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Anorexia , bulimia , and self-injury

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I used to fight anorexia for the past ten years , now bulimia came to my life... Guilts, anger i suppose pushed as far as i could go so for the past two years i have made a habbit of cutting my feet, hands, stomach almost any unseen part of my body..
I want to know if there is anyone outhere fighting the same demons.
I was diagnosed with depression and i am on zoloft for the past six months..
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First Helper missEll
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replied May 12th, 2010
its ok
I really believe that you know cutting yourself isnt helping the situation. or you would not have posted.

Its great that you recognise that you are doing it.

i used to do all these things.. but only for about 4-5 years not 10 so its going to be tougher.

Try replacement.. like everytime you feel liike cutting yourself paint, or write it, or SCREAM, or cut paper up.
something that uses your hands.

The pain will only last short term, and will make you feel worse in the long run. Punishing yourself doesnt make things better!

With bulimia, go for a walk instead of binging.
i stopped bulimia by having a smoke 20 mins after i ate- when i would have usually thrown up.

too bad now i have to stop smoking!

Google beyondblue

or butterfly foundation.
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replied May 14th, 2010
It feels good to know that someone understands how i feel.
I m allready a smoker. I have calculated the excact time i need to wait after eating in order to throw up easily and get out of my system all that i have eaten. So if you have any ideas i m open to suggestions.
As far as cutting is concerned i havent cut myself for the past two weeks and i feel really proud. My doctors thinks i need to focus on the emotions that push me to cut myself.
I also would like to ask you how ... no i mean how is not to be bulimic/anorexic anymore. Dont you get upset when you think of the way you were? I used to be 44kg and now i am 50kg (1.60m tall) and i feel like #!
If you dont mind answering me i would really appreciate it! Again thanks for your time.
Alice
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replied May 20th, 2010
Hi Alice

I too have had anorexia, bulimia and self-harm. But I have gained a lot (A LOT) of weight and cutting for me was one way I could release the pain without messing around with my metabolism. I too cut where noone can see, mainly on my stomach and upper thighs. Now I am 30 and thinking about wanting to meet someone and having children. I keep thinking of what my children will ask when they see my scars -- it helps me stop.

I did a course in DBT for one year. It has really saved my life -- a number of times. I don't know if you have the capacity to enrol in a course (it's a big commitment, one day per week for a year) but it has seriously changed my life.

Good luck.
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replied May 26th, 2010
i used to cut myself too and i've had EDs it's been about a month since i haven't cut myself but i'm past it now cause i'm not allowed razors anymore, i was cutting nearly to the bone and in hospital nearly every week getting stiched up and it was a mental battle to cut deeper every time, so now i'm out the habit i can't cut deeper than i used to (these were pretty deep) so i don't see the point anymore

to help your post though, things i do instead are punch the wall or exercise! (i know the first one isn't exactly the best thing to do and the 2nd isn't good if you have anorexia) actually it's not very helpful at all lol but if you're cutting deep and it's wreaking your muscles from getting shread into all the time, punching a wall is a lot better lol
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replied May 27th, 2010
I really appreciate your suggestions. Its quite hard on me .. my depression takes away all of my energy therefore exercise or joining courses is out of the question for me.
My therapist suggested I wrote about my feelings. He says its gonna help me discover the deeper cause for my SI. As far my anorexia is concerned it has given its place to bulimia. I know look like a pig (my clothes from last summer wont fit) I feel like ### and it feels theres no way out. Every day I tell myself I ll change and be thin again. But I never do. I dont believe in love anymore or in human relations so having someone to explain my scars to isnt an issue for me. My last boyfriend (if I can call him like that after the way he treated me) used to tell me "Jesus all you are is bones and scars". But it didnt matter to me cause he liked me for what I was or I just thought he did. He used to take care of me , cook for me and always complaining I dont eat as much as he wanted (I was 44kg at that time) and his attention felt like heaven to me. I suppose that my scars and lack of respect to my body and generally myself was like an excuse for him not to respect me.
Once I ve realised that the life I was living with him was full of deceipt I left. I havent seen him over a year. Sometimes I miss him other times I feel lucky he is not in my life anymore.
I believe that SI to us cutters is a way of handling our feelings and manage our temper but to others is a proof of mental confusion , lack of self respect , hate for ourselves. My biggest problem has always been to convince others that they are wrong. That deep inside I love myself and that SI or ED are my way to make me better.
I wouldn do all I do if I didnt wanted the best for me. Or if I believed I dont deserve it..
But in my heart I m convinced that we are born alone and die alone, and that in this life its may be the hardest thing to find someone that will understand you and accept you for what you are. A cutter, an anorexic or a bulimic or all together.
Despite the fact we all are social creatures blessed with the virtue of concense most of us drift along trying to be something others will accept or like. And its sad that in the end we are left with nothing but ourselves to blaim. In our sunset we ll be alone and its very strange how we all live our lives according to what society or others want/accept for / from us.
I didnt mean to bring you down, that isnt my intention.
I wanted to share my thoughts with you both cause you sound like you can relate to what I m going through.
Thank you both!
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replied May 27th, 2010
You are a victim here...
Dear Alice

You are not alone. I felt like you have felt for many, many years -- like the world was a miserable place and that death was more appealing than gaining a gram or looking like I do. I still have very strong feelings about my body, but it has improved. Your comment: " I dont believe in love anymore or in human relations so having someone to explain my scars to isnt an issue for me" gives me such strong insight into the depth of your feeling.

But I reckon there is a small part of you -- even a tiny part of you -- that does believe in human relations, or you wouldn't be reaching out to others on a forum such as this. Hold onto that. We are not just connected by our similar feelings of disgust and self-loathing, we are linked also by our want to help other people escape the lives we have suffered. Use that as leverage. Get on here and vent as much as you need to. Discourage others and support others, and in providing that respect to other people you might realise it is possible for yourself.

SI and EDs are very closely linked. And I know how hard it is to stop. You have to take really small steps. The first for you might be open up to someone -- pretend for a moment that you DO believe in human relations and ask for help.

I would like to tell you a story that will give you hope. I have spent ten years fighting EDs and SI. I have had 5 hospital admissions, spent $50,000 on treatment and given up jobs because of this thing. And throughout all these years no-one has ever really known the extent of my suffering -- not even my parents. Then a few years ago I met a girl in hospital (with completely different issues to me) who accepted me for all that I was as I accepted her. There was no hiding my illness -- we were in hospital together! A lot of people were worried about me befriending a fellow 'inmate' but she has been an amazing source of strength and support for me. She's not afraid of the ED, she's not afraid to challenge it and she loves me unconditionally. Through her, I have learned I don't HAVE to be alone. I can share ED and therefore reduce its power. Things still aren't great -- I am about to go to an inpatient facility, but this time it's different. I have TOLD people. I told my close friends, my brothers, and the director of the choir I am in. Suddenly, my choir director has gathered a 'team' of people to help me when I get out. They are going to cook for me and help me to get to choir practice and to KEEP LIVING. They are treating me no differently to a person with a physical illness.

I guess I have realised that the situation is exactly the same -- but i have changed. There were people waiting in the wings all along to help but my ED wouldn't let them. Finally, I am accepting help (even though it is scary), and I am realising that my perceptions of other people's ability to help has been completely skewed.

Re. ED and SI making you feel better -- yep, they do. But they are not signs of love or self-respect. It's the alleviation of anxiety and increased power that makes you feel better. Don't be fooled by their power. ED and SI will use EVERY tool possible to convince you that you need to be doing it and that you are weak and worthless if you don't. It's no dissimilar to a small child being abused. The child does not have the inner resources to know any different or to defend itself. You are a VICTIM here, a victim of a cruel and ruthless illness that will do and say anything to you to keep you trapped. The quicker you can identify the illness as a criminal and a perpetrator, the quicker you will be able to fight back and allow yourself to aim for a better life.

Keep getting on here. It's a step in the right direction. I promise, I will help you when you feel alone. I AM WITH YOU!
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replied May 28th, 2010
Dear Bellaflicka,

I dont think I can thank you enought for your words of encouragement. I know you can relate and understand my feelings and somehow it makes me feel better.
I am not like you I have lost all hope of ever finding myself or at least it feels so.
In my life even my familly (my mom) that knows of my SI and ED prefers not to mention it as if it could go away.
Its easier to her you see... I dont mean to be cruel on her but I believe she could have been a bit more supportive. Even when she took me to the ER she was in a "trance" refusing to see the problem.
I keep wondering how the lyrics of a song can be so true to me: LOVE WHERE IS THE LOVE EVERYONE IS TALKING OF..
You are blessed with people in your life who are willing to sucrifice their ego or their belief to support you. You see this doesnt happen everyday. I look at myself and sometimes I m convinced that all my life was for nothing that I ve lived it the wrong way, making all the wrong choises and having others living my life for me. As if my life is a movie and I am not the star when it all should have been about me.
I m really happy for you. I mean it! It takes a lot of courage to admit to others your weakness.
I used to be abused by my sister (up until last fall) and I m sure now (my therapist helped me realise it) that my familly was a bit abusive to me and thats why its so important to me to be accepted by others, be willing to do whatever it takes to have their attention and always judge me for what I do.
I miss my childhood though I ve pushed all my memories back (my therapist says its because their hurtful) I miss the feeling of hope for the future.
I used to think that future had a perfect place for me (as the song says) and to my dissapointment that wasnt true. All I found was eamptiness and loneliness.
Its funny how we dream of what we can be when we are young wishing to be grown ups. But when the times and we are grown we come to realise that nothing is as we ve imagined.. and we are left in sorrow.
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replied May 28th, 2010
You are not alone -- I promise.
Dear Alice,

I know exactly what you mean. I was voted the person likely to be Prime Minister at my school; I was one of the school Captains; I topped my year; I got into the best university -- everything seemed to be going as planned. Then ED came along and destroyed everything. EVERYTHING! I have spent years trying just to get out bed in the morning, desperately trying just to eat that banana or take that medication. You are right -- we are left in sorrow. But believe me when I say it is not forever.

My family pretend it's not happening also. They have never acknowledged the eating disorder -- occassionally they'll ask if I'm "down again". But like you, I suffered traumas in my childhood and I think their own mechanisms of self protections are kicking in to guard them from their own guilt. To watch a daughter go through something like this is too traumatic. So they pretend it's not happening. Is that good enough? No Way! You are allowed to be angry and let down. But what I would say is perhaps they are not capable of, and never will be capable of, supporting you. I know mine weren't. And the moment I let go of wanting their support I found it in other people -- in the most surprising people! Five years ago it may as well have been me writing the post above. But trusting others has really helped. You may find support in someone you least imagine -- someone you may not have even met! But believe me, there are people out there willing to help you.

Keep seeing your therapist. If you only take one piece of advice it's keep seeing your therapist. He or she may not have all the answers, but it's SO important to try to make sense of your childhood and understand why you feel the need to punsih yourself. Make it a not-negotiable part of your treatment to keep attending sessions. That is one way you can fight.

I am so sorry you are feeling empty and lonely -- it's an awful place to be and this world can be tough. But hang in there. I promise I am real and I'm here to help -- even if just on the end of a computer.

xxxx
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replied May 28th, 2010
You are doing so much more through your computer than anyone has ever done for me. You listen and you dont judge.
Its really nice to have someone to talk to. You see I only talk in my mind.. Im having conversation with myself instead of others. Its easier and I dont risk of losing anything. Songs are my best friends in this silence. Lyrics that I find myself in.
There is song from VNV that says " They say that time will heal that love will set us free.."
We despite of our misery tend to hope and pray will be purified and set free. I m terrified of dying. I m not afraid of death as a state I m afraid of death cause I feel I havent done yet what I was meant to. Being born (alone), lived (in pain) and die (alone) makes no sense to me ... there must be something outhere for me . Living should be full of emotions and hopes and dreams and so many other things. I dont intend to miss any of my session with my therapist eventhough sometimes myself tells me that money is the only reason he listens to me.
Its really sad that the only person in this world that will listen to me without judging me or critisize me is my therapist who is getting paid for it! Its not sad its tragic..
Sometimes I wish I had a magic wand and turn back time but thats not an option is it?
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replied May 31st, 2010
Childhood dreams -- they're still possible
Oh Alice, I am sooo sorry you are going through this. I wouldn't dare judge you -- your ED does far too much of that already. And I know probably better than most that I can't do much to help, but if our conversations help you even a little bit than it is so worth it for me.

So much of what you say resonates with me: the number of times I told my psych she only cared because I paid her! And I too have spent many years unafraid of death. The song lyrics that resonate for me are Robbie Williams "I don't want to die, but I'm not keen on living either". But you see, I write...a lot. Not so much for other people, but as a way of getting my emotions out. Often, the ONLY thing that kept me from ending it all was thinking that one day I would use my writing to help other people. Sometimes I feel like the only reason I was put on this earth was to get free of ED so I can help others. If I can help just ONE person escape the reality of the last ten years of my life then living will have been worth it.

So, I want to challenge you on something. You said the only person in teh world that will listen without judging is your therapist. Could I be the second person? Could you perhaps entertain the idea that there ARE other people who are willing to help?

As I think I said to you, my experience with my family has been that they are too close to me to be of any help -- they are going through their own pain in watching me suffer (and no doubt their own guilt and self-criticism as well). They have the want to help, but not the emotional maturity or distance to be able to help. Now I only look to other people in my life for assistance.

I believe that you ARE on this earth for other reasons than to be a victim of a shockingly abusive and torturous relationship with an ED. Can I ask you, what's one thing you wanted to be when you were a little girl? Perhaps that will get you back in touch with the person you were put on this earth to be.

I look forward to hearing back...

Love Elizabeth.
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replied May 31st, 2010
Dear Elizabeth,
Its the most strange feeling of all to feel as if you arent alone and finally found someone to talk to no strings whatsoever attached. I ll take on your challenge. Too many signs you see. You have my moms name, you are also having problems with ED and SI so what the # I ll give it a chance. I find it very hard to believe someone would be interested in me without having something to gain. So what can it possible be there for you?
I dont know Elizabeth when I was a child I would always dream of having a movie like life. To be loved and wanted and the truth is I ve lived my life as if it was a movie. Only I ve saved the first role for someone else. May be for me after my finding myself.
I sometimes get panic attacks when at work and there is nothing I want to do but run to my house. In my room in my bed in my safe grounds...
I ve dreamed of becoming a teacher but I ve studied to be a kinder garden teacher and worked only for a year then I was hired as an accountants assistand and for the past ten years I work in a medical center.
How about you? What were your dreams?
Another thing I wanted to ask was whether you would like to take this communication in a more private place (personal e mails) for I would like to tell you details of my life.
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replied June 5th, 2010
Hi Alice, I'm so sorry for the delayed reply. I've come into hospital this week so I have not been online -- just trying to settle in here. You can send me a private message and I'll give you my email.

I hope you are okay.
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replied June 27th, 2010
maybe this will help a little-- most therapists get into the profession because they have a strong desire or need to help others, not for the money. one of the reasons that they can be so helpful is because they are objective in not having anything to gain from their conversations with us, except being compensated well for their time. and they often have their own painful histories, helping them to relate and want to support our hike back up. if you've found a good one, hold on to him. they can be hard to find. and there are people out here that have felt the same way and just want to have a connection with someone like minded. i know it doesn't seem that way, i disbelieve on many days myself.
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