ED How do I get help? Eating disorder /therapist issue

M

MyBad

I’m a middle aged woman dealing with a resurfaced ED. It resurfaced when I started dealing with my childhood SA a few years ago. I severely restrict, over exercise and abuse laxatives. I’ve lost 20# in the last 3 months. When I try to eat, I feel so sick. I don’t want to go down this road again. But I don’t know how to ask for help. My therapist sees my weight loss but says, “it doesn’t matter what I want you to do, you’re going to continue doing what you’re doing.” He acts like it’s hopeless. But I DO want help. He (my therapist) doesn’t work with EDs specifically so maybe he doesn’t understand? Hell, I don’t even understand it all. I can’t afford to go to 2 therapists and the one I’m seeing now is helpful with my trauma history. My medical doctors commend my weight loss even though I’m didn’t need to lose and I’m a few pounds away from being technically “underweight.” How do I get help at this age?

Feeling too old for this and feeling unseen :(
 
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Charbella

MyPTSD Pro
Is it possible your therapist wants you to ask for help? As a trauma therapist he ought to have a pretty big bag of tricks for dealing with maladaptive behaviors. Tell him it’s bothering you and you’d like his help. Email him before your next session, express your frustration with him and yourself and ask him to maybe have some coping mechanisms for you.
 

bellbird

Sponsor
But I DO want help.
Does your therapist know this?

If not, I would suggest letting him know. Same with your medical team. If you can't say it out loud, write it down and show them. I've done that before, it can help when verbalising the issue is too difficult.

I have a history of ED, too.

It's great you can see what is happening, and want to get help. Really great. That is a big first step.

If you're having nausea when you try to eat, you could ask your docs about anti-emetics. Ondansetron is one that has helped me in the past.

Fortisips, or similar, can help too. High energy, nutritionally complete drinks. They can come pre-made, so you just stick a straw in and sip away. Helpful for getting energy up and appetite back.

Hopefully some of this helps, and hope you are able to communicate to your team, and they get on board.

Eating disorders suck, since they directly mess with a process essential for life. I hear how hard this is for you. You can get through this, though. You are strong and you are worth it. Rooting for you. Small steps.
 
T

Traum81

Your story is very similar to mine. I ended up switching therapists to one that does have experience with eating disorders; she is not a somatic therapist like my last one, but has been super helpful dealing with both the trauma and the ED. The first therapist I tried actually said to me “but you CAN eat. You just aren’t. Why don’t you try a date night and go out for food and drinks?” -OMG, so unhelpful given I was abusing alcohol as well (she knew). And restricting. Like wtf?

Your therapist sounds similar in his response…yes, it is up to us to eat, but you need more support and asked for it. He should be either helping support you, or helping you find a care provider that can. Please continue to seek help!
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I have/had disordered eating, mostly restrictive eating and binge eating. Also have/had an alcohol addiction. I saw a dietician who specializes in eating disorders while still seeing my T who specializes in addictions and sexual abuse. The dietician was helpful but it was hard work! She practices something called intuitive eating, which made a ton of sense to me and didn’t play into my OCD tendencies. There is a podcast called FoodPsych which focuses on intuitive eating.

Best of luck—good job seeing it, that can be so hard.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
What I found - even before being diagnosed with and mental health issues was track your eating. I use an app called MyFitnessPal (mostly because it syncs with Garmin Connect and my smartwatch) It makes tracking eating and nutrition simple. If it has a bar code, its in there, just pick a quantity. Fast food restaurant food anything you can imagine. Almost every dish I ever made is in there and you can add your own or make a menu so if say you have eggs one morning and cereal the next you can do the whole menu and enter it in one entry. Nutrition and calorie tracking is great too. Helps keep you eating healthy, or at least somewhat healthy.

The other thing is cooking for myself (at least) Even when you are not hungry - by the time you are done cooking you will be hungry enough to eat at least something. And always start with breakfast. I don't know why but it somehow sets you up for the day and even if - like me, you only eat twice a day.
 
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