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TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Hey Everyone, 

 

This is my first time asking for help or suggestions this forum. I hope I am doing it right. hehe

So basically I had an ED and was in treatment last year. Intense FBT. I moved away to a full time dance school for yr 12 but because of corona I had to move back to my old school. I have been there for two weeks and I feel like it is such a toxic environment (and being back at home) because my mental health is already suffering. Anyway I hadn't had ED thoughts in a while, they came up today and I received some support at school. I am confused at why this happened as I have been good for so long and haven't had thoughts but todays thoughts were so strong. Has anyone experienced a toxic environment and what impact has it had?

Thanks

"Take the leap of faith, talk up, speak out, be open."

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Hello @LeapofFaith, sorry to hear that the environments you have been in lately have been impacting your mental health. It must have been really difficult for you to have to change schools and environments again. I just wanted to quickly let you know that I have had to edit some of your post to make sure that it fits in with our community guidelines Heart

Sorry to hear that you were having some strong thoughts today. Do you have much supports available to you now that you could discuss these thoughts with? Would you be feel comfortable talking to the school counsellor about what has been happening?

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Hi @LeapofFaith. I'm also sorry to hear that you're struggling with those thoughts again as I know how obtrusive they can become. 

I really resonate with your post, I struggled with an ED when I was living in Melbourne and doing year 10 then moved to Byron Bay to finish high school and found my eating habits and thoughts were really good and I didn't have any troubles. I've now moved back down to Melbourne to study UNI and have found myself slipping into old ED thought patterns also.

For me personally, I feel it has a lot to do with the expectations of how one should look living in a city. Even though it may not be prevalent to me externally that I need to look a certain way, I find that its almost embedded into my mind that I need to look a certain way to be 'accepted' in society here. 

Because I've been able to recognize this unconscious program of how I've told myself I need to look, I've been able to make attempts to try and change that and rewire how I think about myself.

 

Why do you think that the environment you're currently in causes you to have those kinds of thoughts? Are there any things that you can do that you know help you maintain a positive mental health?  

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

@letsheal @Sophia-RO Thank you so much for your response.

 

I am a dancer and find that dance really helps my. mental health. 

I have a school social worker and I have support but only a small as I cannot get her to the point of calling my parents. 

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Hey @LeapofFaith

 

I totally agree with @letsheal, your environment, and how you perceive it can have a huuuuge impact on how we also perceive ourselves - something that can be particularly difficult if we already have a complicated relationship with our bodies and how we view ourselves. I think another big factor can be our existing stress levels and how we are coping with life in general. Unfortunately mental health is one of those things that we have to continuously check in with, as stuff we thought we sorted out can pop up again from time to time. In the same way that we might be more likely to get sick when we are tired or overworked, the same thing can happen with our mental health. Have you been stressed or feeling run down recently?

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

@Andrea-RO 

 

Surprisingly I haven't. Which has been so great however made me more confused when I started getting these thoughts again. 

 

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Ah True! sometimes, when big changes happen it can take some time for our brain to adjust, so potentially it could be that as well? How have you been coping with these thoughts popping up tho, are you going ok?

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Hey @LeapofFaith, I'm sorry to hear those thoughts are coming back, it's super scary to see the signs of your past mind returning without knowing why Smiley Sad I'm wondering if it could be because of your return to your old environment that it's become a habit that you picked up, or a coping mechanism. Just like you're used to your morning routine your body has also gotten used to worrying about your eating and body image when you're there, perhaps using it as an unhealthy outlet for expressing your own struggle with this toxic environment. Are there any healthy coping mechanisms that you found yourself using when you were in a happier environment?

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

Thank you @StormySeas17 @Andrea-RO 

I appreciate the responses! I took a few days offline to take care of the issue!

 

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Re: TW: Eating disorder/Toxic environments

It's so cool that you're a dancer @LeapofFaith! I was too uncoordinated to be good at dancing when I was younger. It's great that you've found something that you love which helps you manage your mental health.
Family environments can be such a big trigger for eating disorders. Smiley Sad I had a family member who developed one when a lot of stressful things were going on in the family and there was a lot of arguing at the time. This was a long time ago and thankfully they're better now.
I'm glad that you've managed to receive some support at school and that you're feeling better now. Smiley Happy