so,here's the short story:had anorexia nervosa for almost two years.I was in a pretty serious condition,and was living almost completely without food and i was down to 80 pounds(height 5'9).I then started to slowly recover but after a while i starting binging every-single-day for a couple of months.I felt horrible,and in the beginning i could convince myself that it was normal to binge,since my body was starving,my relationship with food was disturbed and i also needed to gain weight.But slowly,as i started to get the pounds back,i felt awful and started purging.I went on like this for about a year,at the age of 17.Every night i went to sleep terrified that i could die in my sleep from electrolyte imbalance.I didn't act on it though and i finally stopped it at some point.Then,until today(18 years old),i started the disgusting habit of chew and spit.So i wanted to ask:has anybody been through anything similar?i just need to know if you got through it and how.I can't take this anymore....it's just that I'm tired of this.This whole thing has brought my life upside down.Please,any help is welcome.
You need to seek professional therapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy.
The restriction eating disorder spectrum includes: anorexia, restrict/binge, bulimia, orthorexia (extreme attention to eating healthy foods, long lists of forbidden foods), and anorexia athletica (restriction through exercise).
A third of the population have the genetic predisposition to end up on this spectrum. The most common activator of the genes is that first diet. Where you end up on the spectrum, how it progresses and resolves is up to a myriad environmental inputs (family, culture, friends, media).
You have never recovered because the condition in neurological, so weight gain doesn't solve the restrictive behaviors you have developed to respond to the anxieties of body image, food and weight gain.
That is why CBT is highly recommended -- you rewire your brain to recover completely from the disorder.
And yes, it is normal to binge. Bingeing is not a disorder unless you are on the binge eating disorder spectrum and you cannot be because those genes have no overlap with the restriction eating disorder spectrum.
Non-ED women binge. In fact, 2/3 binge once a month at least. It modulates serotonin during their menstrual cycle and they do not gain weight as a result.
ED women cannot binge -- they are only reactively eating in response to severe restriction.
When a patient is in recovery, she should expect to enormous amounts of food (3000-6000 calories a day for several months) because she has to not only gain weight but also has to provide a huge amount of excess energy to repair all the damage that starvation has caused.
Unfortunately when a patient is not guided well through recovery she often panics at eating that amount and begins to find other ways to restrict in response to that anxiety (restrict/binge cycles, bulimia, etc.).
You are in a full relapse and need professional support. See your doctor now and get a referral to a therapist who practices CBT. Given how severe your first round of anorexia was, you need to get the professionals involved now.
Presumably your recovery effort in your earlier teens must have involved professional support -- you need to get in touch with them now. And where are your parents in all of this? They need to be involved if you are still under their roof or even away at college and supported by them.
Your chances of complete recovery are very, very good at this point, so don't delay and act on that current feeling that you really can't take this anymore.
Best of luck in getting into recovery again now.
thank you so much.seriously,this helped a lot.ill follow your advice.
i'm sorry that you are going through pain and fear. my best advice is this link by hedgren. it's really helpful for a beginner. best of luck persa!
haven't really got anything to add to what has already been said, except to tell you that there is a way out of this, no matter how bleak things look. Loads of us here are battling ED's and winning - slowly but surely! - and you can too.
best of luck :-)
Almost always does recovery include professional treatment, but that can include a strong outpatient treatment intervention. Individuals with this condition can get better with professional therapy, but may also turn to bulimia, chew and spit, relapse, or may die if not treated properly.
Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all psychosomatic ilnesses today. The disorder, however, is curable. But it requires professional help, and the sooner it is started, the better the chances for reversibility and cure.
You should set-up a team of doctors. Ideally, doctors to monitor your health (i.e. doctor of internal medicine), nutritionist, and counselor for cognitive therapy. It is important to have doctors that have and do work with ED patients. It is also important you have support from your parents in this and stop lying to them. You need to have a serious conversation with them and make appointments to see doctors.
Seldom can anorexics overcome the problem by themselves (ie. only you). They strongly deny their condition. They find ways to hide it or deceive friends and relatives.
Many of the changes induced by anorexia nervosa can be reversed. If the condition worsens or do not fully recover you can cause permanent and irreversible damage. This happened to me (ie. tendons, hypothyroidism, and many other things). You do not realize how ill you are and the damage you have done to your body on a cellular level.
As I mentioned before, almost always does recovery need professional treatment. Intially, you cannot do this alone.
Most ED patients are not prepared for the phases they must push through.
The first stage is to eat 2500 calories a day and build up from there for both weight gain and repair. Anything less and your metabolism remains suppressed and tries to hang on to what little energy is coming in but it's not enough to stop the damage, let alone heal it.
You can gain up to 20 lbs that is temporary water retention in the first couple of months. Usually, not weighing yourself through the first couple of months is a good idea. The body conserves water initially because water is so critical for internal repair. I had hoarded a lot of water in the beginning of recovery. It was uncomfortable, but you have to keep going.
Most individuals in recovery do relapse because of the rapid weight gain. But know that all the fat is laid down for a purpose and is temporary. Mainly the mid-section, buttocks, thighs. You will be bloated both due to the digestive system having to ramp up to function again and feel huge due to the fat deposits. This is the period where you have to keep pushing forward becuase the fat hoarding is temporary.
I suggest you stop weighing yourself as the weight is not a relevant read given the water retention.
Make appointments with a nutritionist, a meal plan for each day that 2500 calories. Don't log calories, just eat everything on the meal plan throughout the entire day.
It takes hundreds of thousands of calories (energy) to repair that damage. While you need proper fat stores as part of that repair, it's by no means where all the calorie intake is going to go.
I know you are terrified and confused. Try to limit the habits that can turn into triggers....like weighing yourself or logging calories and percentages.
Don't allow anything less than full-fat options of foods. Stop with a no calorie-light, sugar or fat-free anything. Replace every one of those things that you own currently
Lastly, start a lot of self-talk and journaling to cope with moments of fear and anxiety. Make an effort to self educate yourself by learning mechanisms that can help you remain strong in recovery. Try to look at recovery as a fresh start to a new and healthy life without the ED. Challenge yourself. This is a journey where it takes a certain attitude to conque every impediment during recovery. Remain strong...remain tough and face your fears.
I can honestly say I am fully recovered and reached a very healthy weight of 149 (heavier than I expected), but I know it is just a phase and temporary. Doctors and the hospital wanted me to do inpatient treatment and I was almost forced against my will...however I was determined to fight this with a strong outpatient treatment. I hope you don't have a near death experience as major wake up call and permanant damage done to your body.
You can message me anytime :) I don't want to sound pompus, but I have been there and never relapsed during my recovery and have a lot of knowledge in this field. We are here for support and I want you to know recovery will have its up and downs...but having support is key.
Yes yes yes. I basically transitioned from anorexia to bulimia. You are not alone.
And it is emotional hell. I really can't give any advice though, since I'm still struggling, and nothing seems to be working :/
Your situation mirrors the past 6 yrs of my life. I began with anorexia which turned to binge eating when I was forced to recover. At first I told myself that it was ok because I needed to gain. However, after a little while I panicked and started purging/chewing & spitting /over-exercising/ restricting etc for the next 4 -5 years.
I am currently trying to get myself back on track because as you know this is no way to live. The best advice I can give you is to seek professional help as the others have recommended, and to keep the calories up so that you do not enter the binge/restrict cycle. Restricting your calories will always be harmful as it will keep you in the anorexic mindset.
I really wish the best for you, I can understand the hell you are going through. Take care my dear xo