It is currently Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:38 pm

Free Newsletter

Eating Disorders

Anything and everything about leading a healthy lifestyle.

Moderator: Moderators

Eating Disorders

Postby electrongirl » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:16 pm

We are all trying to lose weight and hopefully we are all doing it in a sensible and healthy way. Sadly there are people who don't and I thought putting this up might show us all how terrible it can get.


Eating disorders warning signs
Because everyone today seems concerned about weight, and because most people diet at least once in a while, it is hard to tell what is normal behavior and what is a problem that may escalate to threaten life and happiness. No one person will show all of the characteristics listed below, but people with eating disorders will manifest several.

In addition, the early stages of an eating disorder can be difficult to define. When does normative dieting become a health and emotional problem? When does weight loss cross the line and become pathological? Answering these questions is hard, especially when the person has not yet lost enough weight to qualify for a clinical diagnosis. Nevertheless, the questions are important. The sooner an eating disorder is treated, the easier it is for the person to recover. If warning signs and symptoms are allowed to persist until they become entrenched behaviors, the person may struggle for years before s/he can turn the problem around.



Food behaviors

The person skips meals, takes only tiny portions, will not eat in front of other people, eats in ritualistic ways, and mixes strange food combinations. May chew mouthfuls of food but spits them out before swallowing. Grocery shops and cooks for the entire household, but will not eat the tasty meals. Always has an excuse not to eat -- is not hungry, just ate with a friend, is feeling ill, is upset, and so forth.

Becomes "disgusted" with former favorite foods like red meat and desserts. Will eat only a few "safe" foods. Boasts about how healthy the meals s/he does consume are. Becomes a "vegetarian" but will not eat the necessary fats, oils, whole grains, and the denser fruits and veggies (such as sweet potatoes and avocados) required by true vegetarianism. Chooses primarily low-fat items with low levels of needed nutrients, foods such as lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, and so forth.

Usually has a diet soda in hand. Drastically reduces or completely eliminates fat intake. Reads food labels religiously. If s/he breaks self-imposed rigid discipline and eats normal or large portions, excuses self from the table to vomit and get rid of the calories.

Or, in contrast to the above, the person gorges, usually in secret, emptying cupboards and refrigerator. May also buy special high-calorie binge food. If panicked about weight gain, may purge to get rid of the calories. May leave clues that suggest discovery is desired -- empty boxes, cans, and food packages; foul smelling bathrooms; running water to cover sounds of vomiting; excessive use of mouthwash and breath mints; and in some cases, containers of vomit poorly hidden that invite discovery.

Sometimes the person uses laxatives, diet pills, water pills, or "natural" products from health food stores to promote weight loss. May abuse alcohol or street drugs, sometimes to deaden appetite, sometimes to escape emotional pain, and usually in hopes of feeling better, at least temporarily.



Appearance and body image behaviors
The person loses, or tries to lose, weight. Has frantic fears of weight gain and obesity. Wears baggy clothes, sometimes in layers, to hide fat or hide emaciation and stay warm. Obsesses about clothing size. Complains that s/he is fat even though others truthfully say this is not so. S/he will not believe them.

Spends lots of time inspecting self in the mirror and usually finds something to criticize. Detests all or specific parts of the body, especially belly, thighs, and buttocks. Insists s/he cannot feel good about self unless s/he is thin, and s/he is never thin enough to satisfy her/himself.



Exercise behaviors
The person exercises excessively and compulsively. May tire easily, keeping up a harsh regimen only through sheer will power. As time passes, athletic performance suffers. Even so, s/he refuses to change excessively demanding routines.

May develop strange eating patterns, supposedly to enhance athletic performance. May consume sports drinks and supplements, but total calories are less than what an active lifestyle requires.

Up to five percent of high school girls and seven percent of middle-school girls have tried steroids in attempts to get bigger and stronger in sports and also to reduce body fat and control weight. Some say they don't mind gaining weight as long as it's muscle weight, not fat. Male abuse of steroids is also well documented. (Statistics provided by Charles Yesalis, professor of health and human development at Pennsylvania State University, 2005. Some studies show that steroid use in young people is even higher.)



Thoughts and beliefs
In spite of average or above-average intelligence, the person thinks in magical and simplistic ways, for example, "If I am thinner, I will feel better about myself." S/he loses the ability to think logically, evaluate reality objectively, and admit and correct undesirable consequences of choices and actions.

In spite of average or above-average intelligence, the person thinks in magical and simplistic ways, for example, "If I am thinner, I will feel better about myself." S/he loses the ability to think logically, evaluate reality objectively, and admit and correct undesirable consequences of choices and actions.

Becomes irrational and denies that anything is wrong. Argues with people who try to help, and then withdraws, sulks, or throws a tantrum. Wanting to be special, s/he becomes competitive. Strives to be the best, the smallest, the thinnest, and so forth.

Has trouble concentrating. Obsesses about food and weight and holds to rigid, perfectionistic standards for self and others.

Is envious of thin people in general and thinner people in particular. Seeks to emulate them.

Not all, but a subset of people with eating disorders think they do not deserve to eat or enjoy tasty food. They starve, stuff, or purge in deliberate attempts to punish themselves. They may also cut their flesh or otherwise hurt themselves. Some want to become increasingly debilitated, even suffer the indignities of tube feedings and IVs, and eventually weaken and die. They see this not as a cry for help or attention, or an attempt to control their lives, but as well-deserved punishment for misperceived flaws and misdeeds. Their extreme self-hatred must be dealt with in therapy if they are to recover.



Feelings
Has trouble talking about feelings, especially anger. Denies anger, saying something like, "Everything is OK. I am just tired and stressed." Escapes stress by turning to binge food, exercise, or anorexic rituals.

Becomes moody, irritable, cross, snappish, and touchy. Responds to confrontation and even low-intensity interactions with tears, tantrums, or withdrawal. Feels s/he does not fit in and therefore avoids friends and activities. Withdraws into self and feelings, becoming socially isolated.

Feels inadequate, fearful of not measuring up. Frequently experiences depression, anxiety, guilt, loneliness, and at times overwhelming emptiness, meaninglessness, hopelessness, and despair.



Self-harm and self-injury
In some people the above mentioned feelings are overwhelming, too many and too strong to be endured. To cope, to release the pain, to escape it, to distract themselves, some people hurt their bodies. They cut their flesh or burn it. They bang their heads or swallow foreign objects. They report that while they are engaged in self-harm, they experience peace, tranquility and calm -- a sense of being grounded after feeling tossed about by chaos and misery -- at least for a while, until stress and tension mount again.

In some cases, past trauma (especially sexual abuse) has been so devastating that all feelings have been numbed. Then the person self-injures in order to feel something, anything.

In spite of appearances, the person who self-injures is not consciously trying to commit suicide. Neither is s/he "only" seeking attention. Self-harm is frequently a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder, a problem that often co-exists with an eating disorder. Treatment is available and can be combined with treatment for an eating disorder. Evaluation by a mental health care provider is essential. Since people who hurt themselves can inadvertantly create a medical crisis, sooner is better than later.



Social behaviors
Tries to please everyone and withdraws when this is not possible. Tries to take care of others when s/he is the person who needs care. May present self as needy and dependent or conversely as fiercely independent and rejecting of all attempts to help. Anorexics tend to avoid sexual activity. Bulimics may engage in casual or even promiscuous censored.

Person tries to control what and where the family eats. To the dismay of others, s/he consistently selects low-fat, low-sugar non-threatening -- and unappealing -- foods and restaurants that provide these "safe" items.

Relationships tend to be either superficial or dependent. Person craves true intimacy but at the same time is terrified of it. As in all other areas of life, anorexics tend to be rigidly controlling while bulimics have problems with lack of impulse control that can lead to rash and regrettable decisions about censored, money, stealing, commitments, careers, and all forms of social risk taking.



Other behaviors
Eating disorders frequently occur in combination with other problems. All of the following deserve professional attention in their own right. When they appear in the company of an eating disorder, the need for professional attention is even more urgent to prevent harm or death:

Alcohol abuse
Abuse of prescription medications (including insulin, Ritalin, and pain killers)
Abuse of recreational drugs (speed, cocaine, steroids, diet pills, so-called club drugs, etc.)
Abuse of laxatives and diuretics (water pills)
Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
Threats of suicide or suicide attempts
Cutting, burning, hair pulling or other self-harm behaviors
Rage attacks
Placing oneself in dangerous situations
Homicidal threats or attempts
Stealing and other criminal acts
Any other behaviors that can logically be expected to bring harm to self or others.
A relatively recent development in eating disorders pathology is the use of illegal steroids by both males and females to help build muscle and improve shape. About 12 percent of adolescent boys and 8 percent of adolescent girls report using such a substance in the past year. About 4.7 percent of the boys and 1.6 percent of the girls say they use supplements to enhance their appearance once or more a week. These adolescents say they want to be toned and firm, like people in movies, TV or magazines, and they are willing to risk the health consequences of steroid abuse to achieve that look. In this study, nearly as many boys as girls had body-image concerns. (Field, Austin, Camargo, et al, Pediatrics, August 1, 2005)

Steroids, of course, have serious side effects including severe acne, smaller breasts in women, smaller genitalia in men, deeper, more masculine voices in women; irregular or absent menstrual periods; impaired fertility; excess facial hair; excess body hair; depression; paranoia; and out-of-proportion anger ('rhoid rage). Steroids can stunt the height of growing adolescents, and lead to premature heart attacks, strokes, liver tumors, kidney failure and serious psychiatric problems. In addition, because steroids are often injected, users risk contracting or transmitting HIV and hepatitis.



On a somber note, a few last thoughts
As you read through the thoughts and behaviors that suggest an eating disorder, you will see that many, if not stopped, can lead to permanent disability and even death. If you are not yet ready to give up these dangerous and unhealthy practices, please, for your sake and the sake of people who love you, write down on paper your wishes should something dire happen to you.

None of us, especially young people, like to think that we might die or slip into a permanent vegetative state because of our own behavior, yet that may be what happened to Terri Schiavo, an attractive and vibrant young wife with much to live for. In 1990 she suffered a heart attack, perhaps triggered by electrolyte imbalance (loss of potassium in particular) caused by purging. Her brain was without oxygen for several minutes leading to irreversible damage at the cellular level. Diagnostic images of her brain showed that areas that host consciousness, rational thought, awareness, and speech were structurally destroyed. All that remained was scar tissue and pools of cerebrospinal fluid. An autopsy done after her death in 2005 showed that during the years she was in a vegetative state, she was blind, and her brain had shrunk to about half the size of a normal, healthy brain.

Terri's family, and indeed the entire country, was torn apart by divisive rhetoric when her husband wanted to withdraw her feeding tube fifteen years after her heart attack and let her die with some dignity. We say "some" dignity because the media stripped much of her dignity away. We found it sadly ironic that pictures of someone who tried so desperately to achieve the cultural ideal of thin beauty were sent around the world via TV and the Internet. The pictures showed her after 15 years in a vegetative state with vacant eyes, a puffy face, chopped off hair, slack muscles, and mouth sagging open -- heart wrenching for all who loved her.
Nikki - Aussie girl living in the USA with her soul mate. My blog: http://aus2usa.blogspot.com/

Image Image
User avatar
electrongirl
 
Posts: 2578
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:31 am
Location: China Grove, NC USA

Postby kate_turner2000 » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:30 pm

hey nikki thanks for posting that, it is important to remember. i remember when one of the olsen twins (cant remember which one) who had the eating disorder and she would always be out wearing baggy clothes.
User avatar
kate_turner2000
 
Posts: 13910
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:59 am
Location: Central Coast NSW

Postby electrongirl » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:32 pm

its really sad what some girls do to themselves to reach unrealistic expectations.
Nikki - Aussie girl living in the USA with her soul mate. My blog: http://aus2usa.blogspot.com/

Image Image
User avatar
electrongirl
 
Posts: 2578
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:31 am
Location: China Grove, NC USA

Postby Playboy_bunny » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:51 pm

that story is so sad :(

Something that is a little scary though, is that I have a LOT of those symptoms

will not eat in front of other people, eats in ritualistic ways, and mixes strange food combinations
Becomes "disgusted" with former favorite foods like red meat and desserts.
Reads food labels religiously
Or, in contrast to the above, the person gorges, usually in secret, emptying cupboards and refrigerator. May also buy special high-calorie binge food. Spends lots of time inspecting self in the mirror and usually finds something to criticize. Detests all or specific parts of the body, especially belly, thighs, and buttocks. Insists s/he cannot feel good about self unless s/he is thin, and s/he is never thin enough to satisfy her/himself
May develop strange eating patterns,
In spite of average or above-average intelligence, the person thinks in magical and simplistic ways, for example, "If I am thinner, I will feel better about myself." S/he loses the ability to think logically, evaluate reality objectively, and admit and correct undesirable consequences of choices and actions.
Becomes irrational and denies that anything is wrong. Argues with people who try to help, and then withdraws, sulks, or throws a tantrum. Wanting to be special, s/he becomes competitive.Is envious of thin people in general and thinner people in particular
Has trouble talking about feelings, especially anger. Denies anger, saying something like, "Everything is OK. I am just tired and stressed." Escapes stress by turning to binge food, exercise, or anorexic rituals.
Becomes moody, irritable, cross, snappish, and touchy. Responds to confrontation and even low-intensity interactions with tears, tantrums, or withdrawal. Feels s/he does not fit in and therefore avoids friends and activities. Withdraws into self and feelings, becoming socially isolated.
Feels inadequate, fearful of not measuring up. Frequently experiences depression, anxiety, guilt, loneliness, and at times overwhelming emptiness, meaninglessness, hopelessness, and despair.
Tries to please everyone and withdraws when this is not possible. Tries to take care of others when s/he is the person who needs care. May present self as needy and dependent or conversely as fiercely independent and rejecting of all attempts to help.Relationships tend to be either superficial or dependent. Person craves true intimacy but at the same time is terrified of it.
bulimics have problems with lack of impulse control that can lead to rash and regrettable decisions about censored, money, stealing, commitments, careers, and all forms of social risk taking.

hmmmmm :shock: that is me down to a tee.....which is why I am in therapy...for the binge eating...I definately have the bulimic way of thinking/acting/feeling although I dont purge....I just eat and eat...thanks for that nikki, I was not aware of many of those symptoms, and it certainly explains some situations from my childhood and past (like putting yourself in dangerous situations, risk taking, impulse etc).... Ill be chatting to my psychologist about some of that, thanks hun :) xxx
Image
Image•·.·´¯`·.·•Gracie•·.·´¯`·.·•
User avatar
Playboy_bunny
 
Posts: 2145
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:34 pm

Postby Mandie » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:43 pm

Yeah, it's funny. So many people think you can only have an eating disorder if you are thin. Not so!

many of us have odd relationships with food and our bodies. we need to work out these issues!
User avatar
Mandie
 
Posts: 2811
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: Perth

Re: Eating Disorders

Postby Indi3 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:41 pm

Yes, agree eating disorders are all different and manifest in different ways. I find it really irritating that anorexia or bulimia is taken far more seriously than over eating.. i have struggled with binge eating all my life and (this is going to sound very strange) i dont throw up.. it just comes out.. almost like my body knows i shoudnt have eaten all that food and out it comes.. i dont even have to try. So in some strange way, i have bulimic symptoms.. created purly from thought.. i dont stick my fingers down my throat (belive me i've tried!) and i hated it! The guilt and disgust and anxiety that happens after i eat makes me feel so emotional that the food is the first to go.

I told my mum about this throwing up / bulimic behaiour in a bid to get some understanding and help from the only family membe ri have.. and all she said was "well, you do eat alot of chocolate and that would make you sick." I said to her "well, i just ate mueslie for breakfast and there's no chocolate in that and i STILL threw up!"

So as you can see.. even eating a normal sized breakfast makes me vom.

This has been happeneing since i was 12.. but i've been struggling with weight since i was 6.. and i wasnt even fat then.. i just convinced myself that i should lose weight. And so began a life time of weight obsession.

I have posted a thread on "introductions" called "Enter if you dare.. I need help!" because im seriously at the end of my tether with the whole weigh issue. If you get a chance please have a read and i'd love to hear suggestions as to how to beat 'weight obsession' .. because for me it really is about the obsession rather than the weight.. although it becomes the weight the more i think about it! So help!
[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wcTlU53/]
[img]

One day at a time.
Focused
Fit
Balanced
Indi3
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:51 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Eating Disorders

Postby SarahC » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:30 pm

I'm not the best person to offer suggestions because I'm about at the end of my tether as well :( It is interesting though, that it's the obsession that creates the weight problem, not the other way round! It is so true that we all move in the direction of our pre-dominant thoughts. As much as we might think "I don't want to be fat" or "I must not binge"... all the brain hears is "fat" and "binge".... so what happens!! Right!! :evil:

I agree it's hard to get people to take binge eating seriously. I continually complain about how much I eat, and people just look at me (I'm kinda small I guess) and go "yeah right... here have a bikkie, one won't hurt!" GRRRRRRR!!!!!
User avatar
SarahC
 
Posts: 2542
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:17 pm
Location: Werribee, VIC, AU

Re: Eating Disorders

Postby electrongirl » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:01 pm

SarahC wrote:I'm not the best person to offer suggestions because I'm about at the end of my tether as well :( It is interesting though, that it's the obsession that creates the weight problem, not the other way round! It is so true that we all move in the direction of our pre-dominant thoughts. As much as we might think "I don't want to be fat" or "I must not binge"... all the brain hears is "fat" and "binge".... so what happens!! Right!! :evil:

I agree it's hard to get people to take binge eating seriously. I continually complain about how much I eat, and people just look at me (I'm kinda small I guess) and go "yeah right... here have a bikkie, one won't hurt!" GRRRRRRR!!!!!


People don't realise it only takes 1 biscuit! Then you want another and another. Its that way with ciggarettes and drugs but no one wants to admit its the same with food. Are people that stupid!!

I am the weakest when it comes to food. I quit smoking and I did dabble in drugs when I was a teenager but I never had an addiction or anything. But I would have to say that I am on the brink of being addicted to food. Now I know we need food to live but not ice cream and chips etc... those are the foods I have trouble stopping at.
Nikki - Aussie girl living in the USA with her soul mate. My blog: http://aus2usa.blogspot.com/

Image Image
User avatar
electrongirl
 
Posts: 2578
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:31 am
Location: China Grove, NC USA

Re: Eating Disorders

Postby jessica86 » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:41 pm

i had anorexia & bulimia & compulsive over eating disorders for 6 years, and its not fun!


<3 jess
User avatar
jessica86
 
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:35 pm
Location: brisbane

Re: Eating Disorders

Postby warriorcat » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:33 pm

I've battled with Bulimia for about 8 years, although i never thought i was bulimic because i wasn't skinny and besides i only ever threw up the "bad" foods. I think this is a problem and doesn't get as much attention as it should. I know lots of "part time" bulimics and i think it is a lot more common than people think and then it leads to health problems and other emotional problems.
[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wkR2Tlx/]
Image
[/url]
warriorcat
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:58 am

Re: Eating Disorders

Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:35 pm

Ok, so, the most well known eating disorders are well represented there (being anorexia and bulimia) but eating disorders not otherwise specified is more commonly diagnoses (it's essentially the catch all for people who obviously ahve an eating disorder, but don't fit any of the categories nicely). DSM-IV (which is one of the common diagnostic systems used for psychological disorders) also has criteria for further study for binge eating disorder and this may well be included for full diagnosis in DSM-V. At the moment it's looked at as a research diagnosis and also partly as part of Bulimia (thought the criteria is slightly different currently), but not a clinical diagnosis in and of itself (though it is pretty much used that way in clinics I think).

Also, just so you know, for diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, there MUST be severe weight loss (i.e. a body weight of less than 85% of expected body weight for age and height) as well as lack of menstruation in women. It can also have binge eating/purging. If there are all the other symptoms of anorexia nervosa but not these, it's likely to be diagnosed as either Anorexia binge/purge type in partial remission (where the person has recovered sufficient body weight to place them out of the 85% range and has begun menstruating in women), or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, or possibly Bulimia.
35kg lost. (November 2005 - October 2006)
15kg gained again (as at October 2010).
Back to the drawing board - Let's do this thing!

"You can't change the winds, but you can change the sails"

"Reach out and take control of what lands in your lap"

User avatar
Butterfly_Dawn
 
Posts: 4151
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:28 pm
Location: Hobart, Tas


Return to Lifestyle Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest