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What's the Cause
Love :: Listen :: Communicate
Validate :: Society :: Food & Eating
Relationships :: Abuse

In the words of those who suffer... read and find out what each individual feels could have prevented the onset of their Eating Disorder.

"Maybe if my parents had been more open so that I could have told them how bad I was really feeling, instead of trying to cover it up all the time."

"I don't know really what my parents could have done to prevent this other than sitting down with me when I was younger to talk about weight and how it is what matters on the inside. I do know for myself I could have communicated my feelings better, stop the cycle of trying to please everyone else, and actually let myself feel pain and hurt emotions rather than stuffing them inside and letting my eating disorder become my viscous cycle of releasing my emotions."

"I think what will help in the prevention of eating disorders is education that starts in the elementary, middle and high schools. THis should include teachers, parents, coaches, and health personnel. I am interested in starting a program in the local school districts where I live that involve eating disorder awareness. This could also extend to college campuses. I am a registered dietitian, and recently I made the decision to become more involved with helping others overcome eating disorders. I had put my ED behind me for years, trying to forget it ever happened. But now, I hope to put my professional and personal experience to use in this area!"

"If an ED is beginning, parents need to stop focusing on food. This makes the child feel even more out of control since food is seen as their last area of life and their body that they CAN control. Parents need to ask their children (whatever their age) about their feelings. Food is superficially central to EDs but there are many complicated issues below the surface."

"i have been exploring this internet site for a while now wondering if my eating disorder could have been prevented. I'm not really sure. Maybe if my mom hadn't been on every diet known to man. Maybe if my parents actually had allowed me to tell them what I really felt. Maybe if they had told me it was okay to feel. Maybe if they had actually been there and not forced me into a surrogate mother role for my sisters. Maybe if society didn't tell girls that thin is in and fat is bad. Maybe if my self esteem had been higher. Maybe. I like to think more about recovery now and how I can get my life back from the anorexia that stole it rather than how it could have been prevented. But to those who are not yet affected, just remember that there is so much more to you than your weight. It's only a number. And to parents of kids, listen to them, let them tell you what they really feel no matter how much it hurts because it could save them years of hurt in the long run."

"I am 5'9" and 19 years old. Last year I was extremely underweight. It hurt to walk, or sit, I lost my period, my vision detiorated and I lost a lot of hair. I couldn't help myself out of it but I wanted to be out desperately. Its difficult dealing with the anorexic mind because I wanted to eat normally so bad, I wanted out of my self created hell and I yet for a long time I was unwilling to do any of the footwork.

"I was lucky and my parents put me in therapy. It took a few months to change my eating habits at all but with fixing my thinking came a willingness and a self love that allowed me to begin eating more normally. I also began overeaters anonymous and the recovery I have found there is amazing. It has given me the day to day faith and tools to recover. I could have not have done it without OA.

"I attend five meetings a week, therapy and group therapy. I am so grateful for the quality of life I have today and I am so grateful I can eat. Starving yourself is one of the worst psyical and emotional pains. My food today is very normal but I am still gaining weight. I owe everything to my therapist and the higher power and identification I found in OA."

"I don't know exactly why I developed my ED. Maybe it was my strive for perfection. Maybe it was from being molested by my older cousin. Maybe it was from looking in the mirror and seeing an athletic, muscular build instead of a slender, model look. Who knows? All I do know is that when I was in trouble and depressed, I shut off my friends and family. I couldn't and still can't talk about my feelings and emotions."

"I wish I could have been more honest. Instead I kept laughing and pretending that I was happy when I was hurting so bad. When I finally got the courage to tell my mother how depressed I felt (almost suicidal), she actually took me seriously. If only I'd been able to express myself earlier! I could've saved myself 6 long years of binging and purging!"

"I don't know how my eating disorder could have been prevented, because I don't know why I became anorexic... I do know that I never felt good enough (for anything, the love my parents gave me, my frineds anything) I also felt invisiible, annoying, I was repeatedly told by kids at school I was weird, I was a goody goody.. (Hey steph you have some shit on your nose... have you been kissin _________(Insert the name of any teacher I ever had name here)_______________'s ass again?)

"But i don't know if that is why i began starving myself.. but i do know why i continued to starve myself and why I want to begin again now.... My friends left me.. everyone, not able to deal with the pressures I was putting them through.. I lost trust in humanity and I needed an escape... Freindship is important... If i could talk to any of my so called (former) friends I would tell them how heartless and gutless they were... I was a humun being, (a skeletal one) but I was one... The love of my frineds was probally the most important thing I could have gotten, I still don't know if they think about me now... guess i never will..."

"It is always easiest to blame others, and I do not wish to imply that my problems with food are someone else's fault. But I come from a family where food and eating are always bountiful, where a "good" meal sometimes lasts all day. The seeds were sown early for me to eat heartily. Just recently, I have discovered that I eat rather than expressing my emotions. It is easier for me to feel the pain of a bloated stomache than to feel the pain of loss or rejection or hurt, etc.

"How could my eating disorder have been prevented? I do not know. My problems with food are mine, and I am learning to honor what I did to survive some traumatic experiences. I am overweight, I guess, because I choose to be. And that is okay. I accept myself and am learning to love myself. I am also teaching myself how to eat only when hungry, to stop when full, and to express my emotions without food. I am learning how to communicate with myself; in the past, I coped in the only way I knew how to cope. I am learning new ways now."

"It may be difficult to get individuals into treatment, but the sooner the better. If a person refused treatment one week, ask her again, maybe the next week. It is crucial to let the person know that you are aware of the problem and that you know it won't just go away by itself. Separation-individuation also seems to be a problem for most people with eating disorders. Children/adolescents need to be supported in their quest for autonomy. Parents should be willing to enter therapy with the person with the eating disorder. Willingness to be involved is crucial by friends and family. Friends should accept invitations to meet with the person's nurse or therapist as needed."

"Society does not help. When you see magazines hailing people with ed's (like the gymnast on p. 54 of May/June's Eating Well magazine), as heroes, it's discouraging. Society only sees ed's as a disgusting habit to a larger goal--physical beauty and athletic prowess. At best, people with ed's are seen as off-kilter whiney people.

"There is hope though. Those of us with ed's can support others in the same boat to get through this hell. We can view and express our views that psychological help is not a sign of indulgence or weakness. It is a lifesaving tool teaching us to come to terms with the past and teaches us to cope appropriately with the future. We can refuse to perpetuate the dysfunction in our own families and go on with our own lives. By ending the cycle ourselves, and reaching out to others like ourselves, we can help prevent eating disorders. By coping appropriately, and teaching those around us to do the same, we can slowly but surely rid this world of all addictive diseases. Yes, it will take years, but if we keep going the way we are it'll only get worse."

"When I hit XXXlbs. I was staying at my Dance Teacher's house (She let me stay over so I could have a ride to ballet - which was an hour away) and when we were driving to dance she told me that I was getting to thin - she said if I got any thinner people would think something was wrong with me. She said " Karen, go home and weigh yourself - and whatever it is that is the lowest you should weigh, now wait and see what is your highest. Weight can fluctuate a lot from day to day." What she said was invaluble to me. It made me see there was a limit, and she didn't deny weight wasn't important - just made me see that there was a limit. Of course then I gained some weight. Then I developed bulimia ( If only she could have seen the signs to that!) I had been throwing up before but only on Christmas and Thanksgiving, etc., but now I was throwing up 3-4 times a week. Ivy ( my teacher) fixed my anorexia problem, but of course I still had other problems with my family etc, I wish I had opened up to her totally."

:: What's the Cause ::
Love :: Listen :: Communicate ::
:: Validate :: Society :: Food & Eating ::
:: Relationships :: Abuse::

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