This household has more than a little experience with Eating Disorders. My mother had Acute Anorexia Nervosa all my life. She say’s she is cured, but you can see that it still lurks at the edges, creeping back in when she is stressed.
Eating Disorders are never truly gone. One thing observing my mother has taught me is like most eating disorder’s we merely learn to manage them.
My Eldest is at incredibly high risk of Anorexia not merely due to family history but due to her history of not eating whenever stressed, to date she has never been diagnosed with Anorexia, she has been diagnosed with Inattentive type ADHD after endless year’s of assessments. However she will not be treated for ADHD, the risk of drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta actually resulting in a diagnosis of Anorexia is simply far too high. It is something that like the little super hero’s mood swings we have watched very carefully all her life out of genuine concern. As you can see in the Featured Image she faces her challenges and even takes on the Mighty Shark Burger!
Their Step Father has Binge Eating disorder, he is untreated, he does not discuss it although he will admit it is a problem but never in the presence of a psychiatrist or dietitian.
Both he and the little super hero have a very long history of hoarding food in their bedroom’s and running off with food at various hours of the day and night. It is not an all the time thing…..but the wrappers do herald more often an incoming tidal wave of Mood swings. Which is not at all surprising really given the incredible amount of energy they burn during mania.
It is however very difficult to distinguish the early signs of this behaviour from Growth Spurts and Cravings which also precede that time of the month. The body craves and need’s energy because it knows it needs it. The problem really is what they reach for, I have found the MOST effective method is making endless supplies of fruit and salad’s available ready to eat. whether incoming mood swings, growth spurts or that time of month if it is available, they will reach for it. But even the best laid plans of mice and men fail, and you find massive stashes of chip, ice cream and candy wrappers hidden behind door’s, under bed’s and in drawers, out of sight, out of mind. Thankfully during those times they don’t realise that the best way to not get caught is to place the wrapper in the Kitchen bin where it can’t be attributed to anyone in particular…..but they haven’t figured that out yet, not even the big one!
Thankfully no one purges.
Unfortunately their Step Father is more set in his way’s and at less (not much less) risk of a scolding if found frying bacon at the stove at 3 am.
Unfortunately treating eating disorders is not simply a case of having a Psychiatrist, GP, Psychologist and Dietitian treating you.
They need to know that;
- They are treating an eating disorder
- Which eating disorder it is
- The impacts the eating disorder has had
- the motivations and feelings behind the disordered eating and;
- Communication as a team between professionals to work together to treat the eating disorder.
This treatment model is not available in this region at all, there are no facilities for treating eating disorders outside of the City. I know this, I have been informed emphatically of this fact, in pursuit of obtaining access to such for their step father. so it is something to work towards. He already has Hypertension, Reactive Hypoglycemia, and Metabolic Syndrome as a result of his past medications and his binge eating. Keeping them eating healthy food and wanting to eat healthy food is the best way to start rather than finishing reaching desperately for services which are not there.
What I DO know is, you can’t STOP them and you can’t FORCE them,
you CAN make changes to the home environment to guide them to healthier options.
Some Related Articles and Stories:
Eating disorder as an episode heralding in bipolar
Binge Eating in Bipolar Disorder Could Signal Additional Problems
Carbohydrate Cravings in Children With Bipolar Disorder
Binge Eating & Bipolar Disorder