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Question
Posted by: Judy | 2004/11/27

Trying to overcome anorexia

Hi

I started showing signs of anorexic behaviour at the age of 19. I had a very popular and social school life where i was accepted and loved by all. I then went to study hospitality management where my classmates weren't interested in getting to know me - I work and study very hard, I am a perfectionist.

Anyway, long story short.... My anorexia developed slowly and before I knew it, I was surviving on 1/2 a weetbix for breakfast (with water not milk) , a slice of toast with tomato for lunch and a cup of (fat free) soup or a bowl of veggies for dinner (no carrots as they contain too much sugar), I had at least 4 litres of water a day. I exercised everyday, if I didn't I would feel so guilty. Eventually I woke up one morning and found out that I could not control my bladder. That morning I passed out and got rushed to the doctor where I was rehydrated (not that I can remember) but I had drips in both arms and all I remember is being cold.

It is now 3 years later, after seeing a dietitian, a shrink and a lot of hard work, my womanly things are functioning like clockwork, I am a healthy weight and I am feeling full of energy. My problem is that I still have feelings of guilt when I eat certain foods, I still feel like I should exercise if I eat something that is fattening. I think of what to eat for the day as soon as I start breakfast.
When will this way of thinking stop? How do I stop?

Thanks for any advise!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

HI Judy,
Anorexics are usually perfectionists, even if some of what they choose to be perfectionist about is stuff that shouldn't be perfect. Delighted to hear that you eventually chose to be more perfectionist about treatment, and have improved so much. What could best finally help to end those irrational but powerful thoughts about the guilt over eating and not over-exercising, would be my usual recommendation ( because all the evidence shows it to be safe and effective ) and that is CBT, Cognitive-behaviour Therapy, if you can find someone who knows how to use it properly. One of the books I am trying to review and post about within this site, is about a CBT self-help approach to controlling eating disorders, so look out for that, too.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Judy | 2004/11/27

Thanks Cybershrink for your motivation, it has not been an easy road! I actually went out this afternoon and found a book for the therapy you suggested (for overcoming anorexia)

Reply to Judy

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