Need help from the professionals - you!

I want advice from the people that have been through it and know all about it, I can't be doing with 'real world professionals' because they clearly don't have a clue, nor the interest to help me out. Real, caring people are who I want to talk to.

So I've been having problems with my self esteem and self perception for a very long time, since I was about 14. These issues didn't start turning in to physical behaviors in order to nurture those bad feelings until about 1 year ago. I started out just watching what I ate, going on diets, but not being able to stick to them for more than 1-2 days. I'd make a habit out of looking at the nutrition information on food packets, paying particular attention to the amount of calories altogether, and how much fat and sugar were in that particular item. Now it's not a habit, it's an obsession. I will not go out to restaurants, go shopping, or even out anywhere at all where there is the slight chance of me being tempted to eat. I find great comfort and reassurance from locking myself away in my bedroom, I do not go downstairs at all, the kitchen is a massive no no. So I am basically a prisoner in my own home, all because of this demon telling me I am not to eat a crumb until I can see every bone.

1 year ago I weighed in at 18 stone, yes, I was absolutely humongous, and it disgusts me and makes me want to cry and sometimes even self harm or attempt suicide. 1 year down the line since it all started, I am now 12 stone (last weighed 1 month ago, so could be less or more) so I've lost a good 6 stone. However, the problem lies in the fact I do not feel or think I look any skinnier, but yet I've lost all that weight? I can not take compliments, people tell me I am skinny, but I simply disagree and genuinely do not see it. I've gone down 6 clothes sizes, and everything I used to wear now hangs off, I have to tie hair bobbles around them so they fit. Even with all of these facts in mind, why do I still look at the fat on my finger tips, my double chin, my saggy skin covering my body, the fact I can't fit in to a size 8 pair of jeans, and just think FAT? I starve myself for weeks, without even drinking water, because I want my body to suffer for being so fat, and I also like the hunger pains, it comforts me and tells me weight loss is in progress. As soon as I eat, I take laxatives or make myself be sick, just to get rid of the calories and punish myself for being so stupid, and ruining all that hard work.

I've heard of body dysmorphia, and that apparently comes hand in hand with eating disorders, such as anorexia, which I think is what I'm experiencing right now. This eating disorder started when I was sick of being bullied for my 18 stone weight, and there were a lot of family dynamic problems going on, which had to involve mental health services and social services, not just for me, but for every member in my family. Mental illnesses do run alive in my family, every member is suffering from one thing or another. I have anxiety and depression diagnosed, but am being observed for bipolar and borderline personality disorder, as well as anorexia. I have a few other problems too such as self harm, suicide attempts, substance abuse and psychosis.

Your thoughts on whether I could be anorexic would be very helpful, any personal or stories/experiences you have would also benefit me, as I feel trapped with this. I don't want to tell people I'm getting skinny so quick because I'm anorexic, if I'm not. I am also worried about bringing this up with MH professionals, I have done before but the therapist became quite agitated and judgmental, making out I wanted this to happen, and I was a dramatic teenager. What steps can I take for a diagnosis and treatment? I need to have an idea of what is wrong before I march in to somewhere and demand treatment, I have had no luck with any professional. I have seen CAMHS, social services, psychologists, psychiatrists, my GP, and the crisis team, none of them have helped an inch. I turned 18-years-old last month, so I am awaiting a referral from CAMHS to an adult mental health team. However, they are taking their time.

8 Replies

  • You need specialist help - go back to your GP you need referral to a specialist eating disorders service - alternatively there is private treatment - but that's expenseive - the priory I know do really good work. Contact ABC or BEAT and get the contacts for specialist services in your area - and don't take no for an answer. DO IT NOW - don't wait and don't let them pass you on to ordinary mental health workers.

  • I hear the cry for help. I can identify with the desire to punish ourselves for once (in the past) being classed as overweight. I'd like to ask you to look at yourself as if you were an outside observer. What would you see (remember don't put your perspective on it). You have lost a lot of weight in a short time and the lack of proper nutrition will be clouding your thoughts and feelings about yourself.

    It is worth remembering that professionals are real people and not magicians. They can help you for as much as you will let them. It is also the case that we connect with some people (professionals) more than others.

    Please go back to your GP and ask for help. Do you want to be referred to be referred to an Eating Disorder Service. In my own case (which may not be the same for you) I needed mental health service help because my underlying problems were not the eating disorder but other mental health issues. BUT EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.

    Mercy Ministries may be another good organisation to look at in addition to the advice crazycrosssticjer suggests.

  • If you live in London, you can try with this support group:

    Here you can get more information.

    Sessions run every Monday evening, Time: 6.00-7.30pm

    Location: Room 1.12, Franklin Wilkins building, Waterloo Campus, Kings College London

    You can e-mail if you have further questions.

  • Hi MuffinChops, I read your blog and feel the services have indeed let you down but do not give up. I am 31. At the age of 12 I started to engage with obsessive behaviours and starvation because I was bullied, not only for weight but told how ugly I supposedly was and, this is something I remain to carry with me. Over the years I continued to be anorexic and then went through a stage of bulimia. I am also a health professional. I qualified as a mental health nurse with a degree. I see both sides, I am currently battling, successfully, with Anorexia however, I have also been diagnosed with depression/anxiety and take anti-depressants. I have done dramatic things in the past to try and end my life and am now in physical recovery from an accident (which was my fault). I am not practising as a nurse at the moment but maintaining my PIN as a nurse by giving voluntary support. I love helping others and have my own experiences therefore, I am not judgemental but try and give the best advice/support I can because I have 'been there' I feel I have great insight from both a patient/sufferer and a health professional. I am sorry you feel you have not had the support or help you have needed. I do urge you to go back to your GP and push forward your need for help. Maybe keep a diary to note down how your mood changes and how often this happens (be it throughout the day or over the weeks), note down your thoughts because when you read this back to yourself or health professionals you will be able to identify areas you need to tackle first and have a starting point for your recovery. It is good you came onto this site for support but you do need to get help and there are a lot of good doctors/nurses that can help you. Keep in touch, I would like to know how you are getting on but locking yourself in the house is not the answer. If you want to get well and live a good life, and you DO DESERVE a good life, you must get the ball rolling. Our bodies are the transporter to having a wonderful happy life we must look after it and learn how to love it or you wont have the amazing things. Please get the help you need and see what wonders there are in store for you. Life is amazing, I wish I had back the years I lost to being ill, but I don't. I am making the best of what I have now and the future in store but we only get a future if we love the transporter we have to enable us to. Love and hugs x

  • Hi Angelus,

    It's lovely to see you posting again. I was wondering how you were keeping.

    I like the idea of viewing your body as a transporter to the life you want. I've put my body through so much and I don't know if I can ever get to love it but we go forward in hope. One step at a time :)


  • Hi Muffin,

    I've just surfaced from under my rock and noticed your post.

    We've already talked at length about this and you know my history so I don't have a lot to add.

    Just this ~ never give up.

    Keep fighting for the treatment you know you need.

    The days are long but the years slip by quickly.

    It seems like only yesterday that I was 18, hiding my bulimia and SI from everyone, hoping no-one noticed I was hanging on by my finger nails. I'm 40 now and I'm still doing it and still hoping no-one sees how bad it really is.

    I really wish I'd jumped up and down back then, when I still had a life to salvage.

    Your whole life is in front of you, Muffin.

    Don't let this cruel illness steal it from you.

    Keep fighting.

    Keep shouting ~ eventually someone will hear you.


  • All I can say is that you can be anorexic at ANY weight. Tell them that and see if that gets you anywhere.

    It will be easier if you can get help sooner rather than later but you will have to really want to. It might be that services are unsure if you are ready to fight...ready to change. Please whatever you do do not continue to lose weight in the hope it will gain you support or justify you asking for help. Get it now.

    Hope that helps


  • Just noticed your post was 6months ago. ..was at the top of the questions feed...anyhow I hope you've found help since then.


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