Anorexia My Closest Love Has Looted Me

All of us here at the office are inundated with Anorexia Blogs, posts and stories. We welcome your writing in hope to treat anorexia, and we know that writing about anorexia helps you if you are suffering.

This is an account of Anorexia written by Lizzie Porter. It is Eating Disorder Awareness time again and we wonder if what you are writing helps others, or helps them to reach out.

We get very sad reading all this ourselves. But it is OK if this helps us to treat anorexia or if this helps you to recover. Or if it adds to our awareness and understanding of the disease.

I do not think that any  descriptions aid understanding because people with anorexia do not really understand themselves; they just describe in a lot of very colourful detail. A starving being is stripped of self awareness. It is up to us psychotherapists to know about the nature of the Voice and to know what else is hidden underneath this condition. It is the hidden material which is not in awareness.

I have talked today to a journalist about pro anorexia websites and what is bad and good about them. I explained about anorexia and what it means if you have it. It isn’t just a wish to be thin and you can’t treat it with threats and promises. It is like Aids of the soul.

If reading Lizzie’s article  helps you, along with all the other books and stories, then we will keep on sharing your stories. Please, please, please, please, however send us more stories about what helped you to recover. Please use your suffering to help others recover, if you can. I recovered from anorexia many years ago and it is simply a shadow memory.  I do not give it house room any more. The wish to be thin never goes away, but the Voice now bounces off a different life for which I am always grateful.

Source New Statesman 

These Women Say Gyms Must Do More To Help Members Who Have Eating Disorders

I’ve been helping Buzzfeed to prepare an in-depth exposure of gym practices . Gyms are full of men and women who strive to be thin (and fit?);  to shave off fat and to build muscle. Some of these people are overdoing exercise, or are too thin to work out. Some men are abusing steroids to beef up. Some gyms encourage this kind of muscle competition and advise people to take all sorts of pills and supplements that may help. This is just one step away from taking steroids, which can kill and maim.

Do gyms have a moral responsibility to single outEllie Hopleypeople who may have an eating disorder, and tell them to stop coming?

Most gyms have a health questionnaire to fill in for members. But I would like to bet that trainers turn a blind eye to people who appear too thin to pound the treadmill or turn up for their daily 2 mile swim. On top of that, many people with life threatening eating disorders like bulimia, don’t look too thin at all.

If one gym expressed concern, I would also bet that an exercise addict with an eating disorder would just go somewhere else.  Should gyms  have a legal responsibility for clients who run on empty?  I think they have a moral duty. Alongside their advertisements for classes, I would like them to have some health posters up, to guide people against exercise addiction and to help people who might have an eating disorder. They could train staff  to talk to people in confidence and show them where to go for help.

People with eating disorders can be their own worst friends. I’ve heard people say; If no-one has taken me aside and worried about me, it means I am not thin enough, so tha’ts one good reason to keep starving. I’ve heard others deny that they have an exercise addiction; they are addicted to their own endorphins. Exercise addiction – are you or aren’t you… that’s another story for another day.

Gyms and for that matter, personal trainers, have a lot to answer for if they don’t know when and how to say “I’m worried about you- would you like to talk about this?”.I know someone who was driven into a serious eating disorder by a personal trainer who did not know what she was doing.

If this article is taken seriously by just one gym, it was worth writing. If you belong to a gym why not go and talk to someone who will be prepared to read it.

Source Buzzfeed

 

Overshadowed: The BBC3 Vlogging Drama Tackling Anorexia

Michelle Fox in Overshadowed

‘Overshadowed’ – the new BBC 3 mini-drama on anorexia, deals with the difficult portrayal of a horrific illness. The series depicts the brutal reality of anorexia without glamourizing the illness.

Something quite unique to this portrayal, which may ring true to many anorexia sufferers, is the personification of the anorexic ‘voice’.  This ‘voice’ is often with the sufferer day and night, speaking to them as loudly and clearly as a real person. As portrayed in ‘Overshadowed’, this voice often starts as a friend – encouraging diet and exercise, praising the sufferer for their weight loss. Many find this comforting. As the illness progresses, the voice turns from friend to foe. The voice becomes critical, malicious. The voice tells the sufferer that they are ‘worthless’ or berates them for ‘lacking willpower’ to practice extreme diet and exercise regimes. It encourages them to distance themselves from friends and family who may be trying to help. Many anorexics will not admit to hearing a voice. But more often than not, it is absolutely there.

NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) techniques can help sufferers to actually control this voice in a way that other treatments cannot. At the NCFED we are trained to bring the Voice under control.

It is important to note that this mini-series was filmed over just 12 days and the lead actress Michelle Fox, whilst certainly petite, did not lose any weight for this portrayal. Weight-loss type effects were achieved with make-up and clothing. The script was written by Eva O’Connor, who is a recovered anorexic herself, which may explain why this portrayal of the anorexic experience is more accurate than many others. In fact, Eva personally plays the role of the anorexic voice.

If you or a loved one is affected by any of the issues raised in this program, get in touch with the NCFED for help.

Source: BBC Three

Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia

 Mark and Maddy Austin in Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia.

It is a month since Mark Austin made a TV programme about his daughter Maddy’s anorexia. He has done this to point out how hard it is to get treatment when a child begins to waste away. The Duke of Cornwall got involved as well, but has it changed anything very much- not yet. It was brave of Maddy to take part in this programme. I wonder how she really felt about it. I wonder how she is now, if her anorexic voice has gone away.

Mark and his missus told us a harrowing story about how they coped with Maddy’s anorexia. How his wife had to sleep with Maddy to keep her safe, to make sure that she didn’t die during the night. How he told her to go away and die if that was what she wanted, in frustration at how powerless he felt. There is a line in the book ‘Heart of Darkness’ which speaks to me about anorexia. The Horror; The Horror.

We are all so glad that Maddy found the help she needed at an eating disorder clinic in Surrey which nursed her back to health. But I am left wondering exactly what the nurse practitioner actually did and said to her. So I am left frustrated, wanting to know if there is some sort of secret about anorexia recovery that despite all my years of experience, I haven’t found quite yet.

We had a phone call today from a mother whose daughter has  anorexia for 7 years. They exist in a tormented relationship, mother trying to help, daughter lashing out, sick husband living on the sidelines witness to a daily living hell. For years I felt I didn’t have the courage to work with anorexia, now I do, I am not afraid to face it. I have to go so deep down to find the person who has become its prisoner, and from time to time come to the surface gasping for air. The air is always there.

 

The Guardian

Its Hard To Get Help When You’re Not Thin

So many people tell me that their eating problems aren’t taken seriously because they look normal or thin. Ann (not real name) said last week that she felt like a fraud sitting in an eating disorder group because she was the only person who wasn’t thin. She came to see us for an assessment. Afterwards she said

And so I haven’t fully believed that what “I” have is a proper eating disorder but rather what I have is just a problem, that just I have, that no-one has been able to help me with and that I should and will be able to sort out on my own at some point in the future. I realise now that is not the case, I deserve help, which is scary and overwhelming but also exciting and hopeful.

If you want an assessment by someone who understands all the faces of an eating disorder,  you can find it here with us.

Source The Metro

Another Step Another Story for Anorexia Recovery

I’ve been sent a blog about anorexia recovery from Jessica Mell who tells me
“I am inviting you today to view my blog, engage with its content and use the platforms that you have in order to help me communicate with others; ultimately giving hope and support to those that are in need. I am passionate about making a positive difference to the way that mental health issues are viewed in society and to the support that is available”.

So here you are. If you want to take a step into anorexia recovery and start to live you might want to read Jessica’s blog. As I keep saying, it is not a crime to eat. Visit http://everystepanotherstory.blogspot.co.uk

Supporting Young People In Recovery Project

WE NEED YOUR HELP

 Elizabeth and team at Nottingham Trent University are investigating social identity, social networks and eating disorder recovery amongst young people aged 16-25.

The study involves an email interview with questions, to explore the experiences of young people who seek out support for their eating disorder online. The questions will be emailed to you in advance with a consent form. You will have a few days to answer. After you reply with your answers the next lot of questions will be emailed to you. This should take an hour of your time

Who can take part?

You will be aged between 16 and 25 and you will have experience of using online groups to help support you with an eating disorder.

If you would like to take part in an email interview, and help people like yourself, please email the study’s research assistant, Elizabeth on elizabethmair.ntu@gmail.com

Body Image In The LGBTQ Community

An assistant producer from the BBC has recently got in touch with me as they are currently making a series about LGBTQ+ life in the UK. He is currently researching into Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Body image for the series and asked that I reach out to all our readers to find out whether anyone might be interested in sharing their experiences with him. All conversations would be completely confidential and would be to help him develop the series and ensure that it includes the most pertinent issues.

If it is something you think you might be interested in then please drop him an e-mail at Pete.Grant@bbc.co.uk or you can give him a call on 07914 131222.

Thanks for reading. I hope you can help.

Running & Eating Disorders – Recovery Really?

Is running marathons a legitimate and useful way to promote recovery from eating disorders?

Is running marathons a good way to raise money for eating disorder charities?

Is running just another way of expressing eating disorder pathology?

Is EVEN MORE running a substitution for eating disorder behaviour?

Is EVEN MORE marathon running a good example to set for people recovering from eating disorders?

Is this really a celebration of recovery or a way to justify eating more?

I leave you to work it out.  See The Marathon Runner’s Story

Emma Woolf Lets Go And Heals

Emma Woolf, author, journalist and journeywoman of Supersize and Superskinny fame has written an inspirational book about her updated journey into recovery: Letting Go: How To Heal Your Hurt, Love Your Body and Transform Your Life. The title of the book means what it says, because Emma has discovered how to transform apparent recovery into real healing. Recovery means getting well, healing is something else, it is about making real caring amends to body, mind, soul and other people who have been blighted by the illness. It is about living a life which is not dominated by anorexic rituals and thoughts. True transformation isn’t about gaining weight – we all know that. It is about being free. I urge all people with eating disorders to read this book and be inspired by someone who has been there before you. Emma my friend, good for you.