Posts Tagged ‘Anorexia’

Can You Have Anorexia and Bulimia at the Same Time?

A therapist and client

Is it possible to have two eating disorders at once? What if you restrict and binge and purge? Is that anorexia or bulimia? Both? Neither?

It’s a common question, one that makes sense to ask. Many people do experience a continuum of disordered behaviors within or over the course of their illness, at times restricting, bingeing, and purging. One behavior leads to another in what is often called the eating disorder “cycle.” Trapped in this cycle, people experience symptoms that overlap multiple eating disorder diagnoses. They may be left to wonder: Exactly what, then, is the appropriate diagnosis?

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Midwest Kitchen

Woman setting pan with food on kitchen table

**Content warning: This is one person’s story. Everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Elizabeth O. is a writer, doula, and identity navigation specialist from Pennsylvania who loves thinking and talking about how to make our relationships places to heal from oppression.

The role of gender and whiteness in the development of my eating disorder

My maternal grandmother passed away from cancer three years ago. All within less than two weeks, she went from healthy to gone. She was a Minnesota Baptist minister’s wife, and five days before she passed, she lay in the hospital with her end-of-life care pastor and me.

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Christmas Morning for Ed

Woman talking on phone in front of laptop

**Content warning: Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

By Bev T.

I’ve been dealing with chronic anorexia for many years. I have periods of time when I do well in my recovery battle and times when I feel like I’m back at the beginning. When dealing with an eating disorder, as you well know, it’s not just about meal plans and food intake. It’s about isolation, anxiety, panic, and all the noise you are hearing in your head from the entire committee, not just Ed. The Noise, as I call it, is overwhelming at times. Right now being one of those times, that noise can be devastating and in some ways deadly.

Everyone is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic causing widespread panic and anxiety. Dealing with everything being shut down and told over and over to stay home and self-isolate. No contact with people, and keeping 6 feet away from those you do come in contact with. Let me make this really clear: To someone with an eating disorder or those who have an entire committee in your head, as I do, this is like CHRISTMAS MORNING for the eating disorder.

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Cardiac Complications of Eating Disorders

Stethoscope with red heart

By Dr. Mary Bretzman, physician at The Emily Program

“Why an EKG?”

“Why do you check my blood pressure lying down AND standing up?”

“Why am I dizzy when I stand?”

We often hear these questions from our clients with eating disorders. The answer? Because eating disorders can affect every part of the body, including the heart. Cardiac complications may occur as a result of the malnutrition, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances commonly associated with these disorders.

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Eating Disorders in Older Adults

Woman standing on a bridge

There are many stereotypes that feed into society’s perception of the type of people afflicted by eating disorders. If we could, those of us at The Emily Program would scream it from the rooftops: Eating disorders do not discriminate! A person’s sex, race, age, socioeconomic status, and culture don’t matter when it comes to disordered thinking about food! In this post, we focus on age and the similarities and differences of eating disorders in older adults compared to young and middle-aged adults. We will also cover the importance of seeking help, no matter a person’s life stage.

Setting the record straight on eating disorders and age

Many people think eating disorders only affect young or middle-aged adults and that beyond those years, the disorders disappear. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Eating disorders do primarily affect younger populations, and they often manifest in younger adults. According to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), it is true that eating disorders appear in early adulthood: the median age of onset for bulimia and anorexia is 18, while the median age of onset for Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is 21. However, if one of those eating disorders—or any disordered eating—goes untreated early on, that simply means that those with the eating disorder will likely continue to suffer into late adulthood. In other words, if an older adult is suffering from an eating disorder, that person has been plagued with the symptoms for decades. Adding to that heartbreak, because these adults have suffered for so long, it’s less likely that they will seek help during their golden years.

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How Sobriety Influenced my Eating Disorder Recovery

Rachel Moe

*Please keep in mind this is one person’s story and that everyone’s path to recovery and beyond will be unique.

Rachel Moe is a Registered Nurse, Emily Program client, Aunt, coffee connoisseur, and writer who loves sharing her experience through recovery in hopes of connecting with and helping others. Rachel started and leads an Eating Disorders Anonymous meeting in Duluth, MN. She also recently started a blog and plans to dive more into recovery advocacy, as she is passionate about ending the stigma around mental illness. She loves to hike, spend time with her family and friends, write, and practice yoga.

I vividly remember the first time I was told by someone that I may be an alcoholic and I should consider a life of sobriety. It was a hot August day in the Twin Cities, I was 24 years old, and sitting in my therapist’s office in a residential treatment center for my eating disorder. I had already been struggling with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa since the age of 13. My parents were on the couch across from me, tears in both of their eyes, and we were participating in family week at treatment. Now, this was not the first time someone had brought up my drinking and substance abuse to me, this was just the first time that I chose to truly listen to what was being said. I could no longer deny my life was falling apart as a result of alcohol, drugs, and my eating disorder.

The flood of emotions came immediately that day—sadness, shame, anger, grief. I mostly felt sad for my parents. I felt as though I had already inflicted enough pain through my eating disorder, how could I add another diagnosis to the list that has been growing for as long as I can remember? I felt angry that once again, I was different from my peers. In my group of friends, I was always the friend who was too anxious to go out for pizza or ice cream, so how could I also be the sober one as well?

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