We Bite Back

Eating Disorder Awareness WBB is a global network of people proactively recovering from eating disorders, while collectively redefining the beauty standard. .............................................................................................. This is the site that comes after the madness. Before we came along, there was no place for people to go who found support on pro-ana forums, communities and email lists who didn't want to do the ana thing anymore. Welcome to the first web site designed specifically for post-pro-anorexics. ............................................................................................ Join the fight.

Today I have the distinct pleasure of writing about one of my favourite articles about eating disorder recovery by Malson et al. (2011) exploring how inpatients talk about eating disorder recovery. I have personally found this article to be very helpful in understanding some of the difficulties of understanding and achieving recovery in our social context.

As Malson and colleagues explain (and as we’ve established), eating disorder recovery is elusive. Often, poor prognosis is described in relation to individual factors, including

Despite losing a higher percentage of their body weight, most patients [who were previously] overweight presented in a so-called “healthy” weight range (e.g., BMI between 18.5 and 24.9). They showed similar levels of eating disorder pathology, similar prevalence of amenorrhea, and no difference in number of reported physical symptoms when compared with adolescents who did not have a preceding history of overweight.

These findings underscore the danger of emphasizing weight as the sole indicator of health and the importance of assessing a patient’s physical functioning or symptoms rather than body weight to determine their health status.

If an adolescent presents in a BMI category that is theoretically considered healthy but is not menstruating because of restrictive eating, or is exhibiting eating disordered cognitions, this teen is demonstrating unhealthy behaviors that will undoubtedly influence their overall well-being.

Medical consequences of these unhealthy behaviors are numerous and severe, including cardiovascular complica- tions (e.g., arrhythmias, syncope, corrected Q-T interval (QTc) prolongation, pericardial effusion), seizure, orthostatic hypo- tension, hypokalemia, pancreatitis, pneumothorax, and other conditions, regardless of weight status.

Furthermore, patients who have lost a larger percentage of their baseline BMI, despite presenting in a BMI category that is not technically “underweight,” have been shown to have an equally, or, in some cases, more medically serious presentation than patients who present at a lower BMI, but who have lost less weight overall

Similarly, adult patients who have a larger discrepancy between their current and the highest past weight have been found to have more severe eating disorder and psychiatric symptoms.

Lebow, J., SIm, L. A., & Kransdorf, L. N. (2014) Prevalence of a History of Overweight and Obesity in Adolescents with Restrictive Eating Disorders. (via scienceofeds)
Until I started taking my antidepressants, though, I didn’t actually know that I was depressed. I thought the dark staticky corners were part of who I was. It was the same way I felt before I put on my first pair of glasses at age 14 and suddenly realized that trees weren’t green blobs but intricate filigrees of thousands of individual leaves; I hadn’t known, before, that I couldn’t see the leaves, because I didn’t realize that seeing leaves was a possibility at all. And it wasn’t until I started using tools to counterbalance my depression that I even realized there was depression there to need counterbalancing. I had no idea that not everyone felt the gravitational pull of nothingness, the ongoing, slow-as-molasses feeling of melting down into a lump of clay. I had no way of knowing that what I thought were just my ingrained bad habits — not being able to deposit checks on time, not replying to totally pleasant emails for long enough that friendships were ruined, having silent meltdowns over getting dressed in the morning, even not going to the bathroom despite really, really, really having to pee — weren’t actually my habits at all. They were the habits of depression, which whoa, holy shit, it turns out I had a raging case of.

madvocate:

petition to change “X group of people is notoriously untreatable” to “we are notoriously bad at treating X group”

(via magicstr)

rubyetc:

sketches for a thing

(via magicstr)

chibird:

A motivational squirrel (animal variety~) to remind you that if things aren’t great now, they can change for the better. There is time to work on your happiness, at every point in your life.

I can honestly say that I have never met a person who believed they were “sick enough”. My belief is that if you are suffering, you ARE sick enough and deserve help. Would you tell someone with Stage One breast cancer that they don’t deserve chemo because there are people who have Stage Four?
what my friend who is recovered from her eating disorder told me when I said I felt like I wasn’t sick enough to deserve recovery and treatment. (via fatbabeprincess)

(via livingwithouted)

Should eating disorder patients be introduced to “junk food” or “hyper-palatable” foods during treatment? A few days ago, I stumbled across a blog post where Dr. Julie O’Toole, Founder and Director of the Kartini Clinic for Disordered Eating, argues against introducing “junk food” during ED treatment. The crux of the argument is that “hyperpalatable foods”—e.g., chips and Cheetos—are not real food and should never be forced or encouraged for anyone, regardless of the presence of an eating disorder

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