First stop – psychologist, not a medical doctor.
Now don’t freak out over this thought and start worrying about what everyone will think about you visiting a shrink (who really gives a rip about this at this point since your life is in total shambles, plus screw ‘em, if they want to judge you so be it) The basis of your eating disorder is the way you think and the sooner you own up to this the better (and just an FYI in case you don’t know a Psychologist can not prescribe medicine, he/she would have you see a Psychiatrist for those needs).
Update 10/7/10 Reminder: mamaV is not a professional, nor do I claim to be.
I am not stating an ED sufferer should not go to a medical doctor. It is my opinion that a psychologist is an appropriate first step, with the next step being a medical doctor. The truth is that many of us end up in the ER or in a medical doctor’s office due to our physical condition, so in many cases the sufferer does not have a choice. However, when faced with a choice, I believe many medical doctors do more harm than good if they are not trained in eating disorders, leaving sufferers with questions about their illness & diagnosis. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from individuals who are told to simply go home and start eating. Wow. Now that is great professional advice.
Would I go so far to say that eating disorders are 100% mental illness?
Absolutely. Medical issues are the side effect of our mental condition, and yes, at some point they should be evaluated by a medical doctor, but I would not recommend it as your first stop (unless of course you pass out in school from dehydration, keel over with a heart attack when exercising, or succumb to any other of the lovely ways girls tend to go down with this beastly condition).
Oh, that’s right. That will never happen to YOU right?
Heard it tons of times girls, don’t kid yourself for a minute that your body is somehow strong enough to take your punishment. I thought this too when I was a teen and 20 something, and now I realize what an incredible, stupid risk I was taking with myself. I thank God nothing happened to me, and that I didn’t do any permanent damage to my body that I am aware of, except for a herniated disc in my back from over exercise. But I remember when I was ready to have kids, I was scared to death I wouldn’t be able to since I didn’t get my period for such a long time. I know TMI.
So get your butt into the shrink and figure out what the heck is going on with you, I’ve got an entire section of the site that provides resources.
Oh…you don’t want to have a mental illness? You worry about the stigma of medication? Tell me about it.
To this day, I get a twinge in my stomach picking up my prescriptions at the pharmacy since I just know the guy is sweet as pie while he is silently eyeing me and the kids up in our mini-van thinking “another doped up housewife popping pills” (I am no housewife, nor am I doped up, but yes – I have to pop quite a few pills to get through the day).
Do I wish it was different?
Do I sometimes wish I could hack it without the drugs?
Truth be told, not really.
Because I’ll tell ya what. Life before drugs SUCKED. And I mean sucked big time. I am never, ever going back there, back to that spinning head, I am a lifer, period.
Back to you and the point of the post, I do think there is a point in here somewhere, oh yeah, here it is in a nutshell;
IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE AN EATING DISORDER, YOU HAVE ONE.
There’s no criteria to meet, there is no weight you need to get to, that’s all just a ball of crap. It’s about what is going on your head, you and I both know that, and a good psychologist is going to get that and he/she will help you get your life back.