December 22nd, 2006


Your diagnosis (or lack of) and its influence on your ED behavior

Long story short: I was made to go to an eating disorder assessment yesterday, and came out of it with a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa, purging subtype, and a recommendation that I take a leave of absence from school to attend an intensive outpatient program.

Since then, my thought process has been going along two separate tracks:
a) Shit, I have to start being healthier because I need to prove that I will comply with treatment, so they don't pull me out of school.
b) Anorexia? Hah, what does the doctor know? I don't restrict rigidly enough/am not nearly thin or sick enough to be truly anorexic, besides, I'm functioning just fine. I have to really start dieting in earnest now, so that I actually deserve the worry and financial burden I'm causing my parents.

I just can't quite bring myself to believe the doctor when she says "You have a bad eating disorder." (In my mind I'm just taking the diet a little too far, and, because I'm a gluttonous pig with no self-control, binging and purging so that I can eat without having the food stay in my body. And I have lots of excess weight to lose.) So now I feel like I have to live up to the role of an "anorectic", or a "person with an eating disorder" at the very least because as of right now, maybe I'm being a little less healthy than I should, but hell, I'm functioning just fine, aren't it? I'm doing ridiculous things in an attempt to satisfy both trains of thought - like eating more than I normally would for dinner (attempt to be healthy), purging it (unhealthy), buying some trail mix to eat since I purged dinner (healthy), the trail mix spiraling into a binge/purge (unhealthy), buying some Morningstar breakfast links because they have lots of protein and I need to be eating more protein (healthy)...and because they're low-calorie (unhealthy) - going back and forth like that constantly.

So basically since the appointment, despite being told that my body shows signs of malnutrition, that my blood tests show that my potassium and glucose are low (I don't know about my EKG yet because last I heard, they had misplaced it), that if I weren't on birth control that I'd be amenorrheic, that any weight I'm losing now is muscle (including heart & brain) - essentially, that I have been placing some real physical stress on myself - I've been torn between trying to be healthier in my habits, and resisting being healthier because if it's so simple for me to do that and eat more, that just further proves that I'm not sick and don't deserve the diagnosis and all the fuss that goes along with it. (Obviously that's sort of a silly and illogical way of looking at it - but it's lodged in my head.)

Discussion: How does your diagnosis (or lack of one) influence your ED behavior and habits? i.e., Do you feel like you have to meet some 'standard' because of your diagnosis? Do you feel not as 'legitimate' and driven to engage more in eating disordered behavior because you don't have a formal diagnosis?

All in Her Head

Original text may be found [here].

(Jan. 20, 2005) --Anorexia – the most deadly mental illness – is definitely not just about looking thin.

She didn't choose anorexia. I know that now, but that doesn't make it any easier to watch her starve herself, and fade away into nothing.

It's like a nightmare where you see the boogeyman and you know it's going to kill her so you warn her, but she can't see it, so she doesn't believe you, and then she dies.

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"Parents, teachers, babysitters, sisters, we need to all stand up and say, 'We are happy with ourselves, our bodies, the way they are.'"

I hope she makes it to that point, and someday, will be able to say she's happy with her body and really mean it. She's begun to take the first steps, at least. But right now she's angry much of the time. She's angry at her doctors and her parents because they are forcing her to eat and attend therapy sessions. I hope someday she will be able to realize that they saved her life.

Source: Monterrey Weekly


Note: This website actually is a fantastic resource for information on Anorexia Nervosa, Bigorexia (Muscle dysmorphia), Binge Eating Disorder (BED), Bulimia nervosa, Night-Eating Syndrome, Orthorexia nervosa, EDNOS, Pica, Prader-Willi Syndrome, so on and so forth. I suggest you check it out!
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