Realizing there is a problem

@dorannmwin (36696)
United States
December 17, 2012 11:06pm CST
I'm pretty sure that I am showing some of the signs of anorexia. However, I have to say that what I am seeing is not in the traditional sense of the term. It isn't because of having a negative body image and it isn't about purging food. It isn't about being abused by other people. Instead, it is about the fact that I've not had an appetite for a long time and I've barely been eating enough to keep a bird alive. I realized over the weekend that I am showing some of the symptoms. Why did this happen to me? I have to say that a lot of it has to do with all of the stress that I've been through. You see, when I was younger, I was a person that would eat when I was stressed, as I've gotten older, I'm a person that doesn't eat because I am stressed out. So because of making this realization (with the help of my mother) I am making a conscious effort to make sure that I'm eating more than one small meal every day. I'm starting to take vitamins and I'm also looking for a therapist that I can talk to in order work through the issues that I've been experiencing. Have you ever realized that you had some kind of a problem in your life. If you did realize that you were showing some of the symptoms of mental illness, have you been able to work your way through your issues with very little outside intervention?
3 people like this
14 responses
@911Ricki (13602)
• Canada
18 Dec 12
It's good you can see this and fix it. I know many cannot see this, and will let it take over their life (I know one member here who has, and it's rather said that all they can think of is not eating so they wont gain weight). But taking steps to fix it is beneficial, and seeing what is causing this issues. I hope you can work towards it, and get over this hump.
2 people like this
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
I do feel like I will be able to get through this. The sad thing is that I probably would not have really started to realize that my not eating was actually a problem were it not for some of the physical symptoms that I've been experiencing. I've been bruising extremely easily and I've also been having an extremely long menses (not to be too graphic). My GYN said that I should try to change my diet and see if that makes a difference before we consider birth control pills to regulate my period.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (159585)
• Garden Grove, California
19 Dec 12
help typos Ilost 45 pounds not 454 lord and much not mush also high blood pressure not sugar d arn did not editl
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
20 Dec 12
I'm so glad that you did give a correction because I was sitting here thinking that I've seen your picture on facebook and I don't think there is any way that you could have ever weighed what I was reading.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
18 Dec 12
when i was in my last year of highschool, i was somewhat like that as well. i never got it diagnosed and cannot remember how i got back into a normal lifestyle. what i did was skipped breakfast for the whole year and i find that if i don't eat proper meals, i get headaches and get shaky (it is not diabetes, either. i think it is in direct correlation to that year). i have to say that i still don't really like eating but now it is because i often cannot taste the food (due to nose issues) and often don't feel hungry. to that end, i only try and eat foods that i really like so i will be interested in eating. best wishes. i hope things work out for you. if you ever need a shoulder or an ear, i am here for you.
1 person likes this
@911Ricki (13602)
• Canada
18 Dec 12
I use to do that, I never aate breakfast. If I did I would be sick, but I found if I waited a few hours I would be fine. I am the same thing now, if I wait a little before eating after wwaking up I am fine. But my issue was the teachers wouldn't let you eat certain times. I actually had ot beg my doctor to write me a note stating I could when I had too.
2 people like this
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
I do think that I have taken the right first step in getting more healthy again because I have admitted that I have a problem. I'm also glad to see that most of you aren't saying that I'm completely wrong here because what some people don't realize is that there is a fundamental difference between anorexia and anorexia nervosa.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (159585)
• Garden Grove, California
19 Dec 12
hi dorannmwin in order words anorexia is just loss of a ppetite while anorexis nervosa is that plus bad body imagine and a loss of self esteem too. 'so just loss of appetite does not necessarily mean mental illness b ut more likely plain old depression that ones primary care doctor cahn help with? Of course seeing a m ental health professions for depression can be helpful too.I was so happy to find out my weight gain was not from overeating but from lack of enough thyroid. My doctor told me that a lot of type two diabetics also have under active thyroids.
@bostonphil (4390)
• United States
18 Dec 12
You have been under a lot of stress as you yourself say. It may very well that the loss of your appetite is due to all the stress that you are under. Like your younger self, I eat too much when I am stressed out. You might also be suffering from depression and that would explain the loss of appetite. A therapist or counselor might help but you might also need to see a physician for medication. There are meds out there that can help. As you may know, I am a severe long-term insomniac. When I first developed insomnia in 1975, I thought that I could beat it on my own -- that I could ignore it and it would just go away. I tried to maintain my daily schedule on 2 to 4 hours sleep night after night. It did not work and I was forced to get professional help. I have not had one normal sleep since 1975. Presently, I have other issues that I am having to deal with like some anxiety and back and leg problems. I have tried to deal with these issues myself but have finally decided I need professional help and am going to the doctor on Wednesday. I am going to ask for some meds for anxiety as well as a referral to a specialist.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 12
I should add that you are not necessarily mentally ill because of loss of appetite.
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@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
Well, in addition to the disease anorexia nervosa, depression and stress related illnesses are often considered to be mental illnesses as well. If I don't remember anything else from my minor in psychology, that is one thing that I do remember. I don't think I can beat it all on my own, but I do think that I can take steps in the right direction on my own.
1 person likes this
@cynthiann (18637)
• Jamaica
19 Dec 12
I am a stress eater and this has been a problem all of my life. I am glad that you recognise that you have a problem but I d not think that it is anorexia but caused by even more stress. This happened to me when I was in a deep depression - not stress- and after a few bites if food I could not eat anything more. And yes, I went into therapy and this helped me so very much.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
I'm only calling it anorexia because the definition of anorexia is loss of appetite. I don't think that I'm dealing with the mental illness of anorexia nervosa, but rather stress and depression related mental disorders. I've been through therapy before and it helped me a lot when I was in college so I have no reason at all to think that it won't be a help for me now with everything that I've been going through during the past couple of years.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (26987)
• United States
18 Dec 12
I understand exactly how you are feeling with this. When I am stressed or upset I cannot eat. I try but I literally cant. Since my man left me in October I've lost about 17 pounds. The weight I lost was all the weight I had put on from the depo shot now I'm back to my normal weight but the way I lost that weight was just because I was so depressed and couldnt eat. I eat more for dinner now but for a month and a half I only ate about a banana each day something small like that I gagged down. I would look and food and feel like I was going to vomit. It was all I could do to swallow my coffee one sip at a time and will myself the whole time not to let it come back up. It was the first time in my life that my depression caused me physical side effects like that.
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
See, you've been through pretty much what I've been going through. We've both had some anorexia in the proper definition of the word, being the loss of appetite. There are a lot of people that think that when someone says the word anorexia, they are always talking about anorexia nervosa when it reality that is not always the case and often is not.
1 person likes this
@savypat (20248)
• United States
18 Dec 12
There seems to be times in everyone's life that imput from a person who is totally uninvolved in one's life is very helpful. Somehow looking from the outside in instead of from the inside out can give a whole new light on the situation. So don't worry what others think, just do what you know in your heart is best for you. I am glad you are starting to take better care of your body, you can never cope with life's problems if your body is not well. Blessings
1 person likes this
@deazil (4605)
• United States
19 Dec 12
Good that you recognize a problem. I had a close friend whose sister had/has anorexia nervosa. Brought on by extreme life changes in a short time - infidelity in her marriage, divorce and her mother's sudden passing at a young age (55). It had nothing to do with body image, in the beginning. That came quite a bit later. Much more to do with self-worth. And it is an extreme mental illness. Some of the things her sister did were unbelievable. Many times the family of the affected person goes into denial. By the time they realize there's a problem it's progressed to a dangerous point. The mind of an anorexic patient perceives things from a totally different perspective than what is real. And physically they feel fine due to the creation of opioids by the brain, brought on by starvation. Years ago there was a woman in Canada who had good success with AN patients. She believed that love and caring for the individual was what worked. I have appetite problems but not to the point of being concerned. I have other problems that concern me. But I will have to deal with them on my own. I think therapy is good, in general, if one can find a good therapist. I have not had bad experiences in this area, for the most part. It's good that your mother can help you. I hope you overcome this problem as you have overcome many other obstacles in your life.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
20 Dec 12
I believe that I have proven throughout my life that I am a survivor, so I will be able to get through this just like I've been able to get through all of the other problems that I've had to face in my life. I might not be able to do it all by myself, but I know that it is something that I will be able to get through with some help.
@deazil (4605)
• United States
20 Dec 12
As usual, your strength and convictions are admirable. I have no doubt that you will conquer this as well. You don't stay down for very long.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
21 Dec 12
Well, there have been some times in my life that I've been down for a while, but I won't ever be out. That is just the way that my parents brought me up to be and I'm very thankful to them for that.
@dawnald (84157)
• Shingle Springs, California
1 Jan 13
I have a friend who loses her appetite when she's upset about something. Definitely not something I've ever had a problem with.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
2 Jan 13
The funny thing is that if you were to look at me, you would think that I was a person that ate when I was stressed, but it isn't something that I can do any more. In fact there are some times that I will go for a day or more without eating anything just because I don't think about eating.
@maezee (27880)
• United States
25 Dec 12
I don't think labeling this is helping the situation... Unless you are diagnosed professionally, I wouldn't worry about the "label". Besides, anorexia is very serious.... very lengthy (possibly forever?) disorder. I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. Loss of appetite is common for people who are under stress. I almost wish I was the type to lose my appetite when under stress, unfortunately it's usually the opposite for me. . Since you seem bent on labeling it, what other symptoms of "anorexia" do you see in yourself? Since you have not been eating, are you growing much thinner? Are you making goals in your weight loss, overexercising, punishing yourself when eating too much, or anything else? For me, anorexia was more about the mentality rather than the physical side of things. Hunger was always there, but it was something that I, and my other 'ana' buddies worked at keeping quiet. Whatever it is you are going through, mentally, whether it be just stress or something else, yes - it's important not to take it out on your body. Best of luck to you.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
27 Dec 12
Anorexia, being the loss of appetite, not anorexia nervosa being the fixation on food, body image, etc. There is a big difference there. The loss of appetite (the original definition of anorexia) is actually a symptom of some other mental illnesses that I have going on, I'm inclined to believe that it is depression and anxiety, but I won't label myself in that way without talking to someone first who can either confirm or deny what is going on with me.
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
25 Dec 12
yes I became aware of my own mental illness last year I had several sessions since then. the first ones to confirm and specify what exactly it is that I am suffering. the rest are for treatment. Mine is depression/anxiety. on its own, not very dangerous and quite common. but it's been going on for years and I used to ignore it. so it is now affecting my appetite, focus, sleep and memory. I didn't notice the appetite because I am always the pickiest in the family about food. But ever since I put up a fight, starting early this year -- like I forced myself to sleep when I didn't feel sleepy, forced myself to eat when I wasn't hungry etc I noticed the difference, it's only slight difference as it's the first yr I underwent mental health sessions, but it's the proof I needed to continue fighting.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
27 Dec 12
I'm pretty sure that mine is depression and anxiety related as well and that it is manifesting itself in other areas of my life because of the fact that it has been something that has been going on for an extended period of time in my life. I know that things are going to get better for us soon because of circumstances, but that doesn't mean that my mental health would be able to get better on its own.
@marguicha (81874)
• Chile
23 Dec 12
I have been eating more than I should and I have done up some kilos since I got ill. I am sure that it has to do with stress, just as I also think that what you tell us about you has to do with the same thing. Our body has different ways to deal with stress and mine is the opposite of yours. Still, it seems that the way to regain our balance is going to a therapist for help.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
27 Dec 12
I don't think that there is anything at all wrong with visiting therapists. In fact, it is something that I'm quite looking forward to because of the fact that I know that it will be something that will not only help me with the issues that I am having in my life right now, it will also be something that will help me to resolve issues that I have that exist from my past as well.
@Hatley (159585)
• Garden Grove, California
19 Dec 12
dorannmwin to me it sounds more like y ou have had a run of depression over'problems in your life that have done away with hunger pangs.Some people go one wa y of not eating and others over eat.' I had problems with thinking I did not much like me. Myhubby was better than shrink as he taught me to believe myself.He taught me I was unique, one of a kind, and to be proud of myself. In later years I though I had an eating problem. Because I wa overweight and nothing seemed to help me to lose weight I thought it was just a depression thing. But my doctor did not think so and he sent me to have my thyroid checked. Sure enough I was under thyroid so he put me on thyroid medication and without hardly any change of diet I lost from 220 to 191 and am now aiming for a goal of 150.See your doctor to determine just why you are not eating as you should be.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
20 Dec 12
I'm more than willing to see the doctor because I know that will be one of the things that will be a big help to me. However, I do know it is going to take a little bit of time to get in with him because of the holidays.
• United States
18 Dec 12
Disordered eating is about control (I won't go so far as to call this anorexia, but it certainly does fall within the category of being "disordered."). You feel out of control in other areas of your life, so you exert control over eating--or, in this case, not. It is good that you are making an effort to head this off early on. Making a conscious effort to eat and seeking out the help of a therapist are good steps to take.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
I only go so far as to call it anorexia because the definition of the word anorexia is loss of appetite (anorexia nervosa is what most people think of whenever they hear anorexia). It looks like it might take a while before I am able to go to a therapist because of the holidays and waiting for an appointment, but I'm not going to stop until I start to get better.
1 person likes this
@beenice2 (2283)
• Canada
18 Dec 12
It is easy when you are stressed out to have a hard time to feel hungry are to eat because the stomach is stressed. Although we have to make some effort to not let ourself go downhill like that. Keep our self healthy is our responsibility, nobody else but us will suffer of the consequences and some around us too in some ways.Keep it going have a good meal.
@dorannmwin (36696)
• United States
19 Dec 12
I did have a pretty good meal today and an fairly healthy lunch as well. I also believe that I am probably going to try to have a healthy snack this evening as well. It still isn't really easy for me to eat, but I have to do something or else there is the chance that I wouldn't be able to be here for my children.