Has anyone ever had an eating disorder that's not about weight or food? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Has anyone ever had an eating disorder that's not about weight or food?


I know the subject of eating disorders has been discussed before here several times but I'm asking quite specificaly. Because for over 6 years I've had this form of bulimia that's had a big impact on my life and my health. I've always been slim so I don't really care about my weight. Any time I've read about eating disorders it's about losing weight (which it doesn't necessarily affect anyway) or you see alot of people online asking how they can make themselves sick or starve themselves. It really makes me angry because it's a choice for them whereas I resisted all the way.

I feel like it's related to anxiety because when I first got ill it was when I was 16 and had finished school and went to a seperate college. I couldn't make new friends and I lost touch with my high school friends because I felt ashamed. So when I got an eating disorder it was at the same time my anxiety had sky rocketed. I've not completely recovered, I've got a lot better now though but I feel frustrated because my eating disorder and anxiety have been a reaction to feeling isolated and I feel like my disorder doesn't make any sense to anyone else so it makes me feel very isolated which makes it keep creeping back.

I've posted on eating disorder forums and had people say they understand because it's not always about weight for them but that's still the primary issue. I feel like a freak because I don't think anyone will ever understand the disorder that I've had and the reasons behind it and the way it's simplified really gets to me. But maybe it's just me. I wanted to post this because I thought if my problem stems from anxiety then maybe someone here will understand. Anyway thanks for reading this.

Last edited by Delicate; 12-08-2010 at 04:53 AM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 01:15 PM
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I wouldn't say I have an eating disorder as they are most commonly known, that is to lose weight by any means regardless of how much you weigh or to binge eat to fill emotion holes, but I do experience eating issues in direct relation to my anxiety & depression.

When feeling anxious I can be starving but not be able to get the food in front of me to go down & will often have to eat later when I'm feeling more at ease. Likewise with my depression it works the same way where I can be hungry but have no drive to eat until the hunger starts to really bite & there's not other option.

I realize this isn't quite what you were talking about but I thought I would put it out the to show that there can be a direct link between anxieties/depressions & eating issues
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 01:20 PM
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I was anorexic for 11 years and I suffer from an EDNOS that isn't diagnosed. I literally lack the appetite to eat, and the capacity to eat, though I have no desire to be skinny.




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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 01:24 PM
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Have you ever heard about Daniel Johns? He suffered from an eating disorder and developed Anorexia Nervosa. It wasn't about his weight or self image. Apparently it was about his new found fame, and he felt like he couldn't control his life anymore. He chose to starve himself because in that way he felt like he could control his life; at the end of the day, no one can really force you to eat in a civilised manner. I can't really think of any other examples related to the kind of eating disorder you're describing though.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for taking the time to reply.

It was actually EDNOS that I've been diagnosed with but some of the help I got was from bulimia workbooks but my therapist highlighted the advice that's relevent to me. It's like what triggers people to binge, I have a similar urge because of how I feel but it's to be sick no matter what I've consumed even if it's just water or nothing at all. When my anxiety is severe I can't eat because of naussea and when I had very severe depression I couldn't stand the thought of eating or even seeing food. I guess it bothers me because if someone says "I ate too much and didn't want to get fat so I made myself sick" it's logical to people. But if you said you make yourself sick because you can't stand your feelings and need to get it out, that's not logical to people. I don't know why that bothers me but it really does.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-05-2010, 09:22 PM
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I dealt with both anorexia and bulimia back when I was in high school. It started as a way to get attention from my parents, friends, teachers, or anyone else who might notice and care, because I felt desperately lonely and unneeded. It never had anything to do with weight, because I'm naturally very thin anyway. But, it became a way for me to have something to control.

Over the years, I have gone back to starving myself when my anxiety gets overwhelming. What started as something intentional many years ago now comes back and plagues me from time to time, and it takes a lot for me to fight it off. For me, it is definitely related to my anxiety. So I can definitely relate to you.... And I have given up on trying to figure out my own issues, so I don't expect others to get it. Good luck to you~
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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I think it's about control for me too because I feel like by taking that action I'm taking control of what I'm feeling and it's not taking control of me. But it does take control of me because I don't have a choice about deciding to take action it's more like a compulsion. I don't know why I need someone to understand, I think I'm still lost with it because it's been a huge part of my life that no one undertands.

I'd got into a heated discussion about it just before I started this thread and it's not something I ever talk about so it shook me a lot. It's just that the subject of eating disorders keeps coming up everywhere I go and I'm becoming very bitter. Because people "understand" but they don't understand me. That's sounds really selfish and childish but it's how it seems.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-07-2010, 10:39 PM
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I binge eat sometimes. Past the point of satiation. Until later my stomach feels so full and sick because of everything that's in there.
I'm not fat yet, although I'm pushing into overweight category. Maybe fattish is how I'd describe myself. Well 6kg overweight.

I don't know why I do it. Maybe I hate myself. It's nothing to do with my weight. I don't actually care that much about it. Well, I don't want to be thin. My dad is thin. He hates how fat people look. It disgusts him. My older sister too is big on thinking that people shouldn't be overweight or eat too much. I hate it when they say stuff like that. Maybe it is a control issue with me. A way to defy. Because I find it hard to assert myself in other ways.

But a lot of the time I just eat so I can concentrate on the food and how full I feel instead of how I really feel. I mean if I'm thinking about food, about what I am going to eat, what I have eaten, then I can't really think about how potty my life really is.

I eat compulsively. Food is there and I want to eat it and I know I should stop but somehow I can't. It's how I treat the internet too. I "know" I shouldn't go on it so much, I should go get a job. But I don't like these shoulds that I feel I must obey so I don't.

Also my mum likes to feed people. If I say I am full or no thanks, she offers again and again and I don't like to displease or turn people down so I accept and eat again even though I am already full.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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dust3000, thanks for sharing. I went to an eating disorder support group a while ago and most of the people in the group, I think maybe actually all of them, had some sort of binging disorder. I haven't ever dealt with that personally but I can see how it's a compulsion for people, just from listening to other peoples with it. I understand what you said about focusing on something other than how you feel.

Oh... the last post's gone... I can't remember who it was I'm sorry, but I was planning to reply to your post because I actually related to what you said alot, thanks for putting that out there, if you change your mind and want to talk...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicate View Post
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

It was actually EDNOS that I've been diagnosed with but some of the help I got was from bulimia workbooks but my therapist highlighted the advice that's relevent to me. It's like what triggers people to binge, I have a similar urge because of how I feel but it's to be sick no matter what I've consumed even if it's just water or nothing at all. When my anxiety is severe I can't eat because of naussea and when I had very severe depression I couldn't stand the thought of eating or even seeing food. I guess it bothers me because if someone says "I ate too much and didn't want to get fat so I made myself sick" it's logical to people. But if you said you make yourself sick because you can't stand your feelings and need to get it out, that's not logical to people. I don't know why that bothers me but it really does.
I understand that, EDNOS or eating disorder not otherwise specified tends to be what you get given as a disorder if you are not "bulimic or anorexic" and the disorder is not primarily about food.

I still have that problem, when my anxiety is really bad, eating is difficult its hell really but its not to do with weight loss or food reduction its just my mind is preoccupied and i am too nervous or stressed to eat being really depressed is another issue too, some people cannot stop eating while others find it difficult and my psychiatrist told me that its all part of an eating disorder which was interesting because it is not deliberate weight loss, its like the bodys way of reacting to something by rejecting food.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-14-2010, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Arisa thanks for your message and for understanding. Yeah my doctor said to me how it's common for anxiety to affect your stomach so it's normal to lose your appetite and feel sick. I guess what an eating disorder technically means is disordered eating so I can understand why they'd tell you it's a form of an eating disorder. I sort of feel like I have 3 different issues because having no appetite due to anxiety is different than having no appetite due to depression and the purging disorder I have has very little to do with food. I was trying to explain to my therapist and doctor how it's different but they didn't seem to buy it lol.

I'm sorry that you have trouble eating, it's a really horrible feeling when you have anxiety so bad that you can't do something that necessary and not eating regularly can cause anxiety so it's like a lose lose. I found when I had CBT counselling, changing the thought process I have really helped to reduce anxiety and increased my appetite when I was stressed. So basically I think the more you work on managing your anxiety the easier it gets to eat.
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