Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia Nervosa
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    Community Voices

    Scan Weight Loss Products

    Some old family friends are selling scam pyramid scheme weight loss products. One their ads actually had the audacity to claim that using their product could help an E.D. , when in fact we know they make it worse. Taking umbrage at their continuing outrageous claims, I responded to one of their FB posts. So now, my husband is mad at me. I don’t know if I was wrong or right. But I do know that I feel better. Thoughts ?
    #EatingDisorders #Anorexia #Bulimia

    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Forgive Yourself

    <p>Forgive Yourself</p>
    2 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Honest and serious

    <p>Honest and serious</p>
    3 people are talking about this
    Monika Sudakov

    How Victoria’s Secret Reinforced My Eating Disorder and Body Image Issues

    Hulu’s new docuseries “Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons” is an elaborate exposé of not just the underbelly of the brand itself, but of the sordid history of Les Wexner, founder and CEO of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, and his relationship with the late, convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. According to the documentary, Epstein, who was made Wexner’s power of attorney from 1991 to 2007, utilized his access to Wexner’s fortune as a means of financing his criminal activities and Victoria’s Secret as a ruse to lure girls into relationships with him under the guise of becoming a model. While this is a fascinating and extremely complex aspect of the documentary, the more relevant theme explored, at least relevant to me personally, is how toxic the environment of Victoria’s Secret was not just for the models, but for consumers of the brand. Models cite a culture of pervasive harassment and abuse, predominantly by Chief Marketing Officer Ed Racek, and pressure to maintain unnatural body standards. And while the messaging of the brand purported to reflect sexually empowered women, behind the scenes the look was very much designed for the male gaze. Female employees consistently reported presenting data-driven trends about the current views of women toward sex and sexuality, but were trumped at every turn by high ranking male executives, favoring increasingly exploitative marketing that pushed the boundaries of soft core porn, modeled after the images in Playboy magazine. The women featured in the catalogs, on the runway, and eventually in online marketing for the brand were selected because of their “perfect” looks, which lacked any kind of diversity or inclusion. Their images were highly curated and severely photoshopped, presenting an unattainable ideal that no average woman could possibly achieve without a severely restricted diet, extreme fitness regime, and plastic surgery. And they were made even more unrealistic through the use of padding and push-up bras, which created the illusion of proportions that simply don’t exist in nature. The rigid physical standards represented by the models translated to the available inventory at their stores. And this is where my ongoing battle with anorexia and body dysmorphia come in. My fixation on my body began at a very young age. I was freakishly young when I began developing boobs. By sixth grade I was a solid “C” cup and continued to grow from there. While most of my peers weren’t even thinking about a training bra, I was already struggling to find a bra that fit my proportions. Kids in my class started calling me Dolly Parton and would snap my bra, humiliating me and reinforcing the fact that something was very wrong with me. The bullying continued outside the classroom and in the dance studio where the constant message was “you need to lose weight” but the subtext was “your boobs are too big.” I’d be subjected to constant weight shaming and comments about how my bouncing boobs were a distraction when I jumped. At one point I even had to wear three Ace bandages to bind myself so I’d appear to be younger than my ample bosom would suggest. It was utterly soul crushing. As you can imagine, bra shopping became a constant source of angst. My ever expanding cup size seemed to defy the laws of nature. My weight continued to dwindle and yet I couldn’t get my breasts to cooperate with the starvation and exercise/bingeing regimen I had adopted. So when I’d attempt to find a bra that fit, it was like searching for a needle in a haystack. I couldn’t just go to Victoria’s Secret like all my friends did and find a cute, lacy push-up bra. They didn’t make them in my cup size. Or if they did have even one bra on hand in my cup size, which was almost never, the bra was padded. The last thing I wanted to do was make my breasts appear even larger than they already were. Going to Victoria’s Secret felt so invalidating. Not only could I not participate in the social ritual of going to the mall and shopping with friends… the store itself and its teeny tiny inventory seemed to sneer at me, rubbing salt into a gaping wound that kept filling up with more and more breast tissue. I was inadequate as a dancer, inadequate as a woman, and felt like a complete freak of nature. I hated my breasts and I hated Victoria’s Secret for making me feel so disgusting. If sexy was what they embodied, I must have been gross. This sense of being a misfit became embedded in my psyche. My weight — and breasts — have fluctuated wildly over the years as my anorexia has come and gone. What hasn’t changed is my disdain for my breasts. If I could have a breast reduction I would. Looking at them in the mirror is like looking in a fun house mirror. Two huge orbs attached to matchstick limbs. I hate them. I’m uncomfortable having them attached to my body. Even with current, more diverse lingerie options, the idea of bra shopping has forever been tainted for me by my early experiences at Victoria’s Secret. I’ve had numerous bra fittings and have spent so much money buying bras that are supposed to fit me perfectly, but no matter how miraculous they say the bra is, it sucks. It’s uncomfortable and I won’t wear it. And I’m embarrassed at how much time I’ve spent in therapy talking about my boobs, bras and my constant dilemma of wanting to learn to love my body as it is while simultaneously feeling betrayed by it. I don’t know what the ultimate solution is, but this documentary certainly triggered this long term- trauma that is embodied by my boobs. I wonder how many other women are out there who suffered from the toxic objectification that Victoria’s Secret represented. I’m sure there are many, as is evidenced by the pressure on the company now to evolve. They have attempted to save face by incorporating models, mannequins, and inventory reflecting humans with breasts of all shapes, sizes, genders, and abilities. But is it too little too late? Maybe. As for me, I suppose I can take some solace in the knowledge that I never financially contributed to a corporation that aided and abetted the sexual exploitation of women and children. I’ll have to settle for that.

    Community Voices

    Feeling helpless

    My daughter has just turned 18 and is still out of control with her anorexia only now she doesn’t want me to attend her sessions so I don’t know how much she still losing.

    I look at her and feel like she’s sleeping away and I don’t know what to do I don’t know how to help her and she doesn’t want my help. I feel such a failed mother Add I can’t lose my little girl

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I had a TMS consult today. Will be starting it in August for OCD! And off label C-PTSD as those two disorders are very intertwined for me. I did it for OCD and bipolar depression last year with success. So here’s to hoping it helps again!!

    #MentalHealth #Disability #Anxiety #Autism #ADHD #BipolarDisorder #LearningDisabilities #TicDisorders #AnorexiaNervosa #SensoryProcessingDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Dermatillomania #GenderDysphoria

    8 people are talking about this
    Kaden M (he/they)

    I Am Celebrating This Disability Pride Month

    Happy Disability Pride Month! I didn’t identify as “disabled” before I received my various diagnoses (due to lack of awareness that my struggles could be considered as such), but I’ve always had challenges with my mental health and the way I perceive the world. I started to see myself as disabled in college, when my neurodivergence and mental illness started to majorly impact and interfere with my functioning and the need for accommodations grew. That said, there is no right or wrong way to be “disabled.” It is an identity for some, and for me, I initially had shame. I hate to admit that, but I initially felt some shame around needing so much help. Today, I feel pride. Pride, not necessarily because I need accommodations, but pride because I realized I wouldn’t be who I am in all the good ways without my disabilities. I am an out-of-the-box thinker. I am creative. Resilient. Brave. Empathic and compassionate. Intuitive. A gifted creative writer and speaker. Are all of these traits because of my disabilities? Some would argue no, that they’re unrelated. However, I disagree. I think there is a strong tie between my struggles and my strengths. I have mental illness (bipolar disorder, OCD, CPTSD, anxiety, anorexia), learning disabilities (dyscalculia, NVLD, auditory processing disorder, and ADHD), and am autistic. I have heightened sensitivity to the world around me; I have meltdowns and breakdowns and struggle to work at times. I have had to take multiple medical leaves to get through college. I have accommodations in graduate school. I take six medications daily and go to therapy at least twice a week. I am privileged that I have access to such help. Not everybody does. I am disabled and I can still complete a lot of tasks, while others are near impossible. Some things I need help with and others none at all. Again, there is no right or wrong way to be disabled. I am disabled and I am proud. What can you do this July? Read and listen to more disabled voices — of all kinds! My disabilities are mental, emotional, cognitive, and sensory, but many have physical and intellectual disabilities. We must band together as not just a community of disabled people but a community of people — disabled and non-disabled coming together.

    Community Voices

    Far too long...

    I've been dealing with depression, anorexia, suicidal ideation, etc, for over 25 years now. The majority of my life has been spent in hospitals, institutions, and treatment centers. I've been doing ok for a little while, at least that's what everyone sees. I've been able to just numb out everything so I could be "normal" but it's getting harder. I feel I can't tell anyone and just let it happen. I'm sorry, Idk if this makes any sense. I just need it out of my head for a minute, relieve some pressure before I explode. 😢
    #AnorexiaNervosa #Depression #suicidal

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    × " Soooo Let Me Explain Why I Have Alway's Had Issue's With My Look's & Body Image " × #Openingup

    × " Sooo When I Was A Kid I Was Forced To Eat Huge Plate's.. Of Food.. Soo That's Where My #Anorexia Began.. My Mother Would Alway's Over Served Plates Of Food... So I Didn't Like Being Called.. #fat #Chunky .. Etc.. Plus It's Also Where I Was Developing My #Anxiety #Depression ... I Wouldn't Eat Much And Would Make Myself Puke Until I Ended Up In The ER One Night... I'm Happy To Say That I'm Somewhat Free... From This Even Though Now I Litterly Watch My Weight And How Much I Eat Sadly... But I'm Happy At My Current Weight.. And As For My Look's I Have Never Considered Myself As A Beautiful Person... I Hate When Men Tell Me That I'm Beautiful To Them... Because In My Mind I'm Translating That They Just Want To Sleep With Me... And Try Not To Get To Know Me Kinda Thing... I Look Like I'm Alway's Pissed Off And The Truth Is That It's Not True... My Sleep Deprived And In Pain That's All... But I'm Also A Work In Progress... " × Sincerly, ☆ S.K. ☆ #Openingup

    10 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    A Snapshot in Time

    All it took was seconds and for my niece, it was a typical photo and second nature to quickly snap a photo of an encounter to remember. Little did she know what it actually was and proved to represent for me. As someone with both lifelong #AnorexiaNervosa and #BodyDysmorphicDisorder , photos are something to be avoided. Throughout the years, I could count the number of photos I’ve personally appeared on my hands, striving to avoid most of them. On the rare occasion a photo is snapped of me, often a personal judgmental dialogue ensues. Though at this particular moment, in celebration of my 34th birthday, with a beautiful cake placed in front of me, surrounded by my 7-year-old niece, Mom and sister, my niece rushed to grab her iPad to quickly document the moment. Without much time to say no and shield myself, she snapped the photo of all of us together; the first photo we all appeared in together in the years my niece has been alive. It was a moment that when I looked at the photos my niece took, symbolized sheer love and served as a revelation.

    Though I still am a work in progress, that moment for me represented growth as I sat with the torrent of emotions funneling through my mind. In a way, I was proud to have sat with those anxious worries of how I’d appear in the photo, choosing instead to focus on how beautiful documenting that moment actually was. Serving as the first photo of generations of women gathered together, it was a pivotal moment and one I knew would be filed away in my mind as a “snapshot memory,” one to be forever cherished and regarded. With my niece, snapping photos became a safe place, thereby freeing me of my fixation on chastising my appearance. That moment was not about my appearance, or self-image, but rather it was about commemorating a moment of togetherness, of love, of family and of my pride in the presence of those I love. It was a commemoration of 34-years of my tumultuous life coming full circle, facing my fears and powering through the difficult moments.

    Life for me still and probably will always be an endless work in progress, but as long as I’m still moving, still trying, still putting one foot in front of the other, still standing, it is worth the effort. To some, a photo may be just a photo, but to me, it is a sign of growth, of vulnerability and of my desire to confront the self-defeating flood of thoughts within my mind. The photo was about choosing life over isolation, over disconnecting and hiding; the photo was about stepping forward into the unknown and accepting I would be okay, no matter the outcome.

    At that moment, I wanted to teach my niece Brielle that while we can still experience fear within us, we can step forward anyway, quieting those worries and realizing our internal strength is much greater than what holds us back. Staring at the photo Brielle snapped of the women within our family circle, I stared not at the flaws of my face and body, but rather at the generations of women before me, focusing on the love and compassion between us and the remarkable ways in which we can heal.