*POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING. THIS POST AND TOMORROW’S POST IS ABOUT AN EATING DISORDER AND A PERSONAL RECOVERY STORY.*
There are so many things that affect our relationship with our body, the strongest of which is our desire to be accepted by society and to have control over something when everything else seems so out of control. If you live in an emotional and mental storm where unconditional love, support and consistency are lacking, then the potential for mental illnesses to develop is not only possible but highly likely, one of which could be some form of an eating disorder. In today’s post I will explore the eating disorder of anorexia nervosa, it’s definition, behaviours to watch for, consequences, where to look for help and finally a personal story of recovery from someone who I love, admire and who inspires me every day to be better.
*If any of the following information I am about to share triggers your own mental health then I suggest you have a trusted loved one read first to access whether this is appropriate or helpful information for you, perhaps even reading together would feel more safe for you. Also I stress I am not a mental health specialist, nutritionist or doctor and the information I am sharing comes from personal research only and from talking with someone who has experienced this illness and is now in recovery. If you or someone you love is at risk or exhibits any of the following behaviours I strongly urge you to seek professional medical advice and attention.*
Anorexia Nervosa, a definition: consists of extreme weight loss, difficulty maintaining appropriate body weight for height, stature and age, and distorted body image.
- restricts the number of calories and types of food that is eaten
- may exercise compulsively
- may purge via vomiting, laxatives and/or binge eat
- dramatic weight loss
- dresses in layers to hide weight loss and to stay warm
- denies feeling hungry
- may exhibit food rituals
- makes excuses to avoid meals or situations involving food
- has a strong need for control
- difficulty concentrating
- stomach cramps
- low thyroid and hormone levels
- low potassium
- low blood cell counts
- slow heart rate
- feeling of being cold all the time
- sleep problems
- menstrual irregularities
- dental problems
- dry skin
- muscle weakness
- poor wound healing
- high risk for death
To recover from an eating disorder like the one described above, a combination of therapies and medical intervention will be necessary. The illness requires nutritionists, psychological counselling, psychiatric monitoring, inpatient/outpatient stays and appointments, individual and group therapies and hospitalization. Recovery is a long haul but not impossible and as you will read in tomorrow’s recovery story, there is light at the end of the tunnel. An eating disorder of any kind does not have to be your final destination. There is a life waiting for you outside of your illness.
All information included in this post comes from http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org and ggsrecovery on Instagram.
This is a heavy topic but necessary information in an age where how you look is still more valuable than how you feel, where people who have nothing else in their lives to call their own feel like weight control is the only way to have a say in how their life is lived and when everything else around them is chaos, what they eat and how much they eat gives them some level of comfort and control. No one can feel Pretty, Plus or Proud in the midst of abuse and/or neglect.
If any of the information you have read is familiar to you or someone you love, please seek the necessary professional support so you or your loved one can live the life you were meant to live and are so deserving of.