We are in the middle of the holiday season, which means that you’ve most likely endured some degree of familial stress. From the commotion of cooking large meals for the extended family to body and food-centric dinner table talk, it’s easy to see why the holidays might just be the most stressful time of the year. For those in eating disorder recovery and those who are support people, it’s essential to know what stress is and how it functions. With an understanding of the nature of stress, we can move forward compassionately and mitigate anxiety-inducing moments by utilizing positive communication skills.
Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’
One thing that makes eating disorders so difficult to live with and to treat is that they often do not exist in isolation. A very large number of people suffering from eating disorders may also suffer from another illness. For instance, it is extremely common for someone with an eating disorder to have significant anxiety—and there is likely a biological relationship between eating disorders and anxiety symptoms. Depression is also extremely common in relation to eating disorders. This may be related to biological traits that are similar; however, it may also be related to the change in brain chemistry that occurs with starvation, binging, purging, and/or other eating disorder behaviors. Or it may exist as a completely separate diagnosis.
I recently came across an article in The Mighty called, “37 Memes That Might Make You Laugh If You Live with ‘High-Functioning’ Anxiety,” and let me tell you, I did laugh and immediately forwarded the articles to three of my friends that I knew would relate. While hilarious, the article also highlights the reality of anxiety and, specifically, that anxiety isn’t just everyday stress.
We live in a society that’s always on the go, and this constant activity can often lead to stress and anxiety. When anxiety creeps up, we may feel overwhelmed, stuck or out of control. We may get distracted, hyperfocus or avoid responsibilities. While severe anxiety should be addressed with a therapist or medical doctor, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate symptoms of anxiety.
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 or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Nicole, a former Emily Program client
As I have grown up and entered the new chapter in my life that has begun my years as a young adult, I have had many obstacles thrown my way before reaching the age of 21. I am happy to say that I am living a happy, healthy, productive, and recovering life in my house up north with my mom and dad. However, it took many years of therapy, medication adjustments, and support from my loved ones to get to where I am today. Things weren’t always promising for me.
By Elizabeth Cappers, an intern at The Emily Program
The second I wake up in the morning my mind starts racing…”don’t forget about your appointment today, and remember to finish that assignment for class — you need to do well, and that test coming up — you need to study more than last time because we know how that went…and oh yeah don’t forget to feed the cat, seriously you need to eat breakfast, and come on now make sure you’re on time, it’s so embarrassing when you’re late.” Instantaneously I want to throw the covers over my head, close my eyes and disappear from the world as I become filled with an overwhelming and stressful lump of emotions that sits restlessly cold in my throat. How is anyone suppose to: get good grades, apply for graduate school, keep up their course load, study, exercise, eat right, have an internship, volunteer, work, hang out with friends, get enough sleep…let alone have one second to even to BREATHE! There are only 24 hours in a single day!