Wednesday, 22 May 2013

It is an illness

It's often said that eating disorders are options. As if someone would choose to starve him or herself. As though the idea of slowly dying is appealing to anyone. This is why we have organizations (like NEDIC) to inform the public about what ED really is about.
 
Eating disorders are not choices. They are real and very serious illnesses. They are mental illnesses. They need treatment. They take time to fix. They affect your mental, physical, emotional, and social health. They cannot be ignored. They are prominent around the world, even if you don't think so.
 
I think it's time that we begin to understand that ED is a very serious condition. It can rob a person of their life within a short time frame. It changes the person. EDs can creep up on an individual without warning. But once it starts, it needs help.
 
We need to understand that EDs need treatment. Food is a priority. But there are many other things that need 'fixing'. The person may need medications for depression, anxiety, etc. The victim might need therapy to learn coping skills or to get rid of their traumatic experiences. The individual needs a loving, supportive, and caring environment. And then the person needs TIME. Time to heal, to recover. Time to realize that they deserve a better life - a healthier life. Time to make up for all the time that ED took away from their happiness. All I'd this can't be fixed quickly. Nor is it easy. But it is worth it.
 
The public needs to understand that EDs are illnesses, just like cancer. You would not blame someone for having cancer. Nor would you decide that they didn't need treatment to recover. You would give them all the help they need, along with love and support. And you would make sure that they have the chance to heal and recover from what they have suffered. You would ensure that they are strong enough to continue with their treatment. You would help them heal and recover.
 
So the next time you think about ED, try thinking of it like any other disease state or health issue: it needs treatment, the patient deserves help, and recovery IS possible. It will change the way you understand eating disorders.

28 comments:

  1. Marina
    You are absolutely right
    For me was a severe mental illness that brought me to my knees for years ,robbed me of productive life for more than 5 years ,tortured me from relapse to another till eventually I have been enjoying my recovery for 6 years.

    Recovered ED victim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you worked so hard on recovery, and you inspire me daily. Thanks for being an awesome role model! God bless you and give you strength each day.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Marina for your nice words.
      Your enthuthiasm and resiliance make me feel humble.
      You are setting an exmaple on how one can set goal for self empowerment.

      I think you are helping me to maintain my recovery without relapse

      Delete
  2. You know Marina
    It is a mental disease that sneak on you from no where and takes you to no where to find yourself.
    I was trying to get rid of some of the fat around my chest and this took me to my ED.
    If I knew this would happen ,I would not do this.
    I was happy before my ED and now I am happier since I got rid of the thoughts of ED.
    I thank you for supporting, encouraging me and helping me get my self confidence.

    Kapoor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kapoor, you have come a long way and I am so glad that you are feeling better about yourself. I am happy that you caught this early and have dealt with it. Good job. Thank you for sharing your experiences and supporting us here!

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much Marina for your comment .You are the one who helped me to love my body when people telling me you are growing breasts like women.
      I can tell you since I met you on this blog ,I started look at my self differently.
      I told myself as you suggested ,love yourself for who you are.I did ,I said this is my body ,this my personality and this is me ,who ever likes me the way I am is welcome .I do now apprecite your advise
      I am the happiest.

      Thanks to your positivity Marina

      Kapoor

      Delete
  3. That is what happened to media was just trying lose few pounds but things got out of hands and I could not stop and I almost died.
    Thanks to Marina,I am getting help and I am much better.
    If I knew this would happen ,I wouldn't have done this ever ever.
    It is a serous disease as Marina ,said if this disease gets the control on you, hard to regain control again.
    Let us all be aware and protect our self.
    I got the courage and confidence from you Marina.

    Nanaraj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nanaraj, you are right about social pressures and ED. I am happy you are doing better. Thanks again for supporting me and others through this blog. You are right about us needing to be aware!

      Delete
  4. As long as We are aware ,Ed will not have any place in our life

    Sally

    ReplyDelete
  5. no one wants to harm herself.
    It is a serious disease.
    Luckily We have treatment if We do not decline help.


    Cindrella

    ReplyDelete
  6. Who dare to say it si a choice.
    It is a terrible disease that needs as you mentioned team work of support,encouragement ,medications .etc

    Celest

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are right Marina
    It is a mental illness that needs team approach and family support.
    We sometimes call it a family mental illness as the whole family need to understand ,support and never blame the victim.
    The victim alraedy had enough from the abuse by ED and family and health care team need to support

    Kelly W
    Therapist ,To

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ED is an illness that takes its toll on many people - the victim, family, friends, etc. I like what you said about no blame because that is VERY important, and I am not sure that everyone (including healthcare professionals) understand this. You are truly a great therapist, Kelly!

      Delete
    2. I appreciate your feedback.I see you as a caring compassionate nurse as well as sympathetic therapist.

      Kelly W

      Delete
  8. This is an excellent reminder of the seriousness of this disease.
    No one dares to say it is our choice.
    Thanks Marina for de-estigmaizing mental illness and making victims of ED not to blame themselves .

    Best regards Marina

    Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne, I love reading your comments because I know how much you are suffering and working hard. You are doing an awesome job, and I am beyond words to tell you how proud of you I am. God bless you and give you strength!

      Delete
  9. Yes it is an illness. Also my alcohol abuse /addiction is a serious illness even though it was my choice to enjoy and feel happy when I started drinking when I was teenager then slowly control is lost and troubles continued to accumulate till I almost lost every thing.
    Thankfully I am in recovery and abstinent for many years and I have a wife and children. I like your blog as you support and endorse healthy life, appropriate behaviours and morality.
    Thanks so much Marina

    Carlos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carlos, you are right about addictions and how difficult they are. I am glad you are in recovery and are working hard to maintain this. Good job! God bless you, your wife, and your children. I am sure they are proud of you as well, and they are lukcy to have you.

      Delete
    2. Marina
      You as always since I met you on this blog have been my support and my mentor
      Thanks again


      Carlos

      Delete
  10. I was a slave of crack use for many many years till I became a Christian and I went to rehab using 12 steps (same approach used for alcohol) .I am clean for 20 years now and I am proud of myself and my belief.
    Really addiction is an illness and not people choice even if you start the habit as a curiosity.
    I like to read and learn about self motivation and self help tools and I find Marina an example of self motivation as a guide to all those who suffer ED or any other mental illness

    Romano K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Romano, welcome! Addictions are hard, I know. But I am glad you found strength in God and in yourself to fight this awful illness. Congrats! I am proud of you as well. I am in no way a guide, but I am so glad that you found this blog helpful! It is truly God's gift that He strengthens me to hel;p others through this blog. I am blessed and humbled.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Marina.
      You impressed me with your morality,belief ,stromg will and your determination to make a difference .
      The 12 steps to recovery not only helped me to recover from addiction but brought me closer to God.
      Thanks Marina for the reply and support.

      Romano K

      Delete
  11. I was diagnosed being emotional eater and this is a disease same as emotional restriction both exacerbated by stress. Both are diseases and need to be recognized and treated in a team approach way. We realy need to soothe our feeling in healthy way so that We continue to treat our body with care and give our body what it needs. We need to nourish and protect our brains
    When I read Marina's post I feel she is really talking about something happens in my or my family life .
    God bless you Marina.

    Savava

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Savana, welcome! Emotional eating is serious but I know that some people do not understand how it can be a problem. I am sorry you suffered but I am glad you are better now. You deserve traetment, help, and whatever you feel is necessary to help you heal. We are here to help and listen as well! God bless you. I am honoured that this blog helps you and that you feel it reaches out to you!

      Delete
  12. Marina
    I am sharing this with you for first time. As a child up till recently I used to suck my thumb. My parents believed it my fault and put hot pepper several times on my thumb to prevent me from doing it but despite this I could not stop till recently. One doctor I admire and I will never forget him he told my parents no blame or punishment ,help him to distract away from it ,keep him busy ,look for alternative to enjoy and not get bored. Since then my life turned around and my family did help me and I am very happy now .
    It was not my choice ,it is an emotional disease even though I was the one to put my finger in my mouth ,not because I wanted but the emotion behind it.
    Thanks Marina
    I wish I knew your blog years ago.
    You do not know how many teenager and youth ,you are speaking about and helping through this respected blog.

    Shady
    Mississauga

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shady, thank you for sharing. I love that this blog has become a place for all of us to share our experiences and feelings - it is a safe and supportive environment, thank God. I can understand how difficult this must have been for you throughout your life, and I am sorry for the pain and harm it has done. However, I know that you are so strong and your comments alone make me realize how wise and brave you are. Good job for all your work and determination in getting over this. You are right about the link between emtoions, behaviour, and the body. I am also humbled by the fact that you like this blog; thanks. Please pray for me, it is through God's strength alone that I continue to write and help others.

      Delete
  13. If Ed is not an illness ,what would it be ??
    I believe as you said it is a serious illness

    Blanchette

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for your quick reply Marina
    Yes your blog and your advise here helped me to regain my self esteem.
    Thanks again Marina and thanks for the positive feedback and your encouragemnts.
    You are my role model

    Shady

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.