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I had bulimia and self-harmed, AMA

5 replies

TemporarySolution · 23/07/2018 20:16

In case this will help anyone whose children might be going through similar things. Ask anything, I can't promise to answer everything, will be honest in my answers but bear in mind everyone's experiences are different. Thanks x

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fantasmasgoria1 · 24/07/2018 07:48

I have what they deemed as a mix between anorexia and bulimia. I am a healthy weight now but it reads it’s ugly head! I have fairly severely self harmed due to mental illness. This began early twenties onwards. Are you a healthy weight now? Do you still battle at times with it?

TemporarySolution · 26/07/2018 12:14

Hi and thanks for your reply/question - I think some people are lucky enough truly to recover but like you, I still struggle from time to time as I was quite severely ill for a while. I have reached a BMI of 20 which I've maintained for a couple of years, and really felt the benefits both physically and mentally (I can think a lot more clearly, I am physically much stronger and my body temperature is much better regulated). But I would not say I'm completely recovered. Glad you're doing better now though!

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whatareyoueatingNOW · 26/07/2018 16:18

I don't mean to sound rude, but do you know of any cause?
You read so often on here that stopping children having desert/ making them eat their dinner/ not making them eat their dinner etc is a "recipe for eating disorders", that it's become a worry for me (I'm ridiculously anxious at the best of times)

I self harmed as a teen, and can honestly say that there was no fault of anyone or nothing that family could have done. I was deeply depressed and didn't seek any help or support- the self harm was a symptom of my ill mental health at the time. I had always thought that eating disorders are much the same, but my has made me unsure of that.

Please ignore if I'm being horrifically insensitive x

ScrumpyBetty · 26/07/2018 21:41

Hi temporarysolution thanks for posting
My job is to work with parents who have got children with eating disorders/ self harm.
What advice would you give to parents who have a teenage who self harms/ restricts food/binges?

TemporarySolution · 07/08/2018 09:31

Hi, and sorry it's been such a while since these questions were posted.


I don't think stopping children having dessert or making them eat their dinner is a "recipe for eating disorders" - I'm fairly sure of what caused mine and there were a lot of contributing factors that weren't to do with rules around food or eating while I was growing up. That said, if you can avoid using moral language about food ("I'm going to be naughty and eat this cake/I've been good and gone to the gym/I shouldn't have this but I will compensate for it later") that can only be a good thing, I still (gently) pick friends up on that sort of thing. One of the things I'm actually most grateful for was that a love of fruit and veg as opposed to processed things was inculcated in me very early, as well as a rule that if someone cooks it, I at least try a bit of it - this despite the fact that I am by inclination very fussy!

That is such a hard question - all I can say is try not to react with anger (although it can be so upsetting and frustrating) and definitely acknowledge the problem instead of ignoring it or pretending it isn't there. Also, especially with eating disorders, the more early and aggressively you can intervene, the better. It only gets more entrenched the longer it goes on.
Also, this is tricky to phrase, but I think it's really crucial not to see these sort of things as directed at parents per se ("they are just doing it to hurt me/get a reaction" etc) but also to acknowledge that there may be some things going on which, through no fault of the parents, are causing children huge stress. Massive family arguments pretty much all of the time was why I started and I simply wasn't allowed to say that they were happening, let alone that they were a problem - more than 15 years later I'm now starting to work out that they were.

Thanks for the questions! Not insensitive at all.

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