Eating Disorder And Depression: Which Came First
Around the time my period went MIA, any hint of emotion seemed to disappear too. The best way to describe it is that I felt flat. I rarely cried and never felt suicidal, but I was essentially completely devoid of emotion.
Id hear my mom crying in another room at home and know that I was the reason why. Yet, I couldnt seem to feel all that sad about what I was doing to myself. I felt remorseful that I was putting her and my dad through this watching their daughter slowly shrink away.
This is why I finally decided to take them up on their suggestion to begin meeting with a psychiatrist once per week. Id been avoiding it, fearful of how much it would cost them or that seeing a mental health professional was something only people with real struggles should do.
In the eternal chicken-and-egg debate, its tough to say whether the depression may have contributed to the eating disorder or the eating disorder impacted my brain chemistry so much that it contributed to depression.
Several studies suggest that in many, but not all cases, an anxiety disorder was present before the development of the eating disorder, explains Andrea C. Castelhano, a licensed psychologist at Baltimore Therapy Group in Towson, Maryland, when I recently presented her with this exact conundrum.
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Start Healing Your Relationship With Your Body
Bulimia is destructive to your relationship with your body in so many ways. It can cause physical damage, such as esophageal and dental problems, but the damage goes well beyond that. Bulimia can turn you into a combatant against your body, waging a war against your own flesh. And an essential piece of recovering is healing that relationship and reconnecting with your body as a friend, not a foe.
Stop Blaming And Self
An eating disorder is essentially an addiction to a behavior that doesnt serve you.
All addicts fall into the trap of blame and self-victimization. Whether you blame your family, society, your past circumstances, or anything else, know that it doesnt help you recover.
The only way you will recover is if you begin to take full accountability for everything in your life.
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Step Two: Do The Exercise: And Then What
When Im working with my clients, I take them through an exercise that reveals the true source of their illness.
When you try to control your appearance through rigid dieting or demonising food, you may think that all you want is to achieve the perfect body.
But it goes much deeper than that. This process helps you discover the deeper motivation behind your behaviour. Once you know what it is, youll begin to see that the behaviour is just a symptom of other, more intrinsic needs.
Then, when you address these deeper needs, the eating disorder has less and less power over you. It works this way:
You start with a specific question, and once you have the answer, you drill down more and more by asking and then what until you find the core issue.
Heres an example:
Assessment Of Functional Profile: The Ucsd Performance
The UPSA-B, a modified brief version of the UPSA, was developed to evaluate daily functioning in individuals with mental disorders . The UPSA-B consists of two subtests: the financial portion and the communication domain. In the financial portion, participants are required to count out specific amounts of real currency, make change, and request a bank check to pay a bill. Meanwhile, the communication domain asks participants to correctly call directory assistance to obtain a telephone number to reschedule an appointment in a hospital. Three sub-scores are derived from the UPSA-B: Financial skill 1 , Financial skill 2 , and Communication skill . The validity of the Chinese version of the UPSA-B has previously been established in Mandarin-speaking patients with mental illnesses .
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Finding My Way Back To Normal Eating
What made me realize something went wrong was watching a Youtube video mentioning binge eating disorder. I thought damn, I have the same symptoms and after that, I kept doing my research.
I quickly connected the dots and concluded that counting calories completely destroyed the relationship I had with food.
So, I decided to not use MyFitnessPal anymore and only to rely on my bodys signals of hunger.
It wasnt an easy task since I wasnt restricted by numbers anymore and I went completely overboard sometimes. But I knew I had to do it.
Once I thought I was « healed », I went back to the app and started the process all over again to hopefully lose that weight. Bad idea.
My compulsive eating came as strong as it was before. So I probably deleted and re-installed the app about 3-4 times, after I promised myself to never go back to it again.
It was the best choice I took for myself and my health since today I am finally reconciled with food.
I still think it is important to be aware of what we put in our bodies. But our diet shouldnt be based on numbers, rather on our bodys signals !
Our body knows exactly what it needs listening to it is the best way to be aligned with ourselves.
My aim here is not to attack MyFitnessPal, people using the app or people counting calories. Some people use this method to reach their personal goals and it works perfectly for them. However, other people get a very bad experience from it, and it is important to talk about this.
Keep Your Goals In Mind
Setting short- and long-term goals and referring to them often may help you stay on track and reduce the urge to overeat.
Knowing the reason for overcoming overeating and how overeating is preventing you from reaching your health and wellness goals can motivate you to work toward establishing new eating patterns.
Jotting down motivational quotes and hanging them in prominent places around your living space can help inspire you to stick to a plan throughout the day.
Summary Identify specific short- and long-term eating goals and refer to them often. It can even be helpful to place motivational quotes around your home.
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Take A Look At When And Why You Binge
When we work with people with binge eating disorder, we see them living in environments that can promote overeating. For example, bingeing often happens in the evening, after a long day, when we are alone and possibly watching TV . Setting up our environment is essential to increase success in stopping a binge, but where do you start? You can start by asking yourself some important questions:
- What does it look like when I binge?
- What am I feeling before, during and after a binge?
- What triggers me to binge?
- How do I typically overeat?
- Where does this happen?
Once youve answered these questions, there are several things you can do. Lets say that TV watching is often a trigger for you. Maybe you start by changing this behavior to eat at a table, with a plate, while sitting on a chair . As you eat, be mindful about it. Use your senses while eating the food. This prevents numbing out and mindless eating . Structuring your environment in this way can promote eating meals without bingeing. Doing this repeatedly can increase your chances of success in this realm. Another beneficial practice that can help you reduce binge eating episodes is to take a look at the data before and after a binge. Start by asking yourself:
- What happened before I started bingeing?
- What was I feeling before, during and after the binge?
- Did something happen today that made me more vulnerable to my emotions?
- How did I eat this meal or snack?
- Where did I eat and what else was I doing at the time?
Do Listen To Your Treatment Team
Your treatment team should be comprised of professionals who have years of training and experience with eating disorders. Listen to them when they recommend specific changes, even when it might seem scary to you. Changes such as adding a medication, adopting a meal plan, or considering a higher level of care can be important and necessary changes to your treatment plan.
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What Is Binge Eating And What Is Causing It
Put simply, binge eating is eating uncontrollably. There are two types of binge eating episodes: objective binge eating and subjective binge eating1Fairburn CG. Overcoming binge eating. London, UK: Guilford Press 2013..
With more than one in 20 people engaging in binge eating, this isnt a problem affecting just a few.
Debunking Some Common Misconceptions
One of the most common misconceptions about disordered eating is that its a young white womans disease, reveals Dr. Heinberg. The truth is that disordered eating can affect any gender, race or age. In fact, men account for 25% of disordered eating cases. Because doctors often overlook this possibility, men may experience delays in treatment and be enrolled in female-centric treatment programs.
Another misconception is that only underweight individuals can be diagnosed with an eating disorder. The truth is that people who are overweight or obese can also develop an eating disorder and its associated health and lifestyle consequences. All patients should be screened for disordered eating, not just those with a low BMI, notes Dr. Heinberg.
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Frequency And Ages Affected
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.2 percent of people in the United States. Typically, it first appears between the late teen years and early adulthood. Children can also show signs of bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia isnt as common as bipolar disorder. It affects 1.1 percent of the U.S. population. People usually learn they have it between the ages of 16 and 30. Schizophrenia isnt usually seen in children.
Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels
Eating white bread, cookies, candy, and other carbs with high glycemic indexes will likely cause blood sugar levels to spike, then fall quickly.
This rapid blood sugar fluctuation has been shown to promote hunger and can lead to overeating .
Choosing foods with lower glycemic indexes will help prevent blood sugar spikes and may reduce overeating. Beans, oats, and brown rice are all great options.
Summary Eat foods that help keep blood sugar levels constant. High-glycemic foods like candy and white bread can make blood sugar spike then drop, which may lead to overeating. Instead, choose foods like beans, oats, and brown rice.
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What Is Binge Eating
When someone has an eating disorder, it is important to define what we mean by bingeing. The term binge is often used in popular culture to refer to eating a bigger than normal portion, or when people feel very full after a meal for example, I binged on my Christmas lunch. However, this is actually considered a normal part of eating when someone has a healthy relationship with food.
In terms of an eating disorder, the definition of a binge is eating a large amount of food , in a short amount of time, and feeling out of control. This is often in secret.
Finding Help For Eating Disorders
Uncontrolled eating habits or the avoidance of eating altogether can be a difficult habit to remedy alone. Some people can improve their eating habits without professional help, but other people cannot. A person should seek treatment if eating habits are impacting their quality of life. Its important to get help as soon as possible to prevent worsened physical or psychological effects.
If you struggle with an eating disorder, remember that youre not alone. If you have a drug or alcohol use disorder and a co-occurring eating disorder, The Recovery Village can help. Their clinicians and mental health professionals are experienced in working with people who have substance use and eating disorders. They also have facilities located across the country. To learn more, today to speak with a representative.
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The Diet Survivors Handbook
The best non-diet book for those looking to embrace a positive and satisfying relationship with food.
If youre looking for diets that work, STOP RIGHT THERE. Dieting is hazardous to your health. Diets dont work and they wont work, and yo-yo dieting will make you fatter.
You can step off the destructive diet bandwagon and reclaim your self-esteem, positive body image and a happy, healthy life. These 60 inspiring lessons will give you the tools you need to change your relationship with food, your body and yourself.
This book can show you how to:
- Never diet again and allow your weight to stabilize
- Stop feeling guilty about eating the foods you love
- Free up all that mental energy to be more productive and have more fun in life
- Get in touch with physical hunger and learn to love your body
- Stop stress eating, compulsive eating and emotional eating and instead practice mindful eating
Give up the vicious cycle and stop overeating.
Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel are therapists specializing in eating problems and weight issues. Each holds a Masters degree in Social Work and has over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of eating disorders. They are the authors of Beyond a Shadow of a Diet.
Create a healthier and happier life by treating yourself with compassion rather than shame.
Imagine a graph with two lines. One indicates happiness, the other tracks how you feel about your body. If youre like millions of people, the lines do not intersect. But what if they did?
How To Take Steps To Control The Urge To Binge Eat
Binging is not the only way to deal with these intense feelings. Creating alternative coping strategies can help when trying to manage the desire to binge eat.
To do this, start by noticing your triggers:
- Have you had a stressful day at work?
- Has someone said something to hurt your feelings?
- Are you feeling lonely?
Once you can see a pattern, you can start to identify coping strategies to put in place and reduce binge eating. These coping strategies can then be practiced when the psychological or emotional urge to binge eat arises.
Here are three more tips to help you control the urge to binge:
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Were Not Actually Afraid Of The Food
To give another tangible example of fear, think about being faced by a tiger in the wild. You may feel fear but, are you afraid of the tiger itself? You may think you are, but in reality, what you are most likely afraid of is the unpredictability of what the tiger may do to you. This uncertainty is what elicits the fear response, because as soon as you are in a zoo and that tiger is behind glass or in a cage, youre not afraid anymore. So, its not the tiger itself youre afraid of, its the unpredictable situation you find yourself in.
The same is the case with fear foods. We often think were afraid of the food itself, but it isnt the cupcake or the brownie were afraid of. Rationally, we know its not going to attack us. What we are really afraid of is the uncertainty around the act of eating that cupcake or that brownie or whatever else it is your anorexia brain tells you is off limits. Were afraid of change and what can happen if we do something different. Perhaps were afraid that if we eat the fear food, we have opened the floodgates to bingeing and may never stop eating. If that is a fear you have, I highly recommend you read my blog post What if I never stop eating? as well as Why do I have extreme hunger even though Im already weight restored?
Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia
There are no blood tests for diagnosing bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Instead, your doctor will do a physical and psychological exam. During the exam, theyll ask you about any family history of mental disorders and your symptoms.
Your doctor may want to do a complete blood test to help rule out other conditions. They may also request an MRI or CT scan. Finally, they make ask you to agree to a drug and alcohol screening.
You may need to return for several visits before your doctor can make a diagnosis. These visits will help your doctor fully understand your symptoms. They may ask you to keep a daily record of your mood and sleep patterns. This can help your doctor see if any patterns emerge, such as manic and depressive episodes.
Treatment for both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia involves therapy and medication.
For bipolar disorder, psychotherapy may include:
- learning about changes in mood and how to effectively manage them
- educating family members about the disorder so they can be supportive and help with overcoming episodes
- helping you improve your relationships with friends and coworkers
- learning to manage your days to avoid possible triggers, such as a lack of sleep or stress
Your doctor may prescribe medications to control changes in mood and related symptoms, such as:
- mood stabilizers such as lithium
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How To Overcome An Eating Disorder: 4 Things To Stop Doing
Recovering from an eating disorder is possible, but its not easy. If you want to know how to overcome an eating disorder, stop doing these 4 things.
Eating disorders affect some 30 million people each and every year.
This is a very real issue that affects your overall sense of well-being, which is why its something that you need to tackle head-on. However, when it comes to beating an eating disorder, its more about what you need to stop doing, rather than what you need to do.
The list below will help you out so that youre in a great position to get past it.
Read on to learn how to overcome an eating disorder.