The first step to figuring things out is recognizing that you’ve got a problem, and you’ve come to the right place! If you’re feeling like your eating habits are suddenly out of control, don’t fit the “normal” eating habits of everyone around you, or are causing a stream of other seemingly unrelated problems, it’s possible that you do have an eating disorder. I urge you to read this fact sheet which lists the various types and can help you identify the one whose symptoms match your own, and I’d like to use this spa.....
The first step to figuring things out is recognizing that you’ve got a problem, and you’ve come to the right place! If you’re feeling like your eating habits are suddenly out of control, don’t fit the “normal” eating habits of everyone around you, or are causing a stream of other seemingly unrelated problems, it’s possible that you do have an eating disorder. I urge you to read this fact sheet which lists the various types and can help you identify the one whose symptoms match your own, and I’d like to use this space to explore.
Let’s explore a few things about your eating disorder:
First, what do you think has caused this obsession with food – either avoiding it or craving it outside of the regular realm of meal times? Some people develop eating disorders because they feel pressure to look a certain way, be a certain weight and shape. Their beginning and underlying thoughts are: I am not good enough. My body is not good enough. I can only be good enough if I am x kilos, otherwise I am worth nothing. So they watch every bite and count calories obsessively. Often it becomes an obsession so that even if their ideal goal weight is reached, the habit carries on and takes over their lives, often pushing their weights down to dangerously low numbers. This strict food control can be accompanied with or without excessive exercise. Because the person ingests an excessively small amount of calories, this disturbs the brain and can cause problems in concentration, feeling restless, tired, cold, empty, and lacking any energy. The lack of minerals and vitamins causes hair to fall out and skin to become blotchy and unhealthy. And more than anything – it takes over their life and mental energy. This particular eating disorder is called anorexia.
On the other hand, some people have the same underlying thoughts, triggered by the same feelings of shame and inadequacy about their bodies but their process of getting to their ideal goal weight or size or shape is through a different method: they eat, sometimes excessively bingeing, and then they vomit or use laxatives in order to “compensate” for eating. As this takes over their lives, the constant binge-vomit cycle creates kidney and liver problems and the acid from the vomiting rots their teeth. This is called bulimia, and as with every eating disorder, it is accompanied with feelings of self-disgust and shame. To break the eating disorder process into manageable parts, start by asking yourself what’s causing these feeling of shame, inadequacy and low self-worth. What are the specific thoughts that go through your head just before the actual binge/ vomit/ food control?
Second, what parts of your life have been affected? Your friendships, being able to talk to your family about it, your ability to concentrate and enjoy other activities? It might help to make a list of the effects – some people write short letters to themselves titled “Life Before Anorexia/ Bulimia etc” and “Life After…”.
Last, do consider reading the question “I overeat and hate my body and it’s making me depressed” for a more detailed understanding of the process of turning the eating disorder into a question of choice as opposed to feeling like it controls you and your life. Learning to view the eating disorder as something you choose because of certain thoughts you have about yourself can be a very empowering process and can make you feel less guilty and ashamed.
The most important thing here is not to self diagnose. Always go to a professonal who will do a detailed and thorough clinical evaluation after taking your history. The above is a general check and could differ from person to person and is not a replacement for medical diagnosis.
Hope this helps, if you have any other query do connect online for chat between 11am-8pm or drop us an offline message.
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