Medical Questions > Mental Health > Eating Disorders Forum

Feeling Alone & Side Effects?

Hi there,

just joined this forum, trying to be pro active in regards to the problems I have. And guess i'm looking for a bit of advice from other people. (hey, surely thats a positive start)

i have been told by my doctor (and had it confirmed by reading many articles) that I am bulimic.

My doctor put me on 60mg of fluoxetine a day, (about a month ago) and things don't really seem to be improving that much, i'm still being sick, and still have a constant desire to do so.

On top of that, all of the side effects are really getting me down, are they normal ?

Real problems sleeping, (getting to sleep, and then constantly waking up through the night),
delayed ejaculation,
dry mouth,
mood swings,

it does feel very strange that I am a man suffering from this, every where I read, it all seems to be geared towards women, and that men can't possibly suffer from these things.

My girlfriend is very supportive, and is trying her absolute best, but sometimes just doesn't get it.

In the next few weeks i'm supposed to be going to see a specialist, who will sit and ask me questions for about 2 hours (very scared of this).

My doctor has already been asking me questions about my family background, which, as far as i'm concerned was perfectly normal and happy.

Sorry for going on so much, I guess it feels good to get some of this off my chest
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replied April 17th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
First men can & do suffer from eating disorders.

Second family & all other background can be important for many reasons (ruling things both in & out!) - most people with eating disorders develop them because of a trauma or something in their lives, even if it's only low self-esteem. So the more a dr can understand about you & your background the easier it is for him/her to help you. Plus if the problem is caused by "x" & "x" goes untreated how can the eating disoder be resolved/cured?

Third though I am compelled to ask a couple of things - how long do you believe you have been bulimic ? How old were you when it first started? You say you still have a "constant desire" to throw up - do you eat alot & then force yourself to be sick or do you eat a normal amount & then feel that you need to be sick & want to be so that you will feel better because you feel ill? There is a huge difference & an important one here so please consider this carefully befroe replying.

Answering questions thoughtfully & honestly is the only way to get better.
What is your height & weight (lbs & feet or kgs & cms)? Do you work? Do you exercise, if yes how often & doing what if no is there some reason why????
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replied April 19th, 2004
I realise men do have these kind of problems, but it does very much seem that either they keep it very quiet, or that there aren't that many. I bought a book on bullimea yesterday, and it is constantly talking about "her desire" "her needs" etc.. Quite frustrating really... Anyway.

Ok, that makes sense on the whole "family" thing, I guess i'm defensive about that (as I can imagine a lot of people are), and I don't believe that to be an issue, but can appreciate that it some times is, and the doc has to rule in or out, as you say.

I have been making myself sick for about 2 - 2 1/2 years now, I used to weigh a lot more than I do now. (i was 25) and didn't see it as a problem at all (or denied in my own mind that it was) until about 2 months ago.

I'm 6'1" and 13 stone 10, (i was, obviously, 6'1" and weighed 22 stone)

i made a decision in my life (about 3 1/2 years ago), whereby I was in a very destructive relationship, and I was feeling very unhappy with most things. I ended that relationship and decided to loose weight as that was also making me very unhappy.

I've been reasonably static around the 14 stone mark for the last 2 - 2 1/2 years now.

In answer to the other questions, I actually do both, sometimes, if feeling low I eat a whole bunch of crap (chocolate, crisps etc) and then feel guilty and make myself sick, but other times, I will eat a normal amount of food (usually when with my girlfriend), and feel bloated, often when I just go to the toilet for "normal" reasons, I end up being sick almost without realising it.

I do exercise, but no where near as much as I used to, I have a job that requires long hours, and dont have a lot of spare time.
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replied April 20th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
You developed an eating disorder somewhat later than the norm, but there are always exceptions. As to books referring to her problem etc just insert his & try to adjust what is said to suit a male perspective!! Good skills to help you remain good whether you're male or female. Also if hormones are mentioned remember that despite what many people think men do have & are affected by hormones too!!

The medication you're on is unknown to me but that doesn't matter because my reply would be the same - as we are all unique we all respond differently to each med therefore if after 2-4 weeks on a med (sooner if side effects are really bad) you are a) not getting better &/or b) are suffering too much from the side effects - you need to try a different med!!

You mention that you were in an unhealthy relationship which you chose to get out of at the same time as making other changes in your life including loss of weight. That was an enormous step to take & a huge change so it's not unrealistic to have your subconscious go into a "freefall" from the associated fears. Hence it would seem for you that this came out in the form of an eating disorder. Also though people who get into bad relationships generally have some self-esteem issues/fears relating to themselves &/or forming a family of their own which won't have disappeared simply by your ending the relationship & making some changes to yourself.

Your current weight seems pretty right for your height. I would suggest that what you need to work on is a positive self image & feeling good about yourself & your life as a whole. Some basic things for improving these areas are to take a 30 - 60 minute walk every morning about 6-7am (the time is important 6-7am even if cloudy) & also to put smilies up & smile at yourself (in the mirror) & at others - both these things actaully release chemicals into our brains to make us feel happy. Right now :d Laughing :p Cool smile & think about how you feel, (other than abit silly!!) you feel better/happier. So try doing these two things they're free & easy to do & work.

Sometimes too throwing up is associated with certain food types or certain events (my daughter throws up if she has even a taste of banana, she also gets physically ill but doesn't throw up if she eats potato, corn, bread, pasta) - my point is that often drs will assume (they did with my daughter) that the problem is an eating disorder when there may be another cause. So give some thought to this concept.

Is it possible that at times you overeat because you feel you need to make up for the nutrients you throw up? In which case you need to be aware of this or other inappropriate thought patterns before you can overcome them.

When do you see the specialist? Don't forget a dr is merely a mechanic for your body, you know your body & yourself best so if you think he/she is wrong do some research for ourslef, get another opinion & go with what you feel is right for you!!
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