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i need help, i think i'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do

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Old 11-26-2010, 09:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa, US
Posts: 3
acs7 HB User
Arrow i need help, i think i'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do

I never would have thought that I would develop an ED. I was completely 'normal' and had a healthy relationship with food until last year when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis/crohn's (my doctor is still unsure which disease I have). My parents have become very controlling over what I put into my mouth because they believe it will reduce the risk of having a flare up. I began feeling out of control this summer and began to restrict my food intake. And then I began getting cravings for sweets so I started chewing and spitting out my food. My doctor also put me on prednisone, and whenever I did get the munchies I would pinch myself and look at pictures of thinspo to keep myself from eating. I'm still at a healthy weight - I'm 17 years old, 5'6, and 122 lbs (I used to be 138 before I was diagnosed with IBD)- but I am still very afraid because my older sister was bulimic and my cousin died because of her anorexia. How do I stop my problem from becoming bigger?

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knittingirl (12-22-2010)
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
knittingirl HB User
Re: i need help, i think i'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do

Hi acs7,

Some of the things youíve listed do sounds like warning signs for an eating disorder, but the main thing is that youíve already recognised that and that you want to do something about it.

Correct me if Iíve got the wrong end of the stick, but it sounds like the trigger for this starting was your parents being very controlling, you feeling out of control, and then starting to develop certain habits to make you feel that you had more control over your life and your eating? The trouble with an eating disorder is that at the beginning you think that you have control but very quickly you lose control.

If you have determination then you donít have to go down that road. Have you tried talking to your parents and explaining how them controlling your food so much makes you feel? You are 17, so pretty soon youíre going to be out on your own and have to take control of your life, and itíd be better for you if you can learn to do that whilst you have the support of your parents.

The other thing it is worth doing is focusing on the goals in your life Ė maybe you want to go to university? Maybe youíre in your first job or looking for your first job? Maybe you want to have a family one day? Maybe you just want to spend time going out with your friends? Any and all of these things can be jeopardised by an eating disorder.

An eating disorder is rarely about the food or body weight Ė that is just how it manifests itself. Think about what is the root cause of this, and then look for a way to deal with that.

Good luck,

knittingirl xxx

Old 12-21-2010, 10:28 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa, US
Posts: 3
acs7 HB User
Re: i need help, i think i'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do


Thanks for replying. My mother wants me to start seeing a psychologist, not just because of my 'maybe' developing ED, but also because of the fact that I cannot handle any stress this year. I have frequent panic attacks and they have been occurring more than ever. You're right about me wanting control, and I'm honestly trying the fight this as hard as I can, but I'm finding it harder to get myself out of my habits as I fight harder. For example, my father took me to Bob Evans today and I ordered pancakes. I excused myself to the bathroom and looked up the calories on my phone. There were about 300 calories in a stack of pancakes, and I got really scared. I ate one or two bites (which I spat out in my napkin) and refused to eat more. Later on, I had a slice of pizza with no cheese. That was it for the day. I'm getting OBSESSED with calorie counting and feel guilty if I ever go over 800. I've noticed that this has been getting worse since I've gained one pound on the scale. I even went as far as to tell my parents that I was constipated and I needed mineral oil. I understand that I'm being ridiculous, and I know what I'm doing is wrong but I honestly can't stop. It's scary, I hate being like this. I used to love my body when I was 15 lbs heavier but now I feel fatter than ever. I can't even walk through the mall without staring at myself in the mirror for 20 minutes. And I'm afraid for living on my own, because I know my parents won't be there to watch me and there will be no wall barring me from developing a full fledged eating disorder. I honestly don't believe the pychologist will help, I really want to know how I can save myself from developing and ED without help from others.

Old 12-22-2010, 06:09 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
knittingirl HB User
Re: i need help, i think i'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do

Hi acs7,

I can empathise with your position, I have been there and so have many others. Even though it feels like it, youíre not alone.

You can do a lot to stop yourself developing a full on eating disorder, but donít immediately discount the help that others can give you. People around you may not understand everything youíre going through, but they love and want to help.

The first thing you need to focus on is that you want to get better. Itís easy to say you want to recover from an eating disorder, but itís another thing entirely to truly want it through and through. Think about all the things that you are stopping yourself from doing now that you used to enjoy doing, think about your family, your friends, and think about yourself and your own state of mind. You sound very confused, like you are a bit scared and unsure whatís going on. Thatís ok honey, just close your eyes and take a deep breath, and ask yourself what you truly truly want from life.

Now youíve got that in your mind, that picture of a happy, healthy, friendly, sociable you, you know where you are heading. Whenever you start to feel unsure, close your eyes and picture that.

One big thing you can do to help yourself, is to stop weighing yourself. I donít know how often you are weighing yourself, but I used to do it every day and it totally screwed with my mind and dictated my mood for the rest of the day. Stopping weighing myself was one of the biggest favours I did myself. If you are scared by the thought of not weighing yourself because youíre afraid that you will gain a lot of weight and not know, then talk to someone you trust (your mum, your dad, a sibling, a close friend etc) and ask them if they will weigh you once a week Ė not to tell you what your weight is, but so that you know that someone is keeping an eye on it (my mum did this for me, it was an amazing comfort).

The next thing you need to try and do is stop looking up calories Ė no reading boxes, no googling for calorie amounts, and no going on online calorie calculators. Sweetie, calories mean nothing. The calorie count on a box is the amount of energy a typical example of that food contains if your body burnt it in its entirety. For the most part, your body does not burn the entire food, and what you get in a box is subject to manufacturing variation anyway. If all this werenít enough, you donít know how many calories your body needs in a day Ė generic estimates are all very well but they donít take into account your individual physique or what you do in a day Ė and by the sounds of it you are restricting yourself to well below what is needed for your body to carry out basic functions (like keeping your heart beating, lungs and brain working etc) on a daily basis anyway. Even if you were to lie down on your back all day, your body still needs a considerable amount of energy just to function.

I think Iím going on quite long here, but Iím happy to talk more if it helps. One more thing though, try not to shut people around you out of your life. Itís very easy for everything, including talking to friends and family, to become too much effort. Talk to your parents, try to explain to them what youíre trying to do and ask for their support. Perhaps make a deal with them, for example that you will go to see a psychologist in two months if you havenít made progress Ė they are your parents, they love you, and they only want to help.

Stay strong


Old 12-26-2010, 02:11 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 183
aileb HB Useraileb HB Useraileb HB Useraileb HB User
Re: i need help, i think I'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do


There were some things you mentioned that I have thought before so many times.

"I know what I'm doing is wrong but I honestly can't stop."

I use to think that every time there was a plate of food in front of me and I couldn't eat it "right" without chew & spitting, purging, abusing laxatives or throwing it away. I spent six years saying that. There were no days off. It's a non-stop obsession.

I am so glad that you want to stop.

"I really want to know how I can save myself from developing and ED without help from others. "

You mentioned several "behaviors" that have happened in the past year: restricting, looking at thinspo, chew & spitting, using mineral oil, distorted body image, feeling obsessed & guilty about eating, and you have a family history of eating disorders.

You have been given really great advise. But I am concerned with this:

"Perhaps make a deal with them, for example that you will go to see a psychologist in two months if you haven’t made progress – they are your parents, they love you, and they only want to help.

There are some things you can do on your own to stop eating disorder behaviors BUT at the same, keep in mind that eating disorders can be progressive.

In two months you might also develop new purging or restricting behaviors. Please don't try to make a deal with your parents about getting help or put if off. (Especially, if you are planning to go away for college soon. Major life changes can trigger an eating disorder.)

A trained psychologist will help you develop coping skills to fight the urge to use eating disordered behaviors. Because you already have several behaviors, I am truly concerned that you might develop bulimia or develop an addiction to laxatives.

Before I got professional help, I spent about five months trying to stop chew & spitting. I was successful but then I started using diet pills and exercised excessively. When I tried to quit that, I started using all kinds of laxatives. When I tried to quit the laxatives, I started to restrict. I wasted so much time (and caused a lot of physical damage) trying to recover on my own.

You are so young and close to leaving for college. I had to withdraw from college for a couple of semesters and now all my professors know about my ED. Please see the psychologist. Will you keep us updated?

Last edited by aileb; 12-26-2010 at 02:13 AM.

Old 01-01-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 32
ette2500 HB Userette2500 HB User
Smile Re: i need help, i think i'm developing an ED and i don't know what to do

Yes, you are developing an eating disorder. You are on very slippery slopes here. First of all, slap yourself in the face and tell yourself to snap out of it!!!
When I turned 17, that's what I wish someone would have done to me. You sound like me at 17. I'm 29 now and I'm doing great.
Ok, that was probably the worst advise you have ever heard, but it's the truth. Girl, stop it! Stop counting calories, stop spitting up food, stop it all!!!! Eat the healthy foods you need to eat and get out there and do some fun stuff that gives you exercise. When you look in the mirror, look into your eyes. Forget about everyone else and whatever else you've ever heard. You are perfect the way you are and you love the soul within. God has put your beautiful self on this earth to be you and cared for. Take care of your body. Look at the color of your skin...keep it healthy looking - drink lots of water and eat fruits. Take care of your hair. Buy a new shampoo and conditioner if you'd like. Step away from the computer and go for a walk and breath in the fresh air. Imagine yourself as a would never treat yourself or deny yourself as strictly as you are beginning to. Take care of yourself as if you were as delicate as a baby. All you want it to be is full of love, joy and laughter. That's what you want to feel and be. Think of all of the things that make you feel happy and complete. Because with an eating disorder, those things are quickly forgotten...and you will be sad that you wasted so much energy on such stupidity! Girl you're amazing the way you are. Take care of your body - you only get one

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