to why tests are performed. Collect all results personally to maintain confidentality.

 
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: ED Permanent damage

hi
Teeth
If you are being sick your teeth will be severely affected for good. I've spent a fortune on teeth crowns, implants etc. So keep money aside for your teeth. I have an upcoming bill for £1000.
Apart from that, I developed irritable bowel syndrome. Not nice-learnt to live with it - not life threatening. otherwise in all check ups they say I'm ok.

 
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:52 AM   #13
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Re: ED Permanent damage

Hi
I have two typesof damage as a result of bulimia. 1) My teeth have been completely ruined AND they require almost constant repair whether i stop being sick or not. It's very irritating because I
hve to save constantly for my teeth. ( I'm in public relations work)
2)Iirritable bowel syndrome probably due to damaged muscle in stomach but no one knows why it developed. Apart from that I appear to the doctor to be ok. Who knows? Take care all.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:59 AM   #14
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Re: ED Permanent damage

I'm having problems with this too. I am living with my parents partially because I still feel so much physical pain as a result of my eating disorder and eating disorder-related problems and that is contributing to my depression, but I can't leave because I literally cannot ingest enough food to get enough energy in my system to work a job yet. Meanwhile I'm in pain from my digestive system all the time-and, well, pain is depressing.
I know I'm heavier than I ought to be-I've always been curvy, but I'm flat-out fat now and I don't like it....however I don't know what to do about it. I'm getting crap sleep [when I even DO sleep], my doc doesn't get it-she's an Asian woman who clearly hasn't had to struggle with weight loss a day in her life and her advice is 'eat less' [I'm eating like eight hundred fifty calories a day, are you joking me?!], my therapist is a self-centered braggart who barely seems to hear a word I say but my parents [did I mention I don't have a car?] won't let me switch....and I just feel like nobody understands.
Meanwhile there's a very small variety of foods I can even actually digest so salad for example is completely out-I know I'm eating too much fat, but that's compared to what I ate before; I'm not exactly pounding back cupcakes.
I almost wish I was-at least then I would feel like I knew what to change that was in my control!
I haven't been exercising at all, but I get dizzy after walking a short distance so I don't feel like it's safe for me to do more than that.
I know if I ingested more calories I would feel better, but short of taking all my calories via fluids I don't know how to make that happen-and I mostly do that anyway; I had broth and goat's milk today, OJ, and a few slices toast w Earth Balance. I mean, really-aside from the OJ [I'm sick so I figure I need the Calcium] could I be eating anything easier to digest?
Yet I'm still struggling just to feed myself-meanwhile I'm not gaining weight, which is good, but I've been at this weight for almost four years now and it doesn't seem to be changing on its own. I've gone from hiking for miles every day to literally sitting around the house all day because I don't have the energy to do anything else....meanwhile the times I have gone to eating disorder rehabs they basically told me I had to 'eat through the pain' and paid no attention when I told them the pain was such that this was impossible.
I really....sometimes I just want to give up, y'all. It hurts SO MUCH.
HELP?!?!

 
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