Eating disorder? Nah, just some bad habits. . . .

A reader writes:
A few years ago, when I was in high school, I suffered from an eating disorder. I would binge eat (and really binge eat… like, 6000+ calories per day), then literally starve myself for days, then binge again. I didn’t gain or lose much weight because of my alternating habits, but I was suffering a lot. Not only was I severely depressed and doing poorly in school as a result, but I was fatigued and malnourished.

Finally, I decided to see a psychologist to deal with everything that was going on. I told her about everythingI told her that I wanted to lose 70 pounds, which would have put me severely underweight. I told her that I was absolutely certain I wouldn’t be happy until I was thin. Her response? “Okay. Maybe we should set you up with a weight loss counselor, then. That might be more helpful.” I asked her if my behavior constituted and eating disorder and required more therapy… she told me I just had some “bad habits” that had made me gain weight, and I was going about changing them the wrong way. According to her, it was teenage silliness and nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a healthy diet and exercise. If I had an eating disorder, I would have lost weight already.

Long story short, she declined to take me on as a patient, and five years later, I have lasting problems due to my eating disorder (which has now been diagnosed and treated, thankfully.)

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2 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    How anyone could fail to recognize this as an eating disorder boggles the mind.

    Reply
  2. I am so sorry to hear this. What a horrible shame that is. It reminds me of what I experienced in college, from a psychology professor. I myself had been suffering from bulimia, and while keeping it a secret, some of my classmates were beginning to catch on to my distorted thinking patterns on my thoughts with food and my negative body image. When the psychology professor walked in, they told him that they were thinking I may have an eating disorder. His response was, ” she definitely does not look like she has an eating disorder, so don’t worry. People with eating disorders are severely underweight, and she does not look that way.”
    Little did he know that I had been binging and purging on an almost daily basis, and was in fact suffering from great emotional pain and negative thought patterns. People with eating disorders are not always thin. Anorexia, caused severe weight loss, however, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorders, do not, and yet they can be equally as harmful. These stories are just yet another way in which we see how society berates and slanders overweight people. They have no problem feeling sympathy for anorexics and drug addicts, but overweight people or obesity? Forgot about it!

    Reply

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