So currently my eating disorder isn’t professionally diagnosed. I went to the doctor recently…a few times. She was unable to refer me for a diagnosis or treatment. I’m seeing a dietician next month as a result but it will most likely be a waste of my time and I’l be a waste of hers. Anyway I’m now too scared to go back to my doctor because I got mixed up about whether or not I was supposed to go back after my blood tests and ECG. So for now I remain self-diagnosed. So because of that I want to make sure whether my behaviours are part of an eating disorder or disordered eating. Either way it’s a bad thing. I have tried to ‘eat right before’ and if it’s not an eating disorder then I’m am even weaker and more pathetic than I thought. But if I have an eating disorder…that’s not good either. Deep down I guess I know it’s an eating disorder. I was officially diagnosed when I was 18 after 7/8 years of struggling with it and it’s continued these 5/6 years since.
So Kati Morton’s video suggests that an eating disorder is a coping skill and disordered eating is simply a lack of intuitive eating but not related to coping.
This got me investigating if my behaviours are coping skills or not. I’ve never had an obvious or direct link I don’t think. But after thinking about it I’m pretty sure my behaviours are coping skills (correct me if I’m wrong). I’ve never gone ‘Ugh what a bad day. I need to binge/restrict to feel better.’ But there have been times when stressful or unpleasant events have coincided with my switching from binging to restrictive behaviours and/or purging. But these periods have only ever lasted weeks or months at a time. My therapist brought these supposed coincidences to my attention. But I don’t think that they’re coincidences anymore. Recently I had a very stressful week in my life and although I was emotionally lashing out…never going to eat again. I binged. But I binged worse than I was doing in the weeks prior. Is this suggestive of it being a coping mechanism?
Another reason I think that my binging might be a coping mechanism is the feeling of the act being a need rather than a desire. I am completely helpless but to comply with the urge. If I were able to resist…which I’m not…or unable to binge, I feel like I’d completely loose it. It’d loose my mind, I’d scream, cry and lash out, I’d get really really angry, I’d hurt myself. I’m scared of what would happen. I need that binge and even thinking about it makes the feeling that I’m about to loose it even stronger. This, to me, suggests that I am emotionally dependant on my behaviours. Therefore it makes sense that they are coping skills. It stops me going ‘mad’ (for lack of a better word).
Whether I’m binging or restricting food or a lack of comes first. It’s all consuming and there’s no fighting it. I’m too weak to fight it. I don’t understand how people manage to.
So all of this thinking, plus my understanding of eating disorder criteria means that I come to the conclusion that I have an eating disorder and am not a disordered eater.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.
I wish these things were a simple black and white!