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Archive for the ‘Anger’ Category

extreme behaviour of eating disordersIn the home environment none of us like confrontation, verbal abuse, violence etc. But this becomes a reality when an eating disorder decides to move in. Normal family relationships become confrontational or violent.

All of us parents/carers will come into contact with this side of an eating disorder. Mostly this abusive side only appears after first treatment is done or serious intervention is tried. Your son or daughter will shout, swear, push, shove, lie blatantly, be secretive, throw things, run away, scream – you name it, it happens. And they sound so real about what they are saying or doing. They look and sound like they mean every single word. The look and emotion that goes into telling you what they think of you is very hurtful and shocking. The other side is they tell you they want to starve to death or they “want to die and you’ll be sorry”. It can be a verbal tidal wave of illogical and dark emotional thoughts. Pretty hurtful stuff when you are the parent of the much loved child.

You wonder as a parent, what the hell you ever did wrong. After all you are the one trying to save them, feeding them, caring for them, taking them to appointments, finding out information and resources. It’s not like you are against them and trying to harm them. And it hurts deep down and you wonder if the relationship between you will ever be the same.

Eating disorders take over the person. It’s uncanningly like having two people living in the same body, but the second person (the real one) never gets to talk or act. The primary person (the ED) takes over everything whilst using the body, mannerisms and emotions of the other. Very surreal and hard to decifer who is saying what. It really does look like your child hates you.

The reason for this intense rage and very out of character behaviour is the ED fighting for it’s corner. Cornered things fight back. It does not want to leave. It’s ability to change and adapt to whatever it needs to is remarkable. Whilst it has the intense control of your child, it changes them. Personality, behaviour, character all changes. The child you once had totally disappears for some time. They don’t have control over this behaviour. They hide, lie, swear, isolate, push you away, get aggressive. It’s all part of the eating disorder illness. IT.IS.NOT.YOUR.CHILD. Take that point on and do not let yourself move away from that. As awful as it can get, your son or daughter cannot control or stop this behaviour whilst the eating disorder is in residence.

Sophie was all of this. She ran away, I chased her in the car to find her. She pushed, hit and shoved. I stared her down. She called me everything she could think of. I heard and hurt. But let me tell you, it took every ounce of my self control to keep calm and firm.

What to do

Learn to separate as early as you can the ED behaviour and your child. From the moment Sophie came home from hospital the first time, we were told to talk to the anorexia as a separate person. I would say “That’s Ana talking, I am not talking to her. I want to talk to Sophie.” and so on. It does work but it takes time for the message to sink in for both of you.

It’s not like your child is using the ED as an excuse to get away with shocking behaviour. And neither are you using the ED as an excuse to be more accepting of this behaviour.  Never trust the ED, it manipulates situations extremely well. Sophie did do this, but she was so far along into stronger recovery she could be told bluntly to not use the ED to gain points for herself.

Brush off the javelins thrown at you. Learn to let it slide. This is not normal behaviour and its not personal. In time, when later recovery stages are happening, you can call the rude behaviour and treat it more like normal teenage stuff. Consequences in other words.

Find vent time for yourself away from your child. Don’t vent at them as it only heightens the scene.

Talk to the support/medical team. Let them know everything that is happening. They can use this in therapy to highlight the ED behaviour and emotions.

 

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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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The reply below in Huff Post is brilliant. It is a reply to “Tuthmosis” who listed 5 reasons to date a girl with an eating disorder. Several words spring to my mind and none of them printable here. Yes it got him untold likes and internet publicity. Yes there are “guys” out there who think the same. But the damage it does or the joke focus it gives is so wrong. It is abuse of females in another form.

Any publicity is good publicity right – maybe. For far too many who don’t read or learn about eating disorders properly, this type of stupid commenting only reinforces the stigmas and holds back true understanding and treatment.

Eating disorders affect everyone, regardless of class, colour, race, gender, etc. There are no boundaries or rules. It is an incidious, crippling illness that reduces sane, healthy, normal people into a nameless darkness that has the potential to kill them. They do not ask, choose or want this illness, they do not want to stay in its depths. It is not a trophy illness, an attention seeking stunt nor something that defines their true person.

I haven’t put the whole post in, if you want to read the first part go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-licorish/the-swag-effect-disordere_b_4320700.html?ir=Women&utm_campaign=120313&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-women&utm_content=Title#slide=2708200

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SWAG:  People With Eating Disorders –

Skinny
White
Affluent
Girls

I returned to “5 Reasons To Date A Girl With An Eating Disorder,” studied its sad stock photography:

“Skinny, Fancy, White Girl, Hunches Over Toilet With Index Finger Down Throat”

“Skinny White Girl Sees Fat White Girl Reflected in Mirror”

“Skinny White Girl in Snuggly Underpants And Matching Camisole Cries on Top of Scale”

I couldn’t care less what some silly Internet troll says about people with eating disorders.

It deeply disturbs me to realize people actually believe these stereotypes.

It hurts to consider this against what might be a tragic oversight in the case of Brittany Murphy, a stereotypical SWAG picture of American Disordered Eating, who may not have had an eating disorder at all, whose death is still, ultimately unsolved.

It breaks my heart to remember all the faces I met through 10 years in and out of various eating disorder treatment facilities. They’re not all SWAG faces. Some of the most tortured belong to men. Many belong to men and women who are morbidly obese, who are just as depressed and close to death as the most desperate anorexics. The faces in my memories are not all peaches and cream. They’re also maple, chestnut, and terra. Many of them are etched with wrinkles. Many are missing teeth.

Tuthmosis writes, “Nothing screams white-girl problems louder than a good old-fashioned eating disorder. But they’re more than that. Eating disorders have been — quite appropriately — declared a luxury reserved for only the most privileged members of the female race.”

The fact that there is no female “race” aside, Tuthmosis and I apparently grew up in the same subculture, which insists a real eating disorder is a skinny, rich, white girl disease and, thus, not really a disease at all, but a lifestyle choice for spoiled brats and body-obsessed neurotics. That eating disorders are so perceptually linked to affluence is probably why they’re so impossible to treat. It costs upwards of $2,000 a day for eating disorder sufferers to receive impatient treatment. Insurance coverage is sparse and notorious for cutting out before patients make any real progress. Many, many times I witnessed the sheer horror on people’s faces when they learn they’re being discharged because their insurance is up. I’ve heard them beg and plead to stay, threaten to take their own lives, because they can’t possibly survive on the outside.

Twenty percent of people with eating disorders don’t survive on the outside. It takes, on average, seven years for those who do survive to recover. And “recover” is such a devastatingly relative word.

The worst side-effect of the SWAG stereotype is this: the longer we believe only skinny, white, affluent girls suffer from eating disorders, the more we isolate an entire community of not-skinny, not-white, not-rich, not-so-young, decidedly-not-female human beings, who suffer, not only with the soul-sucking burden that is an eating disorder, but with the belief they can’t possible “have” what’s killing them. The risk is it will kill them. And then everyone will wonder why.

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Even when it sees like you’re feeling nothing but numb, lurking beneath the surface is the anger that’s being suppressed by your eating disorder. Here’s how this anger gets triggered by pain, sending you into a cycle that disordered eating destines you to repeat over and over again.

Experiencing pain. Though it is an inevitable part of being human, pain is hard to accept, especially when inflicted by family members and friends who know you best and, presumably, love you most.

Feeling anger. When you experience pain that you feel is unjustified, you’re naturally going to get mad. Who do they think they are, talking to you like that, treating you like that, disregarding you like that?

Needing to vent. When you’re angry, the healthy thing to do is express it. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done with family members and friends who you are afraid of confronting with the truth.

Abusing food. Unable to vent your anger in a healthy manner, you turn to food, using disordered eating to divert your attention from your feelings.

Feeling shame and guilt. The comfort or control you may feel from your disordered eating never lasts long. It’s almost immediately circumvented by feelings of guilt and shame at your self-destructive behavior.

Falling into depression. Even when you know what you’re doing is bad for you, body and soul, your eating disorder convinces you that you have no other choice. The situation feels hopeless. You feel helpless. You’ll never get better. You’ll always feel this way. And that’s when depression sets in.

Hating yourself. When you’re depressed, there’s no “snapping out of it” on command. That combined with shame and guilt at your self-destructive behavior reinforces self-loathing for your helplessness.

Feeling you deserve the pain. You’re such a terrible person, you think, maybe deserve this pain. Why should you expect to feel any other way?
And just like that anger again sets in and the cycle starts all over again.

ANGER QUESTIONNAIRE

How does the past influence your perception and processing of anger? Consider these questions from Hope, Help, and Healing for Eating Disorders: A Whole Person Approach to Treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating:

  1. Complete this sentence: Anger is _____________.
  2. What did you learn about anger as a child?
  3. How did you express anger as a child?
  4. Describe your most recent “anger” experience.
  5. Describe the most angry moment in your entire life.
  6. List the various ways in which you deal with anger.
  7. What pleasure do you get from anger?
  8. Do you have any positive way of getting rid of anger? If so, what is it?
  9. How do you use anger as a weapon against others?
  10. How do you use anger as a weapon against yourself?
  11. What is your definition of anger?
  12. What is your definition of hostility?
  13. What is your definition of aggression?
  14. How do you know when you are angry?
  15. Where do you experience anger?
  16. I feel angry when others ______________.
  17. I feel that may anger is ______________.
  18. When others express their anger, I feel _______________.
  19. I feel that the anger of others is _______________.

http://www.caringonline.com/our-blog/disordered-eating-when-anger-has-nowhere-else-to-go/

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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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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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To all the doctors, dietitians, medical professionals, and parents

Imagine you are in a dark, scary place. Your mind is playing tricks on you so you don’t know what is real and what is not. You have lost what truth means or write your own truth. You are terribly insecure, sad, and have no hope. You know you are sliding into a deep hole but are powerless to stop it. You hate yourself and feel so weird around others you isolate yourself. Your emotions and life are just numb and you prefer to just ‘disappear’. It would be better to hide. You have obsessions that you can’t control, that just take over your body and mind. It is like being on a treadmill that you can’t stop, but gets faster and faster. Until you are out of control and desperately want help, but are terrified to ask for it. Giving up on life completely seems a better option.

Would you like to live like this everyday for months or years?

This is the basis of what it is to live with an eating disorder. It is a mental health illness that needs treatment not ignorance.

How much educational awareness, media coverage, research etc will it take for you to realise eating disorders are serious. Or worse, they actually exist and will not go away just because you don’t want to understand or treat the disorder.

How many sufferers are condemned to getting sicker because you don’t believe they have an eating disorder or are not critical enough? Your brush off and lack of care or support silences the voice of the sufferer. Imagine having finally reached out to someone because you are desperate for help only to be told you don’t rate enough to get help.

Where do you get the idea that ‘just eat’ will work or ‘I know you can eat so get over this’. Why would you use medication to increase the appetite when you aren’t treating the mind or emotions? Who decides who is critical enough to warrant the attention of a psychologist or psychiatrist? Who decides that an eating disorder has ‘levels’ of diagnosis? Cancer is cancer not almost cancer. An eating disorder is the same and demands the same instant attention and treatment.

EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT ATTENTION SEEKING BEHAVIOUR

EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT A MINOR ILLNESS THAT YOU GIVE A BANDAID FOR

EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT A FOOD OR WEIGHT PROBLEM

EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT THE LATEST SOCIAL CRAZE AND MUST HAVE

There is no excuse apart from ignorance to treat people with an eating disorder as unimportant or stupid. Information is widely available including research. No one wants their loved one to have an eating disorder, but to bury your head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist will only make the eating disorder worse. It will get a stronger grip and you will end up with someone who is very sick. Early intervention and treatment is the key and so much research and statistics prove this point. And follow up support after treatment is also essential. You just don’t drop and run.

When you are an adult sufferer you can at least keep pursuing the challenge to find appropriate support/medical professionals to help you recover. It is a challenge that should NOT be there. Public health systems, medical insurers make the task of finding appropriate help a nightmare. Any other illness is a straight forward approach, but eating disorders still have not made even made it to basic level.

For those under adult age and are reliant on a parent getting them help they need it is heartbreaking. Not having a parent who understands or wants to take the time to learn what an eating disorder is only adds to the strength of the illness and the entrenchment of the illness. It won’t go away conveniently for you and yes it will cost money and time. Ignoring the illness and your child adds guilt, shame and denial of self to your child. They don’t need that – it just feeds the illness. I will be the first to put my hand up and say the journey over the last 4 years has been hell at times. But it has been worth it to see my daughter now.

I know I have vented before, and have said a lot of this before too. But I get sooooooo frustrated and angry when I get emails with desperate cries of help because families and the medical establishment remain blissfully ignorant.

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