May 12, 2008
Based on my own experience with eating disorders (anorexia with bouts of bulimia) I know as much as that I wanted to hide my weakness behind a stronger outside, yet I wanted help to get rid of the excessive control but everyone that tried to help, were threats to my control because they "approached me wrong"...
I don’t mean that everyone should glance at their beloved, being suspiscious. Call it “to be observant”, and to introduce suspiscion and set aswing something that in the length might be positive. You can’t take away an eating disorder in the matter of a few seconds. It took a long time to change the habits, and it will take a long time to change them back, but help is needed.
In the first couple of rounds, the fear of food (anxiety, horror) is the worst fear that will rise. It is that fear which will cause the confrontations to be denied, but all eating disorders are a cry for help, a tiny little cry: “See me, help me master my life!”
A conflict is better than absence. Anorexia will become more and more visible, but it is no fact. The behavior is a better meassure than the actual weight. Bulimia will show less according to weight, but it will show in behavior.
None of the symptoms in my list means eating disorder as one, and many other symptoms can be relevant without me mapping them.
Read carefully and considerate.
Early signs in relation to:
- Food and eating routines
- Mood and behavior
- Physical signs
When it comes to these signs and symptoms, they are communication. What is it that the eating disorder tells? What are the functions and meanings of the symptoms?
All central, we do now have two problems: Low self-feeling and the feeling of not having control.
The eating disorder does as good as always stand in front of a desire to loose weight and active actions to change the body.
If you look at the difference between today’s dietting and eating disorders, you can simply only see: Some stand the diet, some don’t deal with the psychological side of it.
Food and eating
· Excessive interest in food
· Reading receipts and cooking books
· Showing “delicate” behavior to food: “I’m allergic to...”
· Eats less
· Wants to eat alone
· Cook food for others but not to oneself
· Chooses low-calories in front of fat food
· Irritated and stressed around meals
· Cutting food in smaller pieces, move and rearrange on the plate etc.
· Hide/Throw food
· Leaves the dinner table during or immediately after meals
· Goes to the room or bathroom after meals – high music, TV, running water – or everything all at once!
· Bingeing/Needs help in finding out how a normal serving looks
· Eats in hiding
· Denies hunger (or can’t feel it) when it is obvious that he/she should have been hungry
· Estimates according to self-feeling when it comes to what or how much eaten
· Stress and guilt for eating
· Having a tough time accepting not-planned situations which involves food
· Agitation when meals don’t follow the regular schedule
· Drinks a lot of water
· Diet-drinks or sparkling water to deal with hunger
Mood and behavior
· Weighs often
· Well-willing to run extra errands if it means sweating, takes extra ways on the way home, gets off the bus one stop too early
· Uses larger clothes to hide weightloss
· Sleep disturbances
· Dislikes oneself
· Develops stressed daily routines
· Withdraws from social networking
· To cover up for a lot of guilt, the person becomes extra helping
· Insists on being fat when this obviously is incorrect
· Extreme fear of weight-increase
· Other forms of self-destructive behavior
· Weight loss
· Lightheaded, dizziness, syncopes
· Tired, fatigued (hypoglucemia)
· Cold hands and feet, slow healing of wounds
· Blue/white or pale hands
· Hair becomes lifeless and flat – hairloss is common
· Tension headaches and muscle aches
· Swollen cheeks
You can often see a low self-esteem. To compensate a bursting self-feeling, the person seeks to cope through areas where results are to be seen immediately: School, exercise, “good child”, in the circle of friends etc.
An eating disorder strengthens the lack of self-esteem.
The experience of not having control has many reasons and expressions. To be a human being is difficult because we have to be constant amongst others. We have a role in life, and that role is not much more than what we give to it.
The loss of control is the experience of lack of mastering techniques when it comes to our role in society, family, amongst our friends. Or it is about concrete experience of not being able to control the body – with those who have experienced physical assaults.
Going back to my own eating disorder, I would describe it as a “failing search and rescue”. I wanted to be someone, I was extremely lonely, no one understood me and my fear of food, doubt, lack of words and last but not least the horrible sense of me not being able to control my life. The summary of my eating disorders become:
The teenager who experienced an inner chaos and confusion and expressed the emotions through the food. My fear of food was a fear of emotions.
I was lucky. I had a therapist who taught me to eat. Food was disarmed. Fast. A meal was served and I had to eat it in 15 minutes. It was a normal serving. If I ate too slow, I would sit left with food after 15 minutes. If I ate too fast, I had to wait the time out. Slowly and gently, I taught that no matter what I did, I’d feel that I controlled the food again. It didn’t contol me.
Eating disorders aren’t control. They’re fake control, a poor duplicate of control. When that control fades, it will be double effects.
My way out of eating disorders was to learn what body, mind and spirit was. In me.