Bulimia Nervosa

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Bulimia Nervosa
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    Community Voices


    I am having a hard time dealing with my 17yo son who has severe ADHD and mental illness. I b/p yesterday bc I couldn’t cope with my feelings. I’m feeling like I can’t handle these issues in my life.

    Community Voices

    Forgive Yourself

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

    Surviving an eating disorder

    Did you know that anorexia is one of the deadliest mental illnesses? Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses yet we barely ever hear about them. I don't think there is enough awareness or education surrounding eating disorders which is why I am so thankful for today's podcast guest. Suz Carpenter struggled with Bulimia most of her life. She was so ashamed that she kept it a secret even from her husband. It wasn't until someone asked her a profound question that she knew she needed to get help and change her life.

    Listen to today's episode to learn more about eating disorders and Suz's powerful story of courage and hope.


    #BulimiaNervosa #Bulimia #EatingDisorders #EatingDisorder #podcastepisode #MentalHealthAwareness #MentalIllness #MentalHealth

    Community Voices

    I really wanna binge and purge.

    I feel so addicted. Like it’s a drug. I know it’s bad for me, but I want to make myself b/p. #BulimiaNervosa

    Community Voices
    Community Voices
    Kelly Douglas

    How Eating Disorder Treatment Can Both Help and Hurt You

    Many people who live with eating disorders end up seeking treatment at for-profit eating disorder treatment centers. Though everyone’s treatment experiences look different, eating disorder treatment centers typically strive to help clients process their feelings surrounding their eating disorders and heal their relationships with food. Although some treatment centers successfully help clients reach full recovery, there are still a variety of areas in which treatment centers as a whole can improve. For National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I asked current and former eating disorder treatment clients from all walks of life what eating treatment centers do well and how they can improve. Here’s what they had to say. What Eating Disorder Treatment Centers Do Well 1. Eating disorder treatment centers may save lives in life-or-death situations. “[Eating disorder treatment centers] save lives when it’s a matter of life or death.” -Adele 2. Eating disorder treatment centers may treat co-occurring trauma. “I like when [eating disorder] treatment centers also treat trauma because eating disorders have a connection to trauma in many cases.” -Tali “I think a lot of [eating disorder treatment centers] are equipped with a lot of trauma-informed practices for things like abuse.” -Rebecca 3. Eating disorder treatment centers may employ therapists with a variety of backgrounds. “I felt that having a Latina therapist that led groups every other day was really key in my path to recovery. Having someone whose background was similar to mine — with whom I shared a language, customs, and traditions — helped me open up. She understood the cultural nuances that explained a lot of my trauma.” -Mishna 4. Eating disorder treatment centers may build community. “I think eating disorder treatment centers build community well… and that can be… a strength if it’s addressed properly. I have come out of inpatient and residential treatment for my eating disorder with amazing friends and supports, some of which are still close to me in my life now… I think that we become very close with peers and staff in treatment, and it’s a matter of how we navigate those relationships.” -Jocelyn 4. Eating disorder treatment centers may foster independence in recovery. “[The eating disorder treatment center I went to] would take us grocery shopping with the aid of the dietician. That really helped me become more independent in my ED recovery.” -Rebecca 5. Eating disorder treatment centers may affirm clients on their good days and support clients on their harder days. “The best treatment centers I’ve been to have given clients opportunities to affirm each other — both on ‘good’ days and days that are harder. At those treatment centers, staff would also make themselves available to help clients when they were having a hard time. It was clear to me that these centers truly cared about their clients at every stage of recovery and wanted to create a supportive, recovery-motivated environment.” -Kelly 6. Eating disorder treatment centers can help clients bond with people in similar circumstances. “[Because of my time in treatment, I gained] a few of my… best friends!” -Anna What Eating Disorder Treatment Centers Need to Improve 1. Eating disorder treatment centers could treat a wider variety of eating disorders. “[Many eating disorder treatment centers] don’t really treat [avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)] or [binge-eating disorder (BED)].  They are [often] so focused on anorexia and bulimia [that] I haven’t been able to find the treatment I need.” -Tali “[Treatment centers often] cater to restrictive [eating disorders] and people with ARFID [and] BED are [often] made to feel very out-of-place because [these centers usually] do not give much support at all for anything besides anorexia.” -Anna 2. Eating disorder treatment centers could be equipped to treat clients with all types of physical and emotional needs. “[In residential treatment], I shared a room with three other women, which as an introvert was very overwhelming. We [also] went to different buildings throughout the day, but as someone with a physical disability, I found it hard to keep up. In my experience, I’ve usually been one of the first people with a disability that my [eating disorder] providers in treatment have had. I have yet to find [an eating disorder treatment center] that treats medical trauma [as well as other types of trauma].” -Rebecca “[Treatment centers] often cannot [or] do not accommodate [people with] physical illnesses. The schedule is [also typically] way too structured and busy for someone with chronic fatigue. Being forced to stay awake for 16 to 18 hours straight and told to stand in groups if you can’t stay awake doesn’t work for people like me who need [at least] 11 hours of sleep and naps.” -Adele 3. Eating disorder treatment centers could personalize food challenges to fit each client’s needs. “I was always yearning to receive challenges that felt personal to me [in treatment]… The food challenges seemed generic, and I wish they had tailored them to each person. It sometimes made me feel bad when I saw others not struggling with the challenge meal.” -Mishna 4. Eating disorder treatment centers could find ways to feel less competitive. “Putting a bunch of competitive and sick people together and then adding stress (food and change) [can make it easy for things] to go wrong. There’s [often] so much competition in treatment, and comparisons [with other clients can be] detrimental.” -Adele 5. Eating disorder treatment centers could update how they treat eating disorders over time. “In my opinion, treatment for eating disorders is [often] very outdated. [I have been in and out of treatment] since I was 13, [but mostly] nothing has changed. [Some companies] are very black-and-white with the way they go about [care]… and there is [often] no diversity at all. The environments can feel very toxic, staff may have [few] or no boundaries and [often are not] held accountable for it, and most of them [seem] so burnt-out that they [may] barely function as supportive staff members. They could hire more diverse people [in terms of] size, race, [sexual orientation and gender].” -Anna 6. Eating disorder treatment centers could treat clients intersectionally. “Eating disorder treatment is often equipped to treat one type of client, and that’s typically a client who is considered a ‘majority’ in society in many ways. I think treatment centers need to hire staff that respect and affirm clients’ minority backgrounds and also need to be better equipped to accommodate clients with disabilities and to accept clients who may have difficulty finding treatment due to their genders or other aspects of their backgrounds. Everyone deserves affirming, accessible eating disorder treatment!” -Kelly 7. Eating disorder treatment centers could dismantle practices that cause clients trauma. “In the eating disorder [treatment] world, punishment is still [often] run-of-the-mill, despite current literature and studies suggesting punishment and ‘breaking’ people doesn’t work. I have been put in solitary for three weeks straight to try to ‘break’ me.’” -Adele “[Eating disorder] treatment left me with severe trauma. In order to improve, I think ED [treatment] centers need to completely restructure — get rid of restraint, seclusion, force-feeding, and carceral practices — as well as create a more diverse space for people [with] all types of [eating disorders] and [from all] backgrounds.” -Jocelyn Eating disorder treatment centers can help some clients reach recovery, but there is also plenty for them to improve upon. Hopefully, they’ll listen to the clients they serve and will be able to make changes that will help as many clients as possible seek out treatment that truly serves their needs.

    Learning About and Living With Bulimia

    According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 30 million women and men will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Bulimia is characterized by binge eating, often with high caloric foods followed by purging. If not stopped, it can cause major health concerns. Bulimia does not discriminate against race, sex, weight, body type or socioeconomic status. Many people struggle with this life-threatening illness. So, why is this disorder so misunderstood? Through my personal experience, I’d like to provide some insight. 1. Development of bulimia Bulimia, along with other eating disorders, has been stereotyped as only related to weight. It’s important to understand that this is not always true. Yes, social idealization of being thin can be a culprit, but environmental factors often contribute to the development of eating disorders. This was true for me. In my experience, trauma played a role. Sexual abuse, constant emotional and physical torture from high school bullies, along with a loss as a young adult left me emotionally scarred. Over time, depression set in. This was the beginning of the foundational cracks in my mental health. On the verge of an eating disorder, you are often unaware of what is happening to you. So when one emotional evening had me eating too much, I got painfully bloated. I purged for the first time. The release felt good. There were no thoughts about weight. Only loss and pain. Because of my emotional state, somehow the release I felt made me feel better, emotionally. On days I felt down, I ate junk and the cycle repeated. Before I knew it, what had been manifesting over time, suddenly had a strong, overpowering grip on me. It’s important to know that something that causes a negative impact on your psyche has the potential to manifest into something destructive. 2. A day in the life of a bulimic Dopamine is released during overeating, which creates a sensation of pleasure and euphoria. This process allows us to continue the behavior so that we feel good again. It’s an addiction. I lost a little weight and was complimented on the way I looked. I welcomed it. I lacked self-esteem, so the more compliments I received, the better I felt. For something that had nothing to do with weight, it soon became all about it. I told myself that I was going to stop once I’d reached my goal. I never did. Still, I thought I was in control. A day in the life of a bulimic consists of being consumed with thoughts of food. Every minute of every day. Food cravings, ingredients, calories. How food would impact the scales. A tug of war between “I’m going to be good today!” and the consequences of failing. Guilt immediately after eating and more so knowing you’d purge. This immediately turns to disgust once the inevitable has happened. Apprehension and panic take hold. Will everything come up? When you feel lightheaded or pass out, this quickly switches to, “maybe I should have left a little inside to keep me going.” On the outside, I would put on a façade. Behind closed doors, I was depressed and felt as though I didn’t want to go on. 3. Changes in behavior I became obsessive and compulsive. The daily battle was intensifying. The me I once knew morphed and I became irritable and had aggressive outbursts. I was deceitful and found myself doing things I could never have imagined. Lying, treating people disrespectfully, stealing. 4. The truth about bulimia Many don’t understand why they become bulimic. I believe it’s one of the contributory factors of relapse. They are treating the symptom and not the cause. Many bulimics look healthy. It can disrupt personal and family dynamics. You can be bulimic even if you eat healthy meals between purges. This is not a choice. It’s a serious illness. There’s an increased risk for suicide and medical complications Misconception: Those battling bulimia can stop at any time. Those tormented by bulimia make frequent trips to the bathroom after meals and often abuse laxatives. They drink excessive amounts of water when consuming food. You may see scars over the knuckles. 5. Setbacks and triggers Setbacks are to be expected. I can attest to this. The sequence of binging and purging can be triggered in response to stress and anxiety. The feeling of guilt and being a failure for slipping up, adds to this. 6. Side effects of bulimia Cardiovascular complications Syncope, from dehydration and lack of nutrition Memory loss and lack of concentration Digestive issues Esophageal damage Hair loss and dry skin and nails Dental problems Menstrual irregularities And more… 7. Road to recovery A strong support system is crucial. Positive reinforcement for all the small steps that are made towards recovery are encouraged. Supporters: these words of encouragement are for you. The more I learned, the more I realized why I hadn’t been successful in my recovery. The key to it all was nourishing your mind, body and soul. It isn’t enough to eat healthy and hope that nothing triggers a purge. Staying strong emotionally and physically through exercise is important, but isn’t enough. Dealing with past trauma is a crucial part of healing, but on its own, it isn’t enough. Taking time to yourself to reflect and relax, giving back and being grateful for what you have, all have healing properties, but that too isn’t enough. You need mind, body and spiritual fulfillment. Win your battle with bulimia! To those that are fighting their own battle: Here is a letter from me to you . Take the first step on your journey to a more fulfilled life…   By Shani-Lee Wallis Author of “War with Myself: Achieving Victory in the Battle with Bulimia.”

    Community Voices

    What was the turning point in deciding to seek help for your eating disorder?

    <p>What was the turning point in deciding to seek help for your <a href="https://themighty.com/topic/eating-disorders/?label=eating disorder" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce7a00553f33fe991c1e" data-name="eating disorder" title="eating disorder" target="_blank">eating disorder</a>?</p>
    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    I have a meal I am supposed to eat. But I can’t. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to follow through? #eatingameal #eatingdisordersupport

    Hi there 👋.
    So I don’t have any professional supports, or even a diagnosed
    #EatingDisorder (it’s a long story, including dismissal from professionals, invalidation of my concerns and friends accusing me of ‘wanting to have an ED’ 🙄 so ridiculous I can’t even explain how wrong this is) I’ve long believed I have an #EatingDisorder but because I can’t get help from professionals I’m trying to do this alone.
    I don’t fit any of the ‘stereotypical EDs’ such as #AnorexiaNervosa #BulimiaNervosa #BingeEatingDisorder and I don’t count calories (which was the main basis that I was told by my doctors that I ‘don’t have an ED’) and would be closer to either #ednos or #arfid if I was to have a diagnosis. I don’t want another diagnosis, I have PLENTY. It’s not about that. But, at least if I did have a diagnosis, it would be easier to get help. Like I’d be able to say to someone ‘please help me with x’ and even here, I’d be able to use the hashtags most relevant! And this all makes it worse, because then I think ‘well if they say I don’t have a problem, then I mustn’t have a problem so it’s okay to continue what I’m doing’, which is damaging in itself.
    So! I have a meal for lunch I have planned I need to eat. I’m doing this by myself, so it’s hard. I know I need to eat this food, I know it’s fuel for my body, I know I deserve to eat and I know that I am worth health and happiness. I know I am worth eating (that sounds weirdly phrased).
    The meal only needs to be heated. And it’s been over two hours since I had planned to eat my lunch, and it’s still in the fridge. I don’t know how to get through the barrier of going through the process of having my meal. I don’t know how to get myself to open the fridge, pull out the meal, heat it, and then eat it. And because I’m trying to help myself, I don’t know what strategies would be best to use to help me through.
    Does anyone have suggestions?
    Thank you ❤️ (and thank you for reading this whole thing!)

    3 people are talking about this