Live Help


Forum Jump
Post New Thread  Reply
Old 29-09-2012, 06:48 AM   #1
Rilic
Loon
 
Rilic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: England
I am currently:
Eating and self harm

How can I tell the people that support my friend that her "eating disorder" is actually self harm. I've always thought she doesn't follow the proper trend of an eating disorder, and the kind of questions she's asked me "How long before I look ill? How long do I go without eating before I pass out?" Always, Do I look ill, are my bones sticking out? Always "I haven't eaten all day" to the people she knows are going to give that *SHOCK* look, and go "omg, i couldn't manage".

She says she wants to lose weight, but she takes the longest route to do it. Always crisps and junk and cheese and pizza. With me, she eats fine, because she only plays up her self-harm for those who will give her attention, and she only self-harms when she's feeling bad. When she's feeling bad she wont eat, when she's okay and relaxed, she does eat. When she's with me, she only tells me things that matter, with someone else, she says things to get a reaction.
Her will to lose weight is to look ill. It's for there to be harm done that is visible, like she's happy when she's feeling faint, because it means not eating is finally doing something.

They try and treat it like an eating disorder, and all I can think is you idiots. She starts to starve herself, and she stops cutting. This a replacement for cutting, the purpose is to harm herself, therefore this is still self harm.

The thing is, I know this, because I did it. I starved myself until I couldn't stand straight, and I was giddy inside, even though I felt so ill.
It's not a comparison thing, it's just truth.

But how do I make them understand that.



"Alright, gang. I'll ignore that some of you are late... if you ignore that I'm the latest."

Rilic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
Epicene
 
Epicene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
I am currently:

In all honesty, I'm not sure if it would be helpful for you to make other people aware of this. The only people who really need to know the motive behind her eating pattern are those involved in her care, and I imagine they will be able to work out what's going on.

Have you actually discussed this with your friend? It sounds as though you are really frustrated by the situation, but I wonder what is making you so frustrated. Are you annoyed because she does not see her eating disorder in the same way that you do, or are you annoyed because of the way in which those around her are responding to it? I can't help but wonder if instead you should think about the reasons why you feel this irritated, and do something kind for yourself to address those feelings.

If you are curious as to why I find it difficult to completely sympathise with your perspective; I too suffered from anorexia but essentially this replaced my self-harm for a while. But that did not make my eating disorder symptoms any less valid. I still struggled with negative body image, I still became very ill, and food still dictated my life. That your friend is able to eat certain foods in your company does not mean that she has healthy relationship with her body or with food. I can see how it must be hard to see her reaching out to others for sympathy yet eating normally when she's with you, but it sounds like she has some issues right now and is trying to access support in whichever way is easiest for her. I would really try talking to her, and looking after yourself, before seeking to inform others about her behaviour.

Epicene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
Rilic
Loon
 
Rilic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: England
I am currently:

Other ED people never sympathise with my perspective They always say that I'm ignoring what's in front of me, or something like that. When I'm actually reporting what's in front of me. But then I'm ignoring the bits that aren't in front of me, but I'm actually reporting those too.
I know self harmers hate hearing "attention seeking", and so to do ED people, so SH/ED people must hate it doubled, or squared?? But it is true, it does exist, and it's so much deeper than how everyone assumes it's meant. Yes, I say she's an attention seeker, but I'm not saying it's a trivial thing. It irritates me, true, but at the same time, the people that fail to recognise irritate me just as much.

Also, you must understand, I was bulimic for two years when I was 15, and it's not really gone away, I have on and off bulimia/anorexia which will last a few months, then go, then come back.



No, this, I have discussed with her, and she agrees. When she's been eating quite normally for a while, her she starts to cut again. When we've talking about how she feels when she self harms, when she doesn't eat, it all comes back to this wanting to cause harm. I've known a few people with eating disorders, and not one of them ever asked me questions on tips to make themselves appear more ill. It wasn't their aim. If anything, they wanted to look less ill, they wanted to know how to keep going, they never asked about passing out in front of a tutor, and talked about how much they'd like it to happen.

What frustrates me is that I appear to be the only one who can see that a lot of this is attention. She craves the attention from it, and I don't know if not giving it to her will make her worse, but giving it to her certainly reinforces these behaviours.

I'm also frustrated that my friend is making herself ill, and they're talking about food, which is making her focus more and more on food, and they talk about eating disorders and anorexia, and she wants that now. She has a strange diet. She has a metabolic condition so yes, she doesn't eat protein, she can't eat protein (but she still does, though she shouldn't). And yes, she doesn't eat as much food as other people, but it never used to matter. I don't eat much, but because I don't eat around people, no one noticed. She eats around others, and all they do is point out she doesn't eat much, point out she has this weird diet, point out she can't eat what they're eating.

So I guess it's partly a rebellion thing as well. She'll eat around me because I will always let her choose what to eat. I never have things around her that I know she can't have. With me, there is nothing to rebel against, I wont make a fuss about her diet or her not eating much. So with me, there is no problem.

But she wants this anorexic label so she can say she's ill. And this I have talked to her about too. She does admit to me that the self harm side, wanting to be thin is wanting to be ill, and wanting people to see the harm she's doing to herself.

Then she says if they see it, maybe they'll take her seriously.. this is where she needs a psychologist, a proper one, and she refuses to go.
This, to me, is clearly self harm.

Back to that I'm frustrated that my friend is making herself ill, and all these people who are supposed to support her, they should be able to see that this is just another manifestation or her self harm. They treat it like it's this whole new thing but I've said to her, this is exactly the same thing. You have urges and there are triggers. It's all subject to your emotions and what kind of day you're having, just like your cutting used to be.


I just don't know what to do with all this. Because she's so mentally and emotionally stable around me, I have lived with her over two weeks and not a single problem came up until someone else came into the picture, her metabolic nurse who wanted to start up an eating diary. Of course, she then goes from eating perfectly well to asking me "Well, I had two M&M's earlier, should I include those??"
To me, it's like the hell are these people doing to my friend????

She's started bruising easier, and she's loving it!!! She wont say it, unless I dig and it wont be in those words, but come on! I'm a self harmed too, I know how it feels to get injuries when you want them. You don't say it, but you love it. This, for her, is just what she wants. To able to harm herself and for others to see.

She cut herself the other day, and she wears the bandage for everyone to see, because she knows they'll wonder about it, and some will ask.

But the counsellor, the nurses, tutors, doctors... no one will address this. Because they're all too scared to say "attention seeker" to a self harmer.



"Alright, gang. I'll ignore that some of you are late... if you ignore that I'm the latest."

Rilic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
Epicene
 
Epicene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
I am currently:

Hmmm, it does sound like a very tricky situation for you to be in. I can fully understand why you are so frustrated, given that you want to support your friend but also not reinforce her behaviours at the same time.

I wonder why your friend is reluctant to seek help from a professional? If she is seeking to make herself appear 'worthy' of treatment, maybe you could tell her that she does not need to do this in order to get help? It certainly seems as though this is part of an ongoing issue for her and it would be wise for her to speak to someone about it.

Does she know about your SH/ED? I didn't realise that you lived together, in which case it might be worth talking to her about how you find the situation difficult to deal with. That could at least reduce some of the pressure for you, as you're clearly being very thoughtful about all of this but I can imagine it getting quite triggering.

I'm being a bit presumtuous and assuming she is at uni, but maybe you can encourage her to reach out to student services if she's reluctant to go to a GP or psychologist. Seeing as you have been able to talk about things with her, maybe try questioning her (politely) if she mentions wanting to look ill again. If she is able to admit to someone that she wants people to know how much she's struggling, it might be a little easier to encourage her to get help.

Epicene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
Rilic
Loon
 
Rilic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: England
I am currently:

Oh, I don't live with her at the moment. She doesn't like being on her own, so when she moved into her new flat (yes, she is at uni) and her flat mates hadn't moved in yet, she wanted someone to stay with her.

I've thought a lot on it. I think partly is the common fear of not being taken seriously. I think part of it is that she realises she likes attention, and that they will recognise that, but she can't get out of her head that attention seeking doesn't mean it's some pathetic, teenage phase like we're led to believe, and it is still a real, concerning problem.

Partly is her trust issues, which I'm sorry to say are completely fictional. This "trust" issue is all in her head. She doesn't have one, but she thinks she does. It doesn't matter who you put her in a room with at the end of the day, she will talk, and share, and reveal all her deepest darkest secrets. It's just a matter of getting her into that room.

I think it's mostly that. She the kind of person who thinks herself crazy. I don't if that means she thinks she is crazy, or her thinking makes her crazy...
But, in her head, she imagines these situations which are not likely to happen in reality at all. In her head, she imagines things that have happened as a lot worse than they were.

The other day she was thinking her cut was infected, and I said she was a bit of a hyperchondriac because she says the same thing every time she cuts, and I tell her the same thing every time, explaining the body's natural inflammation defence mechanism.

But it led onto her complaining about me giving her another label, and she's "not as strong" as me, apparently, which I role my eyes at. As much as I care and want her to get better, when she gets in a soppy mood and conveniently forgets overdoses, suicide attempts, dissociative episodes, almost being hospitalised for not being in control, over not wanting to hear she's a bit quick to rush to the nurses...

And there's another reason. She does self harm, and she has disordered eating habits, but nothing's ever gone that far, and especially now I'm around, I think the comparison thing is two way. I know her history, she knows mine, and I think it makes her feel that she has more to prove, so she has to work harder if she wants to be considered the same way I am. She was always the one the got the attention first, but since I only need to step into a room at an assessment for people to tick me off with various things, she actually comes across as a confident, open, assertive, verging on obnoxious, character, as opposed to the timid, closed off person she thinks she is. For her, how people treat her conflicts with the view she has of herself. She is told something perfectly innocuous, and she finds insult in it somewhere, because she has to be the victim. Has to be the one being harmed.

If you're that kind of person, how would it be to see a psychologist who's going to "fix you"??



"Alright, gang. I'll ignore that some of you are late... if you ignore that I'm the latest."

Rilic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Members Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Censor is ON
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:17 AM.

Back to top