I also think I've unintentionally developed an eating disorder. I used to eat 1500 calories a day very healthy, do some exercise and go about my life. In the past few weeks, I'm barely eating 700 calories and I'm not drinking enough water so I'm dehydrated as well. I have no appetite. I don't want to be anorexic, I'm totally against eating disorders! But I have to force myself to eat.
Firstly Hulahoop- the thing that struck me about your post was the huge amount of insight you have in to your own condition. You have really analysed yourself and exerted a lot of self-control in adapting your lifestyle. A MASSIVE well done to you. There are not many people with mental health issues that can do that.
I apprieciate that you may not necessarily 'believe' what I have to say and because this is only an internet messageboard, what I have to say may fall short of the real mark. You have greater knowledge on your condition than I have, but I'll try and back up my points by the information you've given.
I don't think you have a stable mental illness (i.e; bi-polar, depression, ect)- I think you have a personality disorder and I'm guessing it's a possible schizoid-anxious co-morbid. Here's why I think this.....
I will start at the beginning. I have a long and thick history of depression,
anxiety, bipolar disorder, and general "out of touch with reality"ness in my
family. When i was 13 or 14, I was diagnosed with major depression, severe
anxiety, and A.D.D. I've been on different meds since then to "fix" myself.
Those with a long biological history of mental illness are more at risk of personality disorders, than they are of being genetically disposed to the mental illness itself. A personality disorder is caused by environmental factors as well as biological ones. What I mean here is that in a household where a parent is 'mentally ill', behavioural patterns are inherited, so the child 'inheriting' the mental health condition is not necessarily down to a genetic cause.
Furthermore, you were diagnosed with these mental illnesses in your teens. This is a very tricky age to diagnose mental illness, because normal teenage hormones also play a part in anxiety & depressive & manic feelings. The onset of the majority of mental illness is early 20's onwards. This is not to say that teenagers don't suffer with mental health illness- but it's rarely diagnosed to such extremes. Yet this is the age in which most personality disorders become apparent, but unfortunately, they are often misdiagnosed- setting the patient back years & sometimes decades, in getting proper treatment.
I was doing good for a long time, and about 9 months ago I quit my Cymbalta
cold turkey and I've felt AMAZING ever since. In January, I started exercising
regularly, and I started eating only fruits, veggies, nuts, and of course the
occasional treat here and there. I felt amazing. I thought I was cured.
This- and your amazing self-reflection- also makes me think you have a personality disorder.
Meds don't work for us (I have a schizoid- avoidant P.D, which started to become apparent at age 11)- and often, they make us feel worse. It's because we don't have a consistant chemical imbalance- like those with depression & the psychosis illnesses. What we have is negative thought-schemas & mental patterns that have been ingrained in us since childhood. Our brain chemicals fluctuate- this is the genetic consequences- yet they don't often respond to pro-longed medication and the fluctuations are not consistant. Instead, we have periods of time when we feel 'normal' & periods of time when we display symptoms of a mental illness. However, our periods of time in both normal-land & wacky-land can vary. It can be 6months of hell & only a few days of normality- or a few days of hell & 6 months of normality.
We have no choice but to try and control our symptoms without the promise of the stability of drugs.
However- and this makes us different from those with depression, bi-polar & schizophrenia- we actually know when we're feeling our hell, that we are there. As strange as it sounds- those with personality disorders have insight, whereas those with the chemical mental illnesses, don't. We usually know that what we are doing is not normal behaviour & that it won't last.
And I'm sorry to tell you this, but you won't be 'cured'. P.D's are lifelong challenges & I would suggest you stop looking for a cure & move towards acceptance of it. This is only when you'll start to realise that you can turn it towards your advantage. Furthermore, this is when you'll stop looking for the illusion of balance.
We live in the 21st century and people like you & I are ten a penny. Personality disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses & still one of the most undiagnosed- mostly, because people with them only get treated for their symptoms- i.e; depression, OCD, anxiety, hyperactivity, drug abuse, etc. And the key thing about personality disorders- like I said before- they are not consistant. They change and their symptoms change- furthermore, how we change little things in our lifestyles & how we get through our hell days, can ease the challenge of having a P.D.
I also think I've unintentionally developed an eating disorder. I used to eat
1500 calories a day very healthy, do some exercise and go about my life. In the
past few weeks, I'm barely eating 700 calories and I'm not drinking enough water
so I'm dehydrated as well. I have no appetite. I don't want to be anorexic, I'm
totally against eating disorders! But I have to force myself to eat.
You're not anorexic- you are anxious. The two are connected, but different. From everything else you've said, your body has gone in to anxious mode & your body has gone in to 'Fight or Flight'. As water can make us feel 'full', you've gone off that too. The only advice I can give you here is to watch a cookery programme. Firstly, it takes your mind off of whatever is making you feel anxious, but also the visual preperation of food sets the stomach to anticipate something- if you are starting to relax, at this point, your stomach should too. Have something quick to cook & appertising on hand- in the break of the cookery programme, so you can go back to it & eat at the same time. Once you start eating pleasurably, you'll want to eat more.
This is what I have to do sometimes, when I've gone a couple of days without food. When I'm anxious or I'm having distructive thoughts, I feel like throwing up at the sight/smell of food; however, I get to the point where I know that the lack of sugar & vitamins is going to be even more destructive to my low mood, than anything else. Hence, I stick Come Dine With Me on cable & succumb to eating. I choose this show because I get engrossed in the contestants & competition, as well as get hungry at the different dishes that they serve.
This is my strategy- you will choose your own, but whatever it is, try not to force yourself. You have to 'fool' yourself.
I took the day off work today. I have a Drs Appt at noon and hopefully I can
see my therapist at some point today as well.
Again, what you have said here makes me think you have a P.D. You have demonstrated really quite amazing insight.
Can anybody help me? Even if you don't have answers, I just need someone to
say "You're not alone!" If it helps:- 19 years old- Female- Work full time with toddlers- Currently have an unstable relationship with my boyfriend, possibly
PARTLY due to the condition I'm in right now- Going to college in the fall for Nursing- Only medicine I take is NuvaRing and the occasional Ativan-I get average 8 hours of sleep every night- Drink and smoke pot occasionally (like once/twice a week and I rarely get