Every person with a mental illness is different. 

In my session today we spoke a lot about how my doubts about my body and if I’m sick enough can make me feel really low. The thought that I’ve somehow failed at my disorder is so distressing to me. Eating Disorders love it when you get one upsetting thought, because then they just add about 10 more thoughts about the thought for you to worry about as well! 

She said something that has got me thinking, because it doesn’t tie in with my black and white view of the world. It isn’t really a case of you are anorexic or not, bipolar or not, depressed or not, because each person with any mental illness is different, aren’t they? 

Woah. Mind blown and very confused. 

This makes sense, as I know that my anxiety is different to other people I know, because everybody has a different set of worries and triggers. My problem is that I’m not sure if she was implying whether or not I’m anorexic now. I would have asked, but I had a lot of things on my mind at the time. 

What do you guys think?


11 thoughts on “Every person with a mental illness is different. 

  1. I keep getting told that labels are not important, and not necessarily helpful. The best thing to do, is to focus on moving forward, finding ways to deal with the things we find difficult, finding ways around the obstacles we face, and keep moving forward, rather than focussing on treating a label, because even if we are given a label, like you said, everyone with a mental illness is different. Hope this helps! X

    • Yeah, it’s true that it isn’t always helpful. I was diagnosed several years ago, then I was diagnosed with bulimia 3 years ago. It’s like I want confirmation that I’m right that anorexia is where I am now. My bulimia was pretty short lived, but I never found a healthy medium. I just went back to restricting! That’s my hurdle. The fear of losing control

      • I understand that, that’s your anorexia making you feel you want to be ‘anorexic enough’ which unhelpfully equates to ‘good enough’ in the mind of an anorexic. Do you know what your BMI is? You can work out yourself then your diagnosis, not that it is at all helpful. It will just fuel your eating disorder and your eating disorder will thrive on that and likely get worse. I can completely relate to the fear of losing control, I have that very same fear, of eating and eating and eating and never stopping. I hope you’re getting the help and support you deserve to find a happy medium with regards to eating, a healthy balance. X

      • I am getting help, but I no longer know my weight. I was diagnosed with anorexia a long time ago, and stopped weighing myself during my first failed recovery (I developed bulimia rather than a happy medium!) that didn’t last too long and I went to group therapy for it, but my restricting switch went back on and now it’s what feels safe x

  2. xx hey dancer, I think the problem is tying the definition of anorexia to any particular weight – it is a mental illness primarily and the weight is a symptom. The over-evaluation of weight is also a symptom. And the over-evaluation of control of eating is another symptom. A person’s current bmi doesn’t reflect how deeply entrenched the disorder is in their mind AT ALL… This can be difficult to remember when the disorder is active in your mind… I get caught in this kind of denial thinking over and over 😦 it can be hard to get out of but I try to remember those things – that it is a mental illness and your mind needs to heal. Your therapist sounds great though – I really like her take on ‘every person being different’ its really made me think too! When you say that about ED loving it when we have one thought we feel bad about so it can add ten more ARGH you are so right!!! XX take care of you ‘dancer and thanks for sharing your thoughts xxx Em

    • Thanks. I’ve weight normal and underweight throughout my whole life, and at no point have I thought I was small. People do say I’m small but it’s hard to believe them. I think my therapist didn’t want to feed my thoughts by telling me what I look like so I have to figure it out by myself xxx

      • First of all, I’m glad you’re getting help, and I hope it is actually helping. I totally understand that it makes you feel safe, I feel exactly the same. It makes me numb, and therefore, safe. But that’s not actually the case apparently, it’s anorexia tricking us once again. Nightmare of an illness!! Xx

  3. Wow I’m really taken aback by the fact that you have the black and white thinking as well…. I thought I had that as a separate thing from my eating disorder but now I’m feeling like maybe it’s a symptom of it. It’s so difficult to not swing one way or the other and if you think about it it’s the same with the Ed.

    Sorry I’m stuck on that part bc that just validated me. So, thank you.

    • You’re welcome! I’ve always been told that it’s common to have that kind of thinking pattern when you struggle with an ED, so you can’t be alone! It must be linked to the obsessional nature of it I suppose… Everything is fat or thin, right or wrong, good enough or terrible etc xx

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