6 thoughts on “Eating Disorders & Comorbidity: When An ED Isn’t The Only Disorder

  • March 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I can relate to this immensely. I have C-PTSD and the first trauma was around the same time that the eating disorder developed with me, and I am sure that the anxiety played a role in my struggle with both back then, but it certainly does now either way. Needless to say, I struggled with the ED, unresolved traumas and repeated traumatizations into my late 20’s, substance abuse, other coping mechanisms specifically related to my abuse history, and so many other “negative coping skills” for my everpresent anxiety that resulted from these repeated traumas, that I was initially given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder because I was so out of control emotionally and with my lifestyle (its worth noting that I never disclosed my trauma or abuse history at this time because I thought they were unrelated to my emotional issues and retraumatization after the fact…I thought I was just “broken”)and over the course of five years received treatment of practically every psychotropic medication available, and had three psychiatric hospitalizations, all to no avail.

    I had extreme anxiety, and the ONLY thing that seemed to control it at all was the ED or drug abuse….so when I started trying to get help for the C-PTSD after the third hospitalization (I had finally connected the dots and said something then), I needed help with the anxiety that was not illegal and ED related coping skills, so I tried the benzodiazapene route and eventually developed a dependency on those and had to stop taking them and so now I am left with non medication avenues for anxiety control….and its very difficult, and the extreme exercising seems to be the best working one, but Im afraid of that too because of its connection to the ED that I am struggling to get under control. so I am in the process of developing healthy coping skills for the anxiety, and have found a few…coloring is one, yoga, meditation, music, a shoulder massage, spending time at the beach, outdoor activities, playing board games….so there are lots of good non-ED ways to deal with anxiety, but it takes a lot more work and effort and sometimes it takes several different techniques before something actually happens, so its not a quick fix like drugs or an extreme high like hours of exercise gives you.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Reply
    • March 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      @ Amira, thank you for sharing your story with us! I really want to say how much I admire your strength and dedication to treatment! It’s great that you’re finding healthy ways to cope. While they’re not quick fixes, these strategies are definitely valuable in the long term and I find that things like art and yoga really nourish my spirit, too. It sounds like you’ve come a long way, and you’ve accomplished a lot in working through your recovery. I wish you all the best in your recovery!!!

      Reply
  • March 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I also have C-PTSD (like the above poster) and I definitely used my ED to relieve anxiety, among other things. Great post!

    Reply
  • March 18, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Kristine,
    Thank you for reading my guest blog and responding! Take care, Nicole

    Reply
  • March 18, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Amira,
    Trying to deal with anxiety without unhealthy coping mechanisms and medication is difficult, but definitely doable. Like Margarita, I admire your tenacity. You will get through this. And you are definitely right, sometimes it takes MULTIPLE healthy coping mechanisms to deal with eating disorder urges and anxiety. Keep taking care of yourself; you are doing a great job. –Nicole

    Reply
 

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