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MrsBadcrumble 02-10-2008 07:06 AM

Feeling very low.
I have been suffering from an eating disorder for seven years. I'm now 23, and the disorder has gone through various phases over the years, I've had periods of anorexia, periods of builimia, periods of compulsive binge eating and periods where I have been eating three meals a day but onbly eating from a very short list of foods that I feel safe with, whilst being terrified that my food might contain anything else.

I'm not sure where all of this stemmed from, I was a happy, confident child and I have grown into an anxious, paranoid, oversensitive woman with absolutely no confidence or self belief. My life is seriously affected by the fact that I just don't believe I can really do anything and I therefore become terrified when something new or slightly difficult is thrown in my path.

I am supposed to be starting teacher training in september and I feel sick everyday because I'm so afraid of being a bad teacher and not being able to cope, but I also cant back out of it now because that is always what I have said I wanted to do in the future.

My parents split up 2 years ago and it was extremely painful, and still is. They are going through a very messy divorce, have no money and both seem to have reverted to children who I must now look after. I have no support from them.

I recently started taking roaccutane to treat cystic acne, which I randomly developed at the time of my parents break-up and which knocked my confidence even further. The drug has pushed me into a deep depression and lately I have felt ike I just cant go on. I cry every day and cannot bear to look in the mirror or see anybody.

I started seeing a counselor in december but all it seems to have done is bring all the bad stuff to the surface and create new feelings of guilt which come from the fact that the extent of my issues now feel very real and yet I lie and conceal them from my family.

On the advice of my counselor, I eventually tried to explain my ED to my boyfriend this week. We've been together 18mnths. He was shocked, but his reaction was pretty much that it was all going to be fine and I couldnt be that bad because I am a normal weight, so I just needed to get more confidence. It hasnt been mentioned since.

I have been fantasizing about running away but I know it wouldnt solve my problems.

ASDGRMama 02-18-2008 02:05 PM

Re: Feeling very low.
I'm sorry I didn't see your post sooner! The past two years sound like they've been a whirlwind for you! My heart goes out to you (((hugs))).

I often have that same urge to "run away". I think you're right though, it wouldn't help at all :).

Do you know if your counselor has been trained specifically to help eating disordered clients and their loved ones?

Educating your boyfriend about EDs may help him understand better. You could try gathering as much information as you can and go through it with him. Taking an intellectual approach may show him that it's beyond his simple interpretation that you only "need more confidence". Sometimes in sharing with our loved ones the only thing that gets conveyed is the emotional side of our ED conflict.

In gathering information you'll probably find that you end up learning a lot about yourself and EDs that you were unaware of. So even if your boyfriend does not respond to it you will have gained anyway.

I don't mean to sound harsh but one way to reduce your stress level might be to stop parenting your parents:). You love them and they love my opinion, your responsibility towards them should end where it begins to have a negative impact on your life.

I've found my ED behaviors are far lessened when I properly prioritize. Your health and sanity are of utmost priority...please don't let your parents' divorce and ongoing problems continue to ruin your life or rob you of it.

It's hard at first to mentally and emotionally let go of what we feel is our responsibility but as we do we see that everything really isn't going to crumble and it becomes easier.

Has your counselor suggested anxiety meds to help you cope through this time? It may especially prove beneficial to feel more stable before you begin your training in September.

I know it's not easy but I think you need to be honest with your family. You don't have to give them every detail but if certain subjects come up you could tell them you're struggling right now and would prefer not to discuss it.

Keep reaching out. Is there a support group in your area for any of these issues you're facing?

Hope to hear from you!

Love, Kelly

P.S. Have you talked with your dr about the side effects your experiencing from the roaccutane? It sounds like you really need to get in touch with him/her about it!

MrsBadcrumble 02-19-2008 11:48 AM

Re: Feeling very low.
Thank you so much for replying kelly, i didnt think anyone was going to.

I think a big part of my problem is the shame i attach to my ED. My counselor has said that I need to overcome this and view the disorder as something that has happened to me rather than something that I have willingly chosen but I cant. I find it impossible to talk about my binging. I explained to my boyfriend about my periods of restricting but couldnt even bring myself to say the word "binge' because I just feel so ashamed of myself and can't believe anyone else would understand, I dont even know why i do it. Youre right, i probably should tlk to my boyfriend again and explain things further, i just find it so hard to discuss.

I tried to get help for my ED when i was 19, but it came to nothing. My GP gave me some leaflets telling me everything i already knew, put me on a 9 month waiting list for a psychiatrist and prescribed me some antidepressants ( the psych appt never arrived). I told my mum and ex boyfriend at the time, caused a load of upset and then when they saw i was eating 3 meals a day they decided i was fine.

I feel like no one understands what this is like for me and i cant explain it and i think that makes me feel even crapper about myself because i feel like there must be something really wrong with me.

Yes my counselor is trained in EDs. She said the same thing about parenting my parents. I just worry about them both so much and feel like they rely on me. Sometimes i wish they knew what i was going through but i know i cant pt any more stress on either of them. She hasnt mentioned m

eds, no. I believe theres an ED group in my town that meets once a month but I never work up the courage to go. Maybe i should give it a try.

I dont know how much of my depression is caused by my roaccutane. I'm sort of reluctant to tell my doctor because im worried he'll take me off the drug and then my skin condition will come back and im not sure i could deal with that right now. I feel like my boyfriend is attributing all of this to the roaccutane and that he is expecting it all to go away when i come off it in a couple months time. Im sure that wont happen.

I just get so frustrated because i have tried to get people to help me in the past and nothing has worked, no one understands and no one has made a real effort to understand and help me, its just left me feeling like a failure.

thank you so much for your support

sophie xxxx

ASDGRMama 02-19-2008 02:48 PM

Re: Feeling very low.
I feel the same way about my ED behavior...I'm extremely ashamed of it to the point that it's painful for me to verbalize. It does get easier least it has for me. I could only talk about my ED in generalizations when I first approached it with my husband. Now, I can be more open with him. I still struggle with the words "purge" and "anorexic"...just can't bring myself to use them in "real life".

I'm really good at suggesting others get help but terrible at it myself. I've only brought it up to my dr once (in a very round about way) and his exact words were: "do try to eat more". I was so embarrassed I haven't gotten up the nerve to talk about it with a "professional" since. He was sympathetic when he said it and I know he made the comment out of ignorance but it was so humiliating for me. I felt so vulnerable and the comment was exactly what I feared...that I wouldn't be taken seriously (I still carry that fear).

My family does the same thing. If they see me eating or if I've put on a few pounds they assume all is well.

It really is difficult to explain to others. Most of my family struggles with anxiety disorders or depression. In my opinion EDs aren't much different than OCD. So I think in a small way they "get it" (those who know...not many of them do). My husband's family doesn't understand at all (only a couple of my sisters-in-law are aware of my ED). Sometimes I wish I had more support and other times I wish I never would have told anyone:).

I have a friend who recently came out of inpatient treatment for anorexia. She knows that I struggle also and we've talked about it but not much. She now sees a panel of professionals on a regular basis. I'm considering talking with her about what type of therapy she's receiving and if she feels it's helping.

I know there are overeater's anonymous and compulsive eating support groups but I have no idea if there is a support system for those with other types of EDs.

I can see why you're concerned about going off the roaccutane. I've felt that way about my thyroid medication at times. I'll have symptoms of being over medicated but I don't want to tell my dr about it because I fear she'll lower my dose and I'll be undermedicated (which would cause weight gain, water retention, depression, and's happened before).

I think a first good step would be to take the leap and visit the ED group in your area. I'm on the thresh-hold of a really big leap myself...I'm considering seeing a dietician (going to talk with my friend about who she sees). I know I'll have to get into a lot of the details of my "behavior" and it terrifies me.

I'll be thinking of you! Please keep in touch.

Love, Kelly

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