Best descriptions of eating disorders.

Just some things I have read recently that I really like. At last there are some things around that haven’t got eating problems totally upside down!

“People who develop eating disorders feel that they’re not good enough,” Sacker says. “They become obsessed with perfectionism. That perfectionism begins to focus on what they eat. But underlying it is depression and anxiety.”

“At first, it was such a relief not to worry about anything else. The eating disorder started as a coping mechanism to help me avoid my other problems. But, in the end, it became the biggest problem of all.”

“If your value is looking good by societal standards, then you’ll feel good about taking that self-depriving step towards trying to lose a bit more weight – e.g. passing on dessert. There is definitely some psychological reward from having this Spartan mentality. On top of this, if you value achievement and hard work, it seems you’ll certainly at an increased risk of deriving a lot of pleasure from controlling food intake.” 

“They are emotional illnesses and really there is only one illness: the use of one or another aspect of eating behaviour to change the way we feel.”

“Too fat or too thin, it’s the same emotional illness.”

“When I had Anorexia, I really wanted to say to an aunt: ‘please don’t mention that I look ‘well’ because this triggers my eating disorder thoughts’ but I didn’t know how to do say so tactfully, and did not want to bring attention to myself, so what did I do? I started to avoid that aunt. What did my mother think? She thought I was being rude. And on it goes …”

“I can’t even look at the menu. There’s nothing on here I can eat. There are too many choices. I don’t want to be here and now everyone’s looking at me. I want to go home!”

“The biggest problem with humanity is that we always want to know why. Maybe it is ok to sometimes not know, and to accept life as it comes. You have to challenge your own hurdles instead of sitting down to look for an answer you might never find.”


Online tests for mental health: better than a gp?

I’m not sure why, but I suddenly started to think about how and when and why I started to question my eating habits. For me, googling “do I have an eating disorder test” was the beginning of accepting that things weren’t quite right… the weird part is that I still continued to deny (and at times hate) it when others suggested I might have a problem! But a tiny piece of me always knew I think…

When I first started to take the tests (and believe me, I took practically all of them), a bit of me was surprised when they said I had an eating disorder. I suppose that I’ve always had a weird fascination with them, a love for thinness and a fear of my own inadequacy, but I always presumed I was too fat, not good enough and/or ate too much to actually have one! (Ironically, all of those things only reinforce that my thinking is not normal)

Looking back on this strange phase of really not having a clue what was going on with me, I now see that those anonymous quizzes were a vital thing, and that I was far more honest on those than I was/am able to be with a gp. I now also realise that the fact I was thinking about having an ed and taking the time to do the assessments is a sign of a problem in itself.

Don’t know where this post is going really… just wanted to give my two cents about the value of online quizzes, as without them I may never have come to terms with my problems at all. If anyone is worried about themselves or a friend, I would take a couple, cos the questions aren’t all that different to those I’ve had to answer with a gp (and it is 20 times harder to be honest to a real person!)