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Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

Abuse and eating disorders, abuse and depression, abuse and disordered eating, abuse and self harm, abuse and addictive behaviours. 

Worth reading from Dr Gregory Jants and Eating Disorder Hope

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When someone seeks treatment for an eating disorder, they want help addressing the immediate issue at hand — their anorexic, bulimic, or compulsive overeating behavior.

What they often have a hard time accepting, though, is that there’s a lot more to it than that.

Though there are a number of ways to directly address disordered eating behavior, the key to long-term recovery is delving into something most people are understandably fearful of — a painful past.

“Individuals with eating disorders are often unaware of the source of their pain,” writes A Place of Hope founder Dr. Gregory Jantz in Hope, Help and Healing For Eating Disorders: The Whole-Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.

“I believe this is God’s way of protecting us. In order to survive as children, we block out abusive behavior. But somewhere along the line, the adult must discover the wellspring of pain from the past.”

“Denial is a significant detour in that quest.”

The Double-Whammy of Denial

When you deny the truth of your past, you deny yourself peace in the present. Add to that your abuser’s denial of the truth, and that’s a pretty powerful discounting of self to live with all your life.

1) Your denial of what happened to you.

We commonly deny the pain of the past through self-talk that might sound a lot like:

Sound familiar?

If so, it is critical that you know the truth. Your memory and your feelings about the past are valid. You have a right to your anger. You have a right to your pain.

2) Your abuser‘s denial of what they did to you.

While your abuser may acknowledge the behavior that was hurtful to you, they may also minimize its weight in similar-sounding language as your own internal dialogue, much of which takes on tones of blame:

  • It wasn’t that big of a deal.
  • You’re too sensitive.
  • You were a handful.
  • I had to be tough with you.

Then there are those abusers who deny their behavior entirely, hoping a vehement denial will cause you to doubt yourself, your memory, your truth.

Finding Your Way To Acceptance

It’s time to get to the root of your eating disorder. If you haven’t already, seek the help of a professional counselor. With their help you can start accepting the pain of your past. While the person who hurt you may never view their behavior as abusive, it is possible for you to accept their version of what happened, just as it is possible for them to accept yours.

Positive Affirmation: God gives me courage each day as I walk on my healing journey.

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I wanted to share this lovely post from one of my readers. As a mum with two children struggling with an eating disorder she gives some great advice, hope and strength to those of use following a similar path. The reality of living with an eating disorder in the house is different for everyone. It is tough, frightening, painful and like living in some private, hellish parallel universe. What is also frightening is how strong a link there is from eating disorders developing and fathers who are absent, abusive and neglectful.

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Hello everyone,

A swift update. My son Jordan [who likes to be called just J] ended up being sectioned and spending nearly two and a half months in the Huntercombe hospital, Stafford, UK. It was a nightmare trying to get him in the ambulance to take him on the 3 hour journey – his resistance and strength was superhuman – quite surprising for someone so weak with starvation. The dents in my freezer where he punched it is testament. I’d even struggled to disarm him when he’d grabbed a couple of bread knives and tried to stab the social workers. Once inside the hospital, he protested violently, kicked the furniture and finally fell to his knees, sobbing and breaking down totally. It was heartbreaking, but necessary. I was relived that he was finally where he needed to be. He was admitted weighing 8 1/2 stone after losing around 1/3 of his body weight. After admission his blood pressure dropped dangerously low. Thankfully the hospital staff saved his life and put him on the road to recovery. He hated it there, but was determined to do whatever it took to get himself out and he quickly and steadily gained weight. He was discharged weighing 10 stone, which is still very low for his height, but he is terrified of getting any heavier.

He is still firmly in the grip of anorexia and doesn’t really want to recover [although he tries to convince us that he has recovered.] Just like Sophie, for the first month he seemed to be doing well; he was perky and chatty, controlling his own food intake and maintaining his discharge weight. However he is now slowly losing weight again, even though he eats somewhere between 1700 and 2000 cals per day. He goes through periods of food obsession. At first he would only eat a variety of just a handful of ‘healthy’ foods; that changed and his calorie intake came largely from ‘healthy’ fluids, including lots of milk; now he’s gone to the extreme of eating mainly unhealthy food and drink, such as energy drinks, kitkats, fish and chips from the chippy and black coffee. He sees the CAMHS team regularly, but under duress. He refuses to co-operate and will only agree to being weighed and having a very brief consultation. He began haphazardly taking his anti depressants, just before stopping them completely, insisting he doesn’t need them. He refuses to see the medics and have tests re his curved spine and sleep paralysis, saying that he can’t stand being touched during examinations. Despite all of this, the old happy ‘normal’ J that we used to know – the one that used to joke around and the one who you could have an intelligent conversation with – does still exist and emerges fairly frequently. He is very changeable though, one minute he’s laughing and feeling optimistic about the future and making plans/setting goals and the next he’s angry and depressed and saying he didn’t ask to be born. He is frequently argumentative, aggressive, verbally abusive, selfish … it’s as if he’s possessed by the devil. I’ve learnt to keep my composure and walk away from him when he’s being nasty, telling him I refuse to talk to that other voice/creature. After a short time he will calm down and be nice and reasonable again and all the harsh words will have been forgotten. He never apologises though and has a complete lack of empathy for anyone else. The good thing is, he is truthful and admits his dieting had got out of hand, that it was all about control, that he does hear the ‘anorexic voice’ [saying, for example, that he used to grab a handful of cereal, put it in his mouth, but was then compelled to spit it out], that we had all been right, but that he had refused to listen, believing that we were all lying to him… He says he forces himself to ignore the Ana voice as he has no intention of ever getting sectioned again. He jokes that he’ll be visiting his younger sister Melissa in hospital when she gets sectioned. He tells me to stop worrying and that although he hates food, he knows he has to eat. He is aware that there is a strong chance of relapse and says he’s not going to let that happen. How can any parent not worry? Due to being malnourished for so long he now has low bone density and a curved spine and he has weakened his heart. He also has very poor short-term memory and constantly repeats himself. The hope is that he will settle at college next year, build up his confidence and find some happiness [he did try a college course this September but it was all too soon – all the anxieties and doubts flooded back and overwhelmed him and he had to drop out]. Thankfully he has a lovely supportive friend.

Melissa [now 15] is sliding down the same slope as J. After battling with her E.D and, for months being able to maintain her weight of around 8 1/2 stone [which is very low for her height of 5ft 8″], she is now losing weight again and struggles to tip the scales at 8 stone, fully clothed. She used to be a healthy 10 stone and a perfect size 10, but thought she was fat. She is very rigid in the handful of different foods that she allows herself and in her calorie intake, which is now only a few hundred per day. She still thinks she’s fat even though she is very thin. Thankfully she has a lovely CAMHS counsellor, who sees her weekly and her teachers/mentors at Bryn Elian school in North Wales are bending over backwards to support her – she is allowed to leave early and go in late on some days, has been able to drop unnecessary subjects and is allowed to learn maths at home. So the reduced school stress has resulted in an improvement in her confidence and mood. She is motivated to complete year 11 and pass her GCSEs and go to college next year. Hopefully she can stay healthy enough. Frequently though she gets so depressed, tearful, argumentative, nasty and even violent. Her eyes glare and something ugly speaks. It really isn’t her as the real Melly is gentle, loving, caring, helpful, beautiful and a joy to have around. Ana-Melissa sometimes threatens to self-harm. We have spent endless hours just talking and cuddling and crying together. [She’s so different to J who doesn’t do hugs]. Despite the fact she has many lovely supportive friends and lots of male admirers, she struggles to be happy. She feels constantly cold and her hair is falling out.

Their older brother and sister Andy and Shelly seem to have given up and feel that Mel is just an attention seeking difficult teen. It is difficult trying to convince them that neither J or M want to be this way, that they cannot help it, nor can they fight it alone. At least Mel had the strength to ask her school teachers and everyone else for help. I try to stay calm and understanding and supportive and positive thinking, however I’m not supermum and I sometimes can’t help raging and effing and blinding back at them. And yes, I’ve told them both to just grow up. I do get over my angry outbursts and frustration quickly though and both J & M know that I’m just releasing tension and that I’ll always be there for them, will always love them and will do whatever it takes to help them both back to health and happiness. My GP and the CAMHS team have told me to expect to be the punching bag and that this will be an up/down struggle for years, maybe a lifetime. There was only one time when I totally lost control, and that was when after the millionth time of going round and round in circles with Melissa I finally blew my top and yelled that I couldn’t take it any more. She had been my rock during our worst times with J and now she was sapping all my energy. Rather than hurt her or smash up the house as I so deeply desired at that moment, I stomped my way upstairs to my room, sat on my bed, gripped the quilt and, from the pit of my stomach, just screamed and sobbed and rocked backwards and forwards, yelling “why, why why”. This went on for a good 10 minutes until I had burst blood vessels in my face and I had nothing left inside of me. Shelly came up with a cup of sweet tea, spoke soothing words to me, told me everything’s going to be ok and helped me pull myself together. Meanwhile Melly ran outside and we found her sitting and just staring into space. Anorexia is an ugly powerful destructive demon. Daily I pray that J & M find the strength to overcome it.

If I could offer any parent advice I would say get your GP [pressure him/her if need be] to refer your child into the psychiatric services as soon as you know he/she is showing signs of a worrying eating pattern, and once there, if things don’t improve, push for admittance into an inpatient eating disorder unit/hospital. Remember, our kids will not/cannot just ‘snap out of it’. I was so angry with the old GP [we’re with a much more sympathetic and helpful one now] because he just dismissed us, saying nothing could be done unless J wanted help. He had a mocking, couldn’t-care-less attitude and told me I had no choice but to just wait until J got so ill that he’d be rushed into hospital, but by then it might be too late. I just sat there, stared at him with a look of shock horror and told him he has to get us some help. I didn’t move from my seat and just kept repeating that he has to help us. Eventually he said he would have a word with his colleagues at the local hospital and see what could be done. A few days later he phoned me to say that he had put a referral through to the Child and Adolescent services, but warned me that the waiting list was long and that we could be waiting weeks. Thankfully it only took 2 weeks.

My love and prayers go out to all who struggle with an eating disorder and all the families involved. It really is tough on everyone with all the stress and worry and constant walking on egg shells, not to mention the endless meetings with all sorts of professionals – psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, doctors, family therapists, dieticians, school teachers/mentors/educational welfare officers… all this on top of having to earn a living.

Sorry I’ve gone on a bit! It helps to get the thoughts down. Mel also finds it therapeutic to diarise stuff that has happened in her life in relation to her father and what led to her eating disorder. She says that when she is older she will publish it on my website http://www.sharonkilby.co.uk/site/ The site exposes corruption in North Wales and the people responsible for forcing my children to live with their abusive father almost half their lives.

I have been shocked to learn that eating disorders are not so uncommon anymore. It seems that everyone knows someone who is suffering with one. Melissa knows 4 people in her school year who are sufferers. My boss knows 2 people who are anorexic, a friend of mine knows 2 anorexics [one of them fully recovered and went on to be happily married with child, the other person didn’t recover], my solicitor has an anorexic in her family… My God what is happening to our youngsters? Maybe EDs are symptomatic of the sick insane, evil society that we are forced to live in [more on that in my site.]

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“Just tell him to eat or make him eat”

“Stop him from exercising”

Really on one side of things these statements are hilarious. They are coming from Sophie about her brother. She is glaring at me like I am neglectful parent and not doing my job. Clearly I have failed in doing the most basic thing like disciplining my son and getting him to eat.

She forgets totally (apparently) that we went through the same process with her and that you CANNOT make someone eat just because you want them to.

I try to explain that she was the same. That nothing can make a person eat or stop doing something if they are not willing to. That no matter what we did, she would not eat.

Sophie then gets annoyed with me. I am not allowed to talk about how she was whilst sick with anorexia and what she refused/was unable to do. She gets cross and defensive, brushes me aside and changes the subject. Kind of a conversation stopper really.

So back to square one. If she can’t emphathise nor understand why I cannot get Will to do anything, then she feels she can blame me and make me responsible. At least someone then is responsible if things go pear shaped.

However, on the other hand, Sophie does talk to her brother about some of the helpful tools she has learned to cope with the down times. But she does it more at the objective level, than the subjective level. She tells how it should be, not from her own real experience. She also expects Will to start using these tools straight away – again she forgets it took months to years for her to be able to do this.

It gives me a window into how much she has learned and been able to apply, and where she is still detaching from herself so she doesn’t have to use the appropriate tools.

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Hidden anger can manifest itself in any number of ways, many of which may surprise you:

Procrastination in the completion of tasks, especially ones you don’t like or want to do. What do you put off? Work deadlines? Phone calls? Laundry? Grocery shopping? Car maintenance? Going to the doctor? Paying the bills?

Habitual lateness. Are you late everywhere you go, or are there patterns to it? Always late to work, but early for engagements with family and friends? Or is it just the opposite?

Sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy. Within what context do you typically make sarcastic, cynical, or flippant remarks? Is it only with certain people, or only within a certain context? In other words, is your hidden anger tied to a certain person, in terms of what they bring out in you, or is it more general, tied more to how you feel in specific situations as opposed to who you are with?

Overpoliteness, constant cheerfulness (fake), attitude of “grin and bear it” but internally resenting it. As with sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy, is your overpoliteness or constant cheerfulness tied to a particular person or is it dependent on the circumstances you are in.

Frequent sighing. You may not even realize you are doing this, so make a note to be mindful of how frequently you sigh, and within what context. Again, is it usually around a certain person, or is more specific to an activity (i.e., work task), thought (i.e., all your to-do’s), or situation (i.e., dealing with a conflict at work or home).

Smiling while hurting. As with frequency sighing, this may not be something you are particularly aware of. Next time you notice yourself smiling though, check in with your head and heart. Does your expression match what you’re thinking and feeling inside?

Overcontrolled monotone speaking voice. This is not only a means of hiding anger, but subsequently any number of other feelings that are not allowed to expression. In other words, masking a negative feeling – such as anger – inevitably trains you to mask positive feelings as well, like surprise, excitement, and joy.

Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams. The keyword here is frequent. We all have bad dreams and nightmares now and then. But if they are persistent and you wake feel scared and un-rested, anger could be at the root.

Difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep. Thoughts going around in your head keep you awake. This is a pretty common symptom of any number of underlying mental, emotional, or physical issues. So as a symptom of hidden anger, it should probably only be considered so if other symptoms of hidden anger are present.

Boredom, apathy, loss of interest in things you are usually enthusiastic about (depression from internalized anger). Though it may seem just the opposite of hidden anger underneath, in fact, boredom, apathy and a loss of interest in things may your body’s means of dealing with these negative feelings in the only way it knows how – by numbing them. Rather than feel anger, it seems preferable to feel nothing at all.

Slowing down of movements, especially when doing things you don’t want to do. This is another form of procrastination. Instead of tackling a task with enthusiasm and the intent of finishing it, you may subconsciously (or even consciously) slow down a task that you resent doing in the first place – from folding the laundry at home to drafting an email at work.

Getting tired more easily than usual. Again, this can be a symptom of any number of underlying issues, so it is to be taken into consideration only within the context of other symptoms of hidden anger.

Excessive irritability over trifles. Road rage is a perfect example. Granted, there are times when other people’s driving habits can be dangerous and warrant a strong reaction. But when you “lose it” on the guy in front of you for missing the light or forgetting to turn on his blinker, the anger you’re feeling was already there, just waiting for an opportunity to erupt. The same is true of other minor incidents throughout any given day, from spilling your coffee to having trouble with your internet connection.

Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching, and similar repeated physical acts done unintentionally. Again, these are things you may or may not even be aware of. As with all the other symptoms of hidden anger on this list, simply be open to noticing their presence, and mindful of when they occur.

If any of these ring true for you, understand these are not behaviors to be cursed or vilified. Instead, consider them welcome warning signs that anger may be hiding in plain sight. The key is getting to the root of where the anger stems from, which may or may not relate to a specific event. In fact, your anger is most likely tied to beliefs and relationships that span your lifetime.

 

Turning Your Down Into Up: A Realistic Plan For Healing From Depression by Dr. Gregory Jantz

http://www.aplaceofhope.com/blog/depression/turning-your-down-into-up-the-root-of-hidden-anger-book-excerpt?inf_contact_key=7f6eb4564f21a72aa22d4ab5f820c6f1ca80c386808e72f9c270aa5b396ba1df

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This letter from the yourfairyangel blog is one of the most beautiful I have ever read. Everyone in the weight-loss and diet industry should read this and reflect seriously on their own behaviour and ethics. The letter made me cry, for those who got harmed, for the honesty of the woman behind it, for a world that is still caught so tightly by diets and thing thin, for the never ending cycle dieting.

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Stop DietingI worked at a popular weight loss company for 3 years. I loved my job there. I LOVED my clients. I loved making a connection and sharing my knowledge. And I learned a lot about nutrition, about dieting and weight loss and what works and what doesn’t. My job was to be a weight loss consultant, and I learned that job very well. I can design a 1200 calorie meal plan, tell you which activities are most likely to make the number on the scale go down, and how many carbs are in a cup of rice. I can talk the diet game like it’s my business…because it was. Volumize with vegetables. Don’t go too long in between meals. Start with a bowl of broth-based soup. Are you drinking enough water? Did you exercise enough? Did you exercise too much? Let’s look at your food journal…

This is not an anti-weight loss company post (although I could write that too). It’s a letter to each and every woman that I unknowingly wronged. My heart is beating a little bit faster as I write this, and so I know this needs to be said. The words have been playing in my head for months. Sometimes it just takes time for me to get up the courage to say the right thing.

So here goes:

Dear Former Weight Loss Clients (you know who you are): 

I’m sorry. 

I’m sorry because I put you on a 1200 calorie diet and told you that was healthy. I’m sorry because when you were running 5x a week, I encouraged you to switch from a 1200 calorie diet to a 1500 calorie diet, instead of telling you that you should be eating a hell of a lot more than that. I’m sorry because you were breastfeeding and there’s no way eating those 1700 calories a day could have been enough for both you and your baby. I’m sorry because you were gluten intolerant and so desperate to lose weight that you didn’t put that on your intake form. But you mentioned it to me later, and I had no idea the damage you were doing to your body. I’m sorry because I think I should have known. I think I should have been educated better before I began to tell all of you what was right or wrong for your body. 

I’m sorry because I made you feel like a failure and so you deliberately left a message after the center had closed, telling me you were quitting. I thought you were awesome and gorgeous, and I’m sorry because I never told you that. I’m sorry because you came in telling me you liked to eat organic and weren’t sure about all the chemicals in the food, and I made up some BS about how it was a “stepping stone.” I’m sorry because many of you had thyroid issues and the LAST thing you should have been doing was eating a gluten-filled, chemically-laden starvation diet. I’m sorry because by the time I stopped working there, I wouldn’t touch that food, yet I still sold it to you. 

I’m sorry because it’s only years later that I realize just how unhealthy a 1200 calorie diet was. I stayed on a 1200-1500 calorie diet for years, so I have the proof in myself. Thyroid issues, mood swings, depression, headaches…oh and gluten intolerance that seemed to “kick in” after about a month of eating the pre-packaged food. Was it a coincidence? Maybe. 

I’m sorry because you had body dysmorphic disorder, and it was so painful to hear the things you said about yourself. You looked like a model, and all of my other clients were intimidated by you, asked me why you were there because clearly you didn’t need to lose weight. And yet you would sit in my office and cry, appalled that a man might see you naked and be disturbed by the fat that didn’t actually exist. I’m sorry because you should have been seeing a therapist, not a weight loss consultant. 

I’m sorry because you were young and so beautiful and only there because your mother thought you needed to lose weight. And because there were too many of you like that. Girls who knew you were fine, but whose mothers pushed that belief out of you until you thought like she did. Until you thought there was something wrong with you. And the one time I confronted your mother, you simply got switched to a different consultant. I think I should have made more of a stink, but I didn’t. I’m sorry because you were in high school and an athlete, and I pray that you weren’t screwed up by that 1500 calorie diet. Seriously, world? Seriously? A teenage girl walks in with no visible body fat and lots of muscle tone, tells you she’s a runner and is happy with her weight…but her mother says she’s fat and has to lose weight and so we help her do just that. As an individual, as women, as a company, hell, as a nation, we don’t stand up for that girl? What is wrong with us? There ain’t nothing right about that. Nothing. 

I’m sorry because every time you ate something you “shouldn’t” or ate more than you “should,” I talked about “getting back on the bandwagon.” I cringe now every time someone uses that phrase. When did the way we eat become a bandwagon? When did everyone stop eating and become professional dieters? I’m sorry because I get it now. If you’re trying to starve your body by eating fewer calories than it needs, of course it’s going to fight back. I used to tell you that then, when you wanted to eat less than 1200 calories a day. The problem was, I thought 1200 was enough. I thought that was plenty to support a healthy body. Why did I believe that for so long? I’m sorry because I wasn’t trying to trick you or play games to get your money. I believed the lies we were fed as much as you did. 

And it wasn’t just the company feeding them to me. It was the doctors and registered dietitians on the medical advisory board. It was the media and magazines confirming what I was telling my clients. A palm-sized portion of lean chicken with half a sweet potato and a salad was PLENTY. No matter that you had “cravings” afterward. Cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Yeah, sure they are. I’m a hypnotherapist with a past history of binge eating disorder. I KNOW cravings are a sign of underlying emotional issues. Except when they’re not. Except when they’re a sign that your body needs more food and you’re ignoring it. Then they’re a sign that your 1200 calorie diet is horseshit. Then they’re a sign that you’ve been played. 

And that’s mostly why I’m sorry. Because I’ve been played for years, and so have you, and inadvertently, I fed into the lies you’ve been told your whole life. The lies that say that being healthy means nothing unless you are also thin. The lies that say that you are never enough, that your body is not a beautiful work of art, but rather a piece of clay to be molded by society’s norms until it becomes a certain type of sculpture. And even then, it is still a work in progress. 

I owe you an apology, my former client and now friend, who I helped to lose too much weight. Who I watched gain the weight back, plus some. Because that’s what happens when you put someone on a 1200 calorie diet. But I didn’t know. If you’re reading this, then I want you to know that you have always been beautiful. And that all these fad diets are crap meant to screw with your metabolism so that you have to keep buying into them. I think now that I was a really good weight loss consultant. Because I did exactly what the company wanted (but would never dare say). I helped you lose weight and then gain it back, so that you thought we were the solution and you were the failure. You became a repeat client and we kept you in the game. I guess I did my job really well.  

And now I wonder, did I do more harm than good? When I left, you all wrote me cards and sent me flowers. I still have those cards, the ones that tell me how much I helped you, how much I cared. But I’m friends with some of you on Facebook now, and I look at your photos and you look happy. And beautiful. And not because you lost weight since I saw you last. But because I see YOU now. You. Not a client sitting in my chair, asking for my assistance in becoming what society wants. But you, a smart and lovely woman, who really doesn’t need some random company telling her there’s something wrong with her. 
  
So I’m sorry because when you walked in to get your meal plan, I should have told you that you were beautiful. I should have asked you how you FELT. Were you happy? Did you feel physically fit? Were you able to play with your kids? There were so many of you who never needed to lose a pound, and some of you who could have gained some. And maybe sometimes I told you that. But not enough. Not emphatically. Because it was my job to let you believe that making the scale go down was your top priority. And I did my job well.  

I am sorry because many of you walked in healthy and walked out with disordered eating, disordered body image, and the feeling that you were a “failure.” None of you ever failed. Ever. I failed you. The weight loss company failed you. Our society is failing you. 

Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense. 

And I can’t stop it. But I can stop my part in it. I won’t play the weight loss game anymore. I won’t do it to my body, and I won’t help you do it to yours. That’s it. End game.  

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It does actually make sense. Eating disorders (in particular anorexia) are labelled or sometime diagnosed as addictive illnesses. Given that alcoholism is an addictive illness (plus genetic) then it is possibly not that surprising the two share a genetic link.

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Eating disorders and alcoholism may share genetic risk factors according to new research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. This is especially true of binge eating and purging.

“Prior studies have shown that among people who had eating disorders, there were higher rates of alcohol abuse and dependence than those who didn’t have these eating disorders,” study author Melissa Munn-Chernoff, Ph.D., of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said.

To gain a better understanding of the underlying connection between the disorders, Munn-Chernoff and her team analyzed data from nearly 6,000 twins—both identical and fraternal. Identical twins share all of the same genes, while fraternal twins only share about half, making them genetically similar to siblings who aren’t twins.

The researchers conducted a series of interviews to determine the participants’ alcohol and eating habits. They found that nearly 25 percent of men and 6 percent of women studied had been alcohol dependent at some point in their lives, and 11 percent of men and 13 percent of women had experienced problems with binge eating. Fourteen percent of women also admitted to using two or more purging tactics. Researchers then compared the twins to one another.

According to their statistical computation, the researchers found that genetics play an important role in the development of any of these disorders, explaining 38 percent to 53 percent of a person’s risk. The same genetic risk factors for alcoholism seemed to make people vulnerable to binging and purging as well.

Dr. Munn-Chernoff noted that a person’s environment still influences a person’s risk for alcoholism or bulimia. “These types of studies capture the nature and nurture debate,” she said. “It’s always a combination of both, but these studies are designed to tap into that, and even though we didn’t find significant environmental risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they’re not important.”

Dr. Munn-Chernoff hopes the study will encourage doctors to associate alcoholism with bulimia. She said that if a patient presents the symptoms for one of these disorders, his or her doctor should look for symptoms of the other disorder.

http://www.examiner.com/article/eating-disorders-and-alcohol-abuse-may-share-genetic-risk-factors

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This post is from the dads-ed blog. He nails the psychology of anorexia  very well and has made the effort to understand what it has done to his daughter. It is how I have felt and talked to myself about this illness and is there in my posts on the psychology of anorexia. It is also how our dietitian talks about how anorexia interacts with the person.

10 Reasons I Hate You      

Even though I don’t really know you, ED, based on what I have seen and experienced of you, manifested through my daughter, here’s a short list of only 10 of the innumerable things I do know about you and that make me hate you with all my heart and soul:

  • You’re a sneaky son-of-a-bitch.  You took over my daughter’s life without warning, slowly, stealthily, and in many disguises so neither she nor I even noticed it until it was too late.  Way too late.  But we’re on to you now.
  • You’re a coward.  You preyed on my daughter when she was in her most vulnerable state.  You want to fight fair?  Prove you’re strong?  Come on…see if you can take over my life.  Any time, any place, buster.
  • You lie.  Somehow and in ways that are beyond my comprehension, you convinced my daughter you were her friend.  Someone who would comfort and console her when all you really wanted to do was control her, make her miserable, and eventually kill her.
  • You cheat.  Well…of course you cheat.  You cheated my daughter out of what should have been some of the most wonderful, fulfilling, happiest, and most joyful years of her life.  You cheated our whole family out of the joy and pleasure we should have been sharing with her during that time and turned those years into years of tears, fighting, arguing, anguish, and heartache.
  • You lurk.  My daughter is getting better right now I think.  I believe.  I hope.  She’s learned what an evil, nasty s.o.b. you are and is fighting like hell to get you out of her life.  But I know you’ll lurk.  As she’s getting stronger you’ll still be slinking around.  Sneaking. Waiting.  You’ll let her think she’s gotten rid of you, but you’ll still be lurking.  Waiting for her to have another tough time in her life when she’s feeling weak and vulnerable.  When her self confidence is ebbing.    When her self image is deflated.  When she feels out of control of her life.  You’ll still be furtively skulking around there hoping to get back into her life.  To take over her life. But be on notice, ED.  I’ll be there, too, this time.  So be prepared because you’re going to have your hands full.
  • You’re greedy.  You want my daughter all to yourself. I’m her dad and I’m not greedy with her, so why in the heck are you?  I don’t expect her to love me and me alone.  Or to spend all of her time only with me.  I want her to have friends…you alienate her from her friends.  I want her to love and spend time with her sister and mom and other family members…you want her to worship you and you alone.  I want her to find a soul mate to share her life with if that suits her…but you, you greedy bastard, want to have everything exclusively in your power to capture, control, and keep her all for yourself. It ain’t gonna happen any more.
  • You’re cruel.  Not only did you willfully and knowingly cause my daughter unimaginable mental and physical pain and suffering, but I think you enjoyed the distress you caused.  And worse, you made her act in such deceitful and hurtful ways towards those she loves the most, that her actions and attitudes caused us indescribable pain and suffering, too.  And I’m sure you took great pride and enjoyment from that collateral damage, didn’t you?  Never again, however.  We’ve got your number now.
  • You’re evil.  I’m not saying you’re Satan, but perhaps you are.  If so, I wouldn’t be surprised.  At least some manifestation of Satan because while in your grasp and control you turned a sweet, kind, loving, honest young woman into a lying, deceitful, unpleasant, angry, and very unhappy person.  Drinking alcohol to excess.  Hiding food.  Destroying her health.  Ignoring her friends or mistreating them.  Lying to me, her mom, and her sister quite regularly.  I think only evil in its purest form could have done that to my sweet daughter.  I know it wasn’t her.  But she’s coming back.  She’s recovering.  So watch out.
  • You’re manipulative.  I really, really hate you for this. You’d never talk to me or those close to my daughter directly or even honestly.  You never showed yourself to us.    Rather you manipulated her so your words and your actions came through her.  You manipulated her like she was your personal puppet.  The part I hate most about that is that although you were the cause, she’s the one who had to suffer the consequences.  While all the while you sat back laughing and having a grand old time, huh? She’s the one who I scolded and lectured about lying. She’s the one who had to put up with my constant harangues about getting control of herself and getting her health back.  She’s the one who had to clean the sides of the highway for days on end after you and your cousin alcohol got her in trouble for driving under the influence.  She’s the one who you manipulated right to the very brink of death by starvation.  She’s the one who had to go into treatment isolated and alone where her bathroom visits were monitored and she woke up every day to a scale and blood pressure cuff.  She’s the one who lost privileges when you manipulated her to “accidentally” knock food off of her plate.  It was her arms that were riddled with needles for innumerable blood tests.  It was her throat that was raw from the feeding tubes.  It was you who made her “accidentally” cough those feeding tubes out of her body more than once – and lie about it.  But we’re ready for your manipulative tactics now.  She and I are ready.  And the rest of the family, too.  More aware.  Better informed. Better armed.  Stronger.  United.
  • Generally, you’re disgusting.  Before you came into my daughter’s life she was quite delightful in every way. You, on the other hand, are monumentally disgusting in every way.  Your devious and immoral ways are detestable.  You literally sicken those whose lives you enter, like my daughter, both physically and mentally, and you also sicken and cause revulsion in those whose lives they touch when under your influence.  Although those under your spell may think they want to keep you in their lives, once they grasp how disgusting you really are, they can’t wait to get rid of you.  And we dads and moms and all the others who have loved ones that you’re influencing can’t wait to get rid of you either and we’re willing to try anything to get your disgusting presence out of and away from our daughters, sons, sisters, and brothers.  Anything.

http://dad-eds.com/blog/ – July 6 2009

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