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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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someday-we-fly Offline
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Question After Anorexia? - April 7th 2016, 10:51 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

It's been almost a year since I've stopped seeing my doctor for anorexia and my weight has been recovered, however even though it's been so long, I still can't help thinking about anorexia every day, and it really stresses me out. All these negative thoughts and all the things that happened when I had anorexia still haunt me and I don't know what to do. :|

I can't concentrate, my grades are slipping, and I just feel so hopeless. I don't know if this is depression, PTSD or whatever it is, and I don't want to go to a counselor or anything, because I'm supposed to be okay and I don't want to raise any red flags. I can't talk to my friends. because none of them know about my struggle with anorexia, and I am just unable to talk about my anorexia with anyone, because it makes me so anxious.

Will I ever get over anorexia? Or is it gonna be in my head everyday, haunting me? I honestly don't know what to do, because even though I am "recovered", it doesn't feel like it when the same thoughts run through my head 24/7.
   
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Re: After Anorexia? - April 8th 2016, 02:04 AM

Hey there.

I'm sorry to learn of your situation. Coping with anything alone is never easy, so I'm glad that you found us.

As you already seem to know, anorexia is as much of a mental condition as it is physical. This means that the treatment you receive needs to address both sides for it to be successful in the long term.

You say that you were under the care of your doctor, but did you get to see a psychiatrist or psychologist?

I do think that it is possible to be cured of anorexia, but only if you get the right support and manage to shift your perceptions (of food and of yourself).

Looking forward to hearing back from you!


Be kind to yourself.
   
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Re: After Anorexia? - April 8th 2016, 04:19 AM

I never saw a psychologist or psychiatrist, but just received out-patient treatment for weight recovery.

I have tried changing my perspective, and that was what helped me gain the weight back. However, it seems that no matter how hard I try, I always get back to square one, to anorexia. :/
   
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Re: After Anorexia? - April 8th 2016, 04:47 AM

Changing your perspective is not as easy as it sounds. You would need to unpick your mind, find out where this all started and what triggered it, deal with that and then start to alter your current thought patterns. This is all achieved through therapy, which needs to be done with a psychiatric professional. You cannot do it alone. Believe me when I say that.

I'm actually finding it difficult to comprehend that you only had treatment that was designed to help you gain weight. Perhaps things are different in the US, but here in the UK it is standard practice for anorexia sufferers to be referred to a psychiatric team. I'm sorry to learn that you weren't offered that service. Clearly they were thinking about the short term rather than the long term.

I don't mean to sound bleak, but unless you get some help from a psychiatrist/psychologist, I don't think you are ever going to be free of anorexia. Certainly not in the next few years anyway. And by then your grades will have been affected, as well as your state of mind (i.e. feeling more and more depressed about life).

I know you say y0u don't want to ask for any more help, but the fact is that you weren't given the right help in the first place. And you deserve to have that.

Yes, there may be people who think that you should be okay by now, but those people need to research anorexia and realise that sticking someone in an outpatient weight gain clinic is only half of the solution.

Do not feel that it is your fault for not being completely recovered. You weren't given a fair chance because you didn't get all the help you need.

I know that in the US healthcare has to be paid for by the patient and seeing a psychiatric professional is often quite expensive. If this is an issue then you could consider seeing a counsellor. But realistically, unless they had had specialist eating disorder training, I doubt that they would know what needs to be done. Most counsellors are, unfortunately, only helpful when it comes to emotional issues rather than diagnosed disorders.

Putting aside any feelings of guilt and thoughts of "I should be over this by now", do you think you would be able to talk to your parent(s) about this?



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Re: After Anorexia? - April 8th 2016, 06:20 PM

Hi there,

I can't say that these thoughts and feelings are going to stay or go away. Personally I have never struggled with anorexia but I do have bulimia and EDNOS. Someone very close to me has anorexia and I've gone to support groups with them and met people who are supposedly "recovered" but they always said they were still in recovery no matter how long they hadn't starved themselves for, no matter how long they hadn't had negative thoughts around food or eating etc. This is because they believed you could never be fully recovered. As an recovering alcoholic, we also say this at my AA group. We never say our name and say we used to be an alcoholic, no matter how long we've been sober or been free of the thoughts. We always say my name is ... and I'm an alcoholic and I think the same principles apply.

I'm not saying you're always going to feel this way and think this way. The feelings and thoughts will settle and you'll learn to manage to deal with them when they do flare up. Saying all this, I really want to encourage you to talk to someone even though this isn't something you want to do. Why? Because talking can really, really help. I know it's hard and I know it's scary but you don't deserve to suffer in this alone. Could you even book an appointment with your doctor to see them again? Or tell a friend about your struggles and talk to them about it. People love and care about you and want to help you but they can only do so if they know what is going on for you right now.

I know this is really hard and I wish I could make it easier for you but know if you want to talk, which I'll understand is hard for you, then I am always here. You're never on your own, okay? And you are stronger than this disorder.

Hope and wishes.
Jessie


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Re: After Anorexia? - April 8th 2016, 11:39 PM

I struggled with anorexia, and now, 4 years on, I can honestly say I do not experience or think eating disordered thoughts or urges.But from what I can tell I'm definitely in the minority here, and I think that's a result of circumstance more than anything else. I was weight restored by my parents, with the underlying threat that if I didn't eat 3 square meals a day etc etc on a meal plan I would be hospitalised. This was backed up by my outpatient team. As a result, eating became part of my routine again, as did several breakdowns a day . Eventually though, it seemed to become easier...the more I did it the easier it became. This was backed up by therapy and a hell of a lot of distraction- keeping as busy as humanely possible helped me, as well as a great support network. It took around 2 years from weight recovery to actually be mentally recovered and not experience the thoughts or urges. I definitely think it's possible, but recovery can mean different things to different people. It might be a case of learning to cope with the thoughts and fight against them, they might go, and I'm a firm believer that they will- but this is backed up by my experience, and I know a lot of people who continue to experience the thoughts, but to a lesser degree.

Keep going. I found it was easier to mentally recover once I was completely weight restored- are you at this point? I had to get there before I tacked the thoughts, and it was the most difficult thing ever, and I needed help to do it, I needed someone to keep me on the right track. Although it makes you anxious, I really believe getting the right help for you will help you massively.



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