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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

hey dk - sorry youve had a hard time with some health professionals. Sadly there is a lot of awareness raising that still needs to happen - even in the medical profession

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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Hey dk,
I am glad to hear that your daughter has now recovered from an eating disorder. It's a shame that some GPs and other health professionals don't view it as a real mental illness. I think awareness campaigns are helping with this, but unfortunately there are still a lot out there. I assume you eventually found a good health professional who assisted with your daughter's recovery? I think sometimes if your GP isn't helping, it might be a good idea to get a referral to a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are specially trained in treating mental illness (including eating disorders) so would offer more helpful advice than "just get over it".

Thanks for your thoughts.

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Also, having struggled with various eating disorders for many years (and having both family members and friends struggle from similar issues), I've always wondered if there were any useful and concrete ways of dealing with the guilt you feel after eating... it's such a complicated thing, because you truly can enjoy and want the food on one hand. And you can know that it's good for you, and important for your health to not restrict. But then it becomes both a positive and negative thing in several regards, so you kind of lose whether you eat or not... if you restrict, you're in control and not 'weak', but you're failing to be healthy and try to recover/treat yourself well. If you eat, you feel guilty for losing control yet also proud that you were able to quiet the negative voices for long enough to do something good. But then with that comes lots of other self destructive issues... do you *want* to do what is good for you, or do you want to cause yourself more harm? Do you want to recover, or would you rather punish yourself or achieve a desirable level of thinness? I could go on endlessly Smiley Sad 

I know that often, conventional treatments involve CBT and challenging thought processes surrounding eating and food. But they're very not practical for individuals with eating disorders, who often have very layered thoughts and meta--emotional commentaries going on in the back of their minds for whole days at a time.

Is there any treatment which has been proven effective in dealing with this kind of congitive maze of cyclical negativity?

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Hi dk!  That is so wonderful to hear that your daughter has recovered, that is no mean feat.  It is very frustrating that many medical professionals still don't quite understand ED's or how to treat them (ie. that they are a mental illness).  That's why it is important that when someone is suffering from an ED that they (where possible) find health professionals who specialise in ED's.  That can be a challenge in itself, but hopefully sooner than later health professionals will have a better understand of what ED's really are.  Butterfly are working on this through advocacy, awareness and education!

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Hey adrianhempfing, you definitely identified some of the key risk factors. I believe genetics and learned behaviour are also linked with eating disorders.
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Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Wow. Such amazing posts so far! It's great to hear all your thoughts!

 

Time for the next question 

 

What are some of the other mental health difficulties that can develop as a result of an eating disorder

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

speedofsound - yes guilt is a really tricky one.. and working with a professional to use the therapeutic techniques you mentioned to try and control negative thinking is a start but like you mentioned the internal commentaries can be complex with EDs... Danni do you know of successful treatments or would each individual need to work it out with their clinician?

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

Even in the media when mental health issues are being discussed I often find eating disorders are reported on as being centered around vanity and a desire to be "skinny". The low self esteem, self hatred, depresssion, OCD which accompanies them is so often ignored and those who struggle with them feel isolated, ashamed and embarassed.

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

What are some of the other mental health difficulties that can develop as a result of an eating disorder

 

I think depression is a big one. As well as generalised and social anxiety. I stopped being able to really leave the house because there were periods where I was so paranoid about what other people thought of my weight and physical appearance. I couldnt talk to people or look them in the eye, because I felt i was too overweight and hideous looking to really be worthy of them holding a conversation with me, or even looking at me. Which can create even more depression I think... they're all very entertwined. Days when you can't get out of bed because you're so concerned with how you look, leads to avoiding social situations, leads to a worsening of eating habits, and it goes in circles...

And i agree Sophie, i think guilt is at the core of a lot of those thoughts... and is responsible for maintaining the disorder in many ways!

Re: INFOBUS: Eating Disorders & Body Image

"What are some of the other mental health difficulties that can develop as a result of an eating disorder"

I think this is a tricky one because depression and anxiety can be both a risk factor and they can also develop as a result of an eating disorder... I don't think it's simple - it never is with mental health issues is it!

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com