Bipolar and eating disorder.
Is there a link well, I think there is I’ll explain why.
I had an eating disorder at the age of 14. I remember just eating a ham salad sandwich a day. I for some reason told myself, that's all I could eat. I don't know why, I even looked forward to eating it. I would only eat at 1pm every day. I wish I could tell you why, but I don’t know. Something I just had in my mind and that was it. I did this for about 6months, I went to a size 6. I was 5ft 7 and I remember I looked so skinny, because of my height. My favourite pair of trousers were red with a silver dragon at the bottom of the right leg, I brought them in the wrong size. The hanger said 10-12 but they were a 6-8. Maybe that’s, what convinced me I couldn't eat to get into these trousers.
I pretty much have had problems with eating ever since. I class myself as a binge eater. Not the eat all day and don’t stop, the don’t eat for 2-4 days, then eat loads for a whole day, when I say loads I mean loads, I can have breakfast, cooked dinner, takeaway, chocolate, crisps and then maybe order another takeaway. I have no routine with eating at all.
I don’t even think my body shows me signs of hunger anymore because I’m so use to it. Or have just learnt to ignore them.
Why do I think this is?
I think it’s because our mood fluctuates, so does our appetite. When I’m depressed I eat hardly nothing. When I am manic I just snack all day, I’m far too busy to eat when manic. So I think when we are stable, we still kind of forget to eat. Our body is so used to going without food it doesn’t even react anymore. I look at it as I’m not going to listen to it anyway, so it doesn’t bother.
I thought going on anti-psychotics would make me put on weight, six months in and I have lost weight. I did drink quite heavily though. I think because I have given that up, I’m actually losing my baby weight and beer belly. I suppose they do give me a bit of a good appetite, but for the wrong things, chocolate I crave, really bad. I wouldn’t say they make me over eat, I just eat daily now. I went without food for a couple of days last week and I actually felt quite ill. I came over all dizzy, I was feeling really sick and it made me panic. I rang my mum, she asked” have you eaten?” I had to think about it, but I hadn’t. She said “you are hungry Sarah that’s all have some food and you will feel better” and I did, two hours later it came back I had to eat again. So yeah, I think they do make you eat better. I just watch what I eat, I crave carbs, but I try to stay away from them. I eat fruit when I feel a bit funny. You see I didn’t even know the symptoms of being hungry because I haven’t had them in so long.
I would say I eat more regularly than I did, but not over eat, with this medication. I suppose I’m quite lucky as I said I have actually lost weight.
What snapped me out of my eating disorder at 14? My friend, she actually got so skinny she had to be taken to hospital and be put in a centre where she had to stay all week, if she didn’t eat she wasn’t aloud home at the weekend. I remember having such a hard time to start eating again. I would eat toast in the morning, but by lunch I could even handle a sandwich, I would have one bite. I made a doctor’s appointment and he explained where I haven’t eaten my stomach had shrunk. I would only be able to eat little and often until I built my stomach back up. He wanted to send me for tests, bloods have a look at my stomach lining exactly what happened to my friend but I refused. I just promised him I would eat. I remember it being quite hard, but I did it.
So I do think there is a link to eating disorders and bipolar because as stated or moods. I don’t like the thought of my body not even being bothered to tell me it’s hungry anymore. I have never thought of it that way until I was completely stable. Which was only 4 months ago. So now I am eating regularly to try to remind my body to tell me when it’s hungry now. I have stopped drinking so much tea and coffee as that suppresses hunger. I feel I’m doing pretty well. I didn’t really think I have an eating disorder until my cpn said, I did going on my eating patterns.
What would I say to someone suffering an eating disorder?
I wouldn’t go into all the stuff it can do to you, people know what not eating does too, it will eventually shut down all your organs. I have been there though and it’s a hard thing to beat. I didn’t even know why I was doing it, so that made it even harder, I couldn’t find the reason and try to look at it a different way, to rectify it. It was until I had a scare that helped me sort my eating disorder out at 14. Like I said, they still class me as having one but not as bad as when I was 14.
I would just say, that even eating a little bit a day, and maybe pushing yourself to eat a mouthful more each time. Even if that's only once daily. That is so much better than not eating at all. Some people just can’t beat it without medical help like my friend. If you are out there and think that, you should seek medical help. I understand it is a scary thing to do, But can promise you no-one judges you in the health professional. I think that was my scare, that they were just going to shout and me and tell me not to be silly and just eat. But they don’t. I also went through a stage of making myself sick after eating. It got so bad that my body just threw up anything I ate, Again, I had to start small and work up to keep the food down.
It is consent battle when you have an eating disorder, you're battling with yourself over something your body needs. The way I looked at, in the end you are going to have to eat, or stop making yourself sick. so why not start today. Even if you just do one day, fail you try again eventually you will get there. I did.
Have you ever had an eating disorder, I’d love to hear some success stories, I love success stories. If you are suffering from an eating disorder and would just like to chat my email address or google hang out are there. I am always happy to listen and offer advice if needed.
Anyone is free to add me on hangout, I will reply to any that message
Hope you are all well, guys