Reaching the 20yr mark - any hope at the end of this looong tunnel?(6 Posts)
I developed anorexia age 15, now approaching 35 and while the illness is not what it was back then, it is still a total nightmare EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Age 15-25 I had numerous inpatient stays, daypatient treatment, several sets of CBT, advice from a dietician, we tried to have family therapy (useless, my parents consider 'just eat more' to be the solution) etc etc. It all helped to some extent, ie I am alive, I have a job, I have two children and a wonderful loving husband but I still have anorexia.
Currently, and for several years since having my kids, I've been at BMI 16, exercise for an hour daily (thankfully my job/the kids prevent me from doing more) and am very restrictive in my eating patterns. I don't lose weight - even on small food intake and with lots of cardio - which my husband just considers a blessing. However I have bouts of moderate depression, lack energy, find the kids hard to manage, feel guilty whenever I eat, avoid social occasions (the food, too tired), look a mess and am generally a rubbish mum/wife.
Problem is that the times I have gained weight to BMI 18-20 I have felt fat and disgusting. I've been at that weight for a couple of years max before losing it all again and been miserable. I coped okay with pregnancy as I knew breastfeeding would drop the weight off.
The local NHS eating disorder services won't see me because I am too stable (ie weight not critical and no longer purge) and they wrote back to my GP saying - 'she has had lots of treatment here already'. They may mean they can't offer anything different or new.
My GP - who is very sweet but can't really do anything for me - recommended looking for an experience private psychotherapist, and to try a therapy other than CBT. We can afford it, so I'm thinking about it.
Any words of advice from anyone out there?
Yes!!! Please do get a therapist and be prepared to get another one (and another) if it doesn't work first time, finding the right connection can be hard. But please do it and don't delay - you can get better (as i have) and if you dont the consequences will be awful, for you and for your kids. Dont ever tell yourself they will not ne affected - they will be,more and more so as they grow. Plus you owe it to yourself - there's a much nicer life you could be livi g i promise you.
You need a proper Cognitive Analytical Therapist experienced in EDs. Much better than CBT.
rebelrebel - what helped you get better?
Just through therapy really...i found the right person for me and worked through a lot of painful things from childhood and teens...understood how i got from a to b. Realised i was using the ED to manage (or actually avoid) virtually all strong feelings but particularly sadness and anxiety / fear. All tiose times when you're thinking about eating / not eating / being thin / not being thin enough / etc - this is a mask for thinking and feeling the real life stuff that would actually affect you if you let it. The ED cuts all that out and also keeps other people at arms length - never close - so you're protected, because ultimately the ED feels more important than anyone or anything.
For me getting better has meant facing up to the fact I'm pretty rubbish at relationships - i tend to put myself in the role of giver and find it hard to get what i need, then if anyone does give stuff back im terrified theyll get sick of me and walk away. When i had an ED i thought my relationships were ok as i was focusing on food!
Im not explaining this v well but bottom line i think there are 2 parallel worlds - ED world where everything you feel is about this one thing and the real world, where you get to experience your real thoughts and feelings. This won't be easy but it gives you the possibility of love and happiness which dont really exist in ED world.
I've arranged an assessment with a potentially suitable ED specialist therapist - can do CAT or psychodynamic as well as CBT. Sounded nice on phone but I know how important it is to 'click' with the therapist. The person i saw as a teenager i didn't engage with due to denisl, the 2nd I didn't like so was hopeless but there was no option to swap as t was nhs. Last cbt therapist was fantastic and helped me get to this point.
Will see how it goes!
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