This is my very first Remission Resources post and I am incredibly excited to write it today. Last week I published a post saying that I would be making some positive changes to this blog that would help encourage people to fight back against their eating disorders. These new “Remission Resources” posts (which will be published every Monday) are apart of these new changes that will be taking place.
Today’s “Remission Resources” post will be focused on giving you the tools you need to help you put together an experienced outpatient treatment team. Throughout my years in being a member of the eating disorder community, I have meant so many women and men who have tried to battle their eating disorders are their own. In my opinion, that is one of the most ludicrous ideas I have ever heard of in my life. Eating disorders are life-threatening brain disorders that won’t hesitate to kill. If you had any other potentially fatal illness and were told the only chance you had for survival was to undergo a specific treatment, what would you do? Get the treatment of course! You would not try to recover from the illness on your own! That would be insane! Now what on earth makes you think an eating disorder is any different?
If you want to get into a solid remission from your ED, you need help from a multi-disciplinary team of ED professionals. I know that putting together a team on your own can be challenging and sometimes seemingly impossible, but you are not alone in this. I have your back. This post will guide you through the steps of creating the best, most supportive outpatient treatment team possible.
Creating an Outpatient Treatment Steps
1. It is extremely important to remember that you need a multi-disciplinary team of ED professionals in order to help you fight your eating disorder. This means your team must consists of a psychiatrist to monitor your mental health and medications, a registered dietitian,a primary care physician to monitor your physical well-being, and a therapist or psychologist to help you tackle the tough emotional stuff. All of these health professionals need to be experienced in the treatment of eating disorders and should be fluent in current research.
2. Go to AED’s Find a Professional tool. Here you can easily search for psychologists, dietitians, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians. Another superb website is IAEDP’s Find an Eating Disorder Professional tool. Though both these tools are rather similar, I like the IAEDP’s tool better because I feel like the professionals who are members of that organization are more qualified. If you still are struggling to find people, go to EdReferral.com .
3. After you gather a potential list of people to be in your treatment team, contact these people. Ask them what their treatment philosophy is and what evidence they have that supports this philosophy. Ask them how long they have been treating eating disorder patients and if they are members of any eating disorder organizations.
4. If you like what you hear, see if you can make an appointment to meet with them. If you find them to not be qualified enough to treat ED patients or if you think they are using “old-school” treatment methods, hang up and start searching again.
Finding a proper treatment will be difficult, but it will be worth it. You deserve to get better. You deserve to live a life without worrying about calories, exercise, binging, purging, and laxatives. You deserve to get better!
It was early Thursday morning when my dad left the house with a deep blue suitcase in tow. The mundane suburban landscape was still trapped in a sea of darkness and the crisp fall air bit the skin with its cold, sharp teeth. As my dad drove his little white car and disappear into the lightless morning abyss, I couldn’t help but be overcome with a feeling of uneasiness. I knew he would be back from Florida on Sunday with stories of the state’s sky-blue oceans and hot yellow sun, but the idea of being with just my mom for even this short amount of time was a frightening thing to think about.
I am not really used to my mom being home for a even a tiny period of time. Due to her demanding job, she usually stays in Chicago during the week and if she’s not in Chicago, well she’s in some other state around the US. Now since my mom isn’t really there during the week at all, I bet you would expect that I would be overjoyed when she returns home. I hate to break it to you, but that is far from the case. To be brutally honest, I have come to dread the moment when she walks through the door after a long week of work. For a few short moments after she’s come home, she is thrilled to see my dog, sister, dad, and me. She hugs us and as she walks to her room to unpack the over-organized contents of her suitcase, she asks us how are week went. But after she completes this little ritual, her whole disposition becomes choleric. She begins to ridicule us if the house isn’t spotless and makes us feel like we are lazy and worthless. Her anger and frustration spreads throughout the house like wildfire and soon everyone is burning with rage. Fights begin to break out for absolutely no reason and most of these fights are between my mom and I.
So now I hope you can see why the whole idea of my mom staying with my sister and I for a little bit sounded just plain terrible! I thought I would be counting the minutes till my dad returned home. But something happened last night that completely altered my whole idea of what my time with my mom was going to be like. It was one of the greatest surprises I have ever had.
Yesterday afternoon was when I began to think this girls-only weekend was going to be a phenomenal bonding experience. You may remember from yesterday’s blog post that I had an appointment with my psychiatrist’s, Dr.K. Dr. K was running incredibly late and my mom and I were trapped in the mundane waiting of the private psychiatric clinic where he works. For over an hour, we sat waiting. Usually when Dr. K is this behind, I turn into a cantankerous and rather disrespectful juvenile. That day though, that didn’t happen at all. The whole time my mom and I were joking, laughing, and even having conversations that weren’t superficial! I mean IT WAS AMAZING. Who knew that being stuck in a waiting room with some pretty irritable patients for an hour (including a VERY angry drug addict) could be such a pleasant experience?!?!?!?!? :)
After our visit with Dr. K, we headed on home and decided to have a movie night! We ordered food from a local, nutritious Asian fusion restaurant and watched one of the greatest DreamWorks films EVER – The Prince of Egypt! We had such an excellent time and I think today will just as good or even better!
“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ~Bertrand Russell
What many people living outside the eating disorder community don’t know is that anorexia nervosa is not homogenous disease. Though many characteristics of this illness remain constant over a population of sufferers, there are many qualities that are unique to each individual anorexic. For example, if you were to put just even 10 anorexics in a room and were to question them about their eating disorder behaviors, they would all be completely different. One anorexic may have an intense fear of dairy products while another is completely fine with consuming a yogurt. You may discover an anorexic who believes that even smelling food or drinking water will result in weight gain while another has never had that thought cross her mind.
But despite the wide range of differences in the world of anorexia sufferers, there are many similarities. All anorexics struggle with an intense fear of weight gain and they all restrict their intake in some way, shape, or form. These two things are quite obvious qualities, but if you think these are just the two main qualities anorexics have in common, then you are way off base. You are forgetting one of the most prominent fears in the anorexic community. A fear so severe that it makes the palm sweats, the heart pound, and the mind race a million miles a second. It is the fear of weigh-ins.
For those you who have been lucky enough to not be living with anorexia or any other eating disorder for that matter, weigh-ins are when you head over to the office of a member of your treatment team and step on a scale. Whatever number appears on that dreaded piece of machinery apparently can tell the treatment team member all about the current state of your eating disorder. If you have gained weight, it is a sign a progress and of eating disorder recovery. If you lose weight – even if it is a single ounce – the treatment team member obviously takes it as solid, undebatable evidence that you are involved in eating disorder activity.
Now there are of course many things that are flawed with this method of eating disorder severity measurement. A number on a scale is only a number on a scale. It does not say if you have been be following a healthful meal plan, have tried foods that your eating disorder forbid you from consuming, have made an effort to stop isolating yourself, or in my case – have been struggling with a physical ailment resulting in weight-loss. In my opinion, a scale is just giving a treatment team member a set of eyes but what it doesn’t give them is the ability to truly see.
Today at 2:20pm I will be in my psychiatrists office waiting impatiently for him to force me to step on a scale. I fear that I have lost weight despite my efforts to try to avoid this from occurring. My appetite has been minimal and I feel fluish a considerable amount of time during the day. Obviously these two things make it quite a challenge to keep the psychiatrist pleased with my weight. I know if I tell him the truth about me not feeling up to par, he won’t believe me. I have informed him before of these symptoms and he has passed my complaints off as nothing more than mere excuses for my weight-loss. I find this very frustrating and I am sure a lot of other ED sufferers are in the same boat I am with this whole weigh-in thing. I understand my psychiatrist just wants me to see me be free from my eating disorder, but just because I have an eating disorder doesn’t mean that is the only problem I have.
I guess I just pray that things will work out and that I haven’t lost weight. I have made so much progress eating disorder-wise and I plan to share with him that. If he refuses to believe me and justs looks at my numbers, well then there is nothing I can do. He can believe what he wants but I will keep moving forward. I will beat my eating disorder despite the fact that I have been feeling incredibly shitty AND I will prove him wrong.
“Let your hopes, not your hurts shape your future.” ~ Robert Schuller
If you guys haven’t noticed, the past couple of months have been rough for me and that emotional turmoil has made many of my most recent blog posts take a toxic turn. As I look back at my past posts, I realize so many of the sentences I have conceived leave the metallic taste of arsenic in one’s mouth. Though these posts only contain small doses of this literary form of arsenic, we all know how arsenic works. Each dose of this life threatening poison accumulates in the body until one day when the sky is painted with black storm clouds and the sun fails to shine, the body shuts down.
Though literary arsenic does not destroy your body, it does destroy The more you read poisonous posts that are laden with sorrow and anger, the more it affects you emotionally. Haven’t you realized that when you read posts that bleed with the blood of psychological agony, you almost feel like you too are bleeding that blood? With each word you read, you feel the intense stabbing pain of the post’s author as if it were your own.
The recent posts and videos I have published have been harmful and I now realize that. My blog is entitled “Forever Going Forward” and as of late, I honestly have not moved a single step in that direction. If anything, I have taken many steps backwards and allowed my eating disorder, depression, anger, and anxiety to take full reign of my mind once again. I no longer want my posts to be tainted with a toxin that robs one’s soul of happiness and joy. I want my blog to be a beacon of light in the eating disorder community. A place that raises awareness about eating disorders, helps family members or ED sufferers find helpful resources, and to encourage ED sufferers to get the treatment they not only require but also deserve.
So from this point on there will be a few positive changes in my blog and here’s a list of them.
- If I am struggling and a post is rather negative, I will write 3 positive things about my day at the end of the post in order to encourage myself to be more optimistic and to also show people there is always a light in even the darkest of times. Also if I create a YouTube video that is triggering, I will ensure to warn people by putting a disclaimer up on that video(I have been doing that though anyway
- I pledge to try to make more positive, supportive YouTube videos :)
- Every Monday I will write a “Remission Resources” blog post that discusses different “pro-remission” resources available. These may include smart-phone apps, websites, books, support groups, treatment centers, etc.
These are currently the three things I have vowed to do. Overtime I will add more things, but these are my goals at the moment and there is no doubt in my mind that I will achieve them with flying colors. Hopefully, these little changes will help me and all of you wonderful people who are reading my blog move forward in life.
Nowadays I am beginning to wonder why I even exist. Why couldn’t I just have died from my wretched eating disorder? Why didn’t my heart just stop? Why didn’t my kidney’s fail? Why didn’t every single internal organ in my body call it quits? Why God? Why?
God if you are out there, can’t you see me? Can’t you see that salty tears run down my pale cheeks every night as I lay in my bed? Can’t you see that my eating disorder is becoming stronger because everything in my life is falling apart? School is becoming more and more difficult. Any social relationships I once had are turning to ashes. Worse of all God, look at what I have done to my family. I have torn them apart. My parents fight constantly, their love for each other being slowly suffocated by my sins. Oh and my little sister? Well she is terrified of me and avoid me as if I were the black plague.
And you know what, maybe I am.
If you read my last blog post, you are probably well-aware that I am not in a good place right now emotionally. In that post I expressed a considerable amount of emotional pain, but I never really gave you the reasons as to why my mind has been trapped in a world of anger, hatred, and misery. I’m sure that left a lot of you wondering and so I decided to make a new vlog to give you a snapshot of the current happenings in my life. I hope you like this little update video and I also wanted to let you know that my next video will be . . . (drum roll please) . . . a Q&A video! Obviously in order to do this I need some questions, so if you have any questions (it doesn’t matter what they are) just post them in the comment box below and your question will be answered in my next video! YAY!