BPD Awareness Month (Eating Disorders)

Eating Disorders is something I know perhaps the BEST out of all my struggles throughout my life. So todays topic hits the heart of my ills in relation to every aspect of my life, all the negatives & few positives will be touched on in this blog. Shockingly eating disorders is one the fundamental problems relating to BPD, to my amazement eating disorders is its own tree within a tree of problems, but also eating disorders can be entirely separate to bpd and also they can be just entirely just on their own. Eating disorders does cross many ills within the mental health struggles. They do have their own tree of progression that must be said, but it does cross over into other mental health struggles and borderline personality disorder is one of the ills it falls into.

Now learning the information that eating disorders is a fundamental issue for people BPD, Did shock me to the bone because iv had eating issues from birth, from family stories I refused food at such a small age we are talking months old not years YET, so its been a problem for me my entire life & I still live to this day with extreme eating difficulties, Also the professionals think or have data on me to conclude iv had BPD since at least childhood which age range from 3/4 upwards, so for them to take this position linked with my eating disorder from birth its pretty much a custom made glove wouldn’t you say?. Now regarding my eating disorder my family have pit blame on my mother for not force feeding me etc, & a lot of my family are skeptical of thinking that maybe she’s not to blame and they don’t entertain the fact with could be my mental illness that played its part, because family & society don’t like to think of that sort of stuff, they rather take the easier route in saying/seeing that this person didn’t do A, which lead to B, and therefore they have the result C. because its easier to pit blame on something you can see with your eyes, rather than the things you cannot, and doesn’t that example show you how mental health is viewed in all parts of society because you cant see it, its not that bad. We all make the examples when comparing the 2, if you see a man with a broken leg, you feel his pain & you can see it clearly he’s struggling you can actually see it with your eyes, But that same man could be depressed and because you cannot see it, you disregard it, because you cant see it so it doesn’t evoke any human reaction. Other than the reaction of well ‘HE LOOKS FINE’. That is eating disorder to a T, Now because a lot of us with eating disorders are NOT anorexic they think there’s not a problem here because we may of a bit of weight or we may be over weight, who cares… But because they cannot see any issues they disregard your problems. unlike an anorexic girl, you reach out to her and say you must eat, come with me il buy you something etc. The very same person but 2 very different results because peoples perspective is rather skewed, in my opinion.

Eating Disorders can lead to severe social issues, trust me. You may not even be aware of how bad it can be, because you guys who are able to eat normally (Yes that word) when you guys are out and about you can be shopping with friends on a lovely day and suddenly be like, oh I’m peckish lets have some lunch, and then you all proceed to have some nice lunch, Now someone with an eating disorder would find this extremely difficult to the point of tears, because you’d be the only one out the group whos just having a glass of water and perhaps some table snacks, while everyone else is enjoying their food. That would lead to many intense unhelpful emotions and thoughts that later on in that day would affect the person quiet badly, once they get home they may do things to themselves to help deal with the pain they went through that day, although it may seem quiet small and insignificant what had happened. But to someone who has an eating disorder, just to feel normal is something that they would do anything for, and just this 1 example shows that person how not so called normal they are which leads them to all sorts of self destruction. Now I’m not saying were not normal what I’m saying is the society viewpoint of us is not normal, people may think its blown way out of proportion just this one thing, But the impact it has is rather soul destroying because no matter what food will always be a topic of discussion with every human alive, Which it leaves you feeling very uncomfortable, so the best thing I do is if I am going out with any friends I make sure they know briefly about my eating issues so then that awkwardness of ‘ Oh your not having anything to eat?’ So that doesn’t get touched because that’s the WORST thing in my opinion that can be said, because it makes it aware to the entire group that oh you are not eating oh okay. So if your friends know about the issues even briefly then that doesn’t get touched so then its has easy has , 1,2, just a water for me 🙂

Its always an awkward thing with my family, just awkwardness but iv learned to deal with it, to the point it doesn’t bother me at all no more, Not in a nasty or mean way, because family are not nasty about it, just awkwardness. The only problem I can see is my child she’s aware now that I don’t eat around her and that I don’t eat at the dinner table with her etc, but she’s not asked any questions YET, but they will be coming soon enough, I don’t know how ill handle that explaining to her my issues, that’s one problem I can see on the horizon for me relating to eating disorders. Now I will not get into what I do eat because well it is shameful for me, it does shame me when I do say what I eat, its always a touchy subject with me because when I get asked what do you eat, I literally feel like iv just shattered into a million pieces, I cant describe the anguish I feel just on that one question, So I will not speak on what I do eat.

Now Bulimia is something iv suffered with since 16 years if age now 27, it relates to eating disorder to my amazement it fits into the boxes like a glove, this Bulimia issue ticks a lot of boxes for me personally its a form of self harm also just a little insight , When I binge and purge the thought process while purging is ‘ Good I don’t deserve Food’ Them very words, I don’t deserve food, I always get a little bit of abuse mentally when I buy food because that gremlin tells me you don’t deserve that put it back, its food your not worthy of food, food your enemy remember that’ That’s just a little insight into my daily fight with food, just buying is hard enough never mind eating it, but purging yes that does help and it relates to eating disorders so well I was so shocked to learn this but its a factor.

My eating has lead me to severe hospital trips and even a stay in hospital for 3 months and 3 weeks I was in hospital that time, iv been admitted to hospital for eating related issues ,4 times ,through starvation and dehydration, the 1st stay in hospital I was there for 1 month, the doctor treating me told me with your levels you was less than 48 hours away from death, my body has begun to shut down, that time, I had lost movement in my legs, I was 12 stone before when I left hospital I was around 6 stone, my pigmentation has changed to almost white and I’m mixed race, my lips where blue and would not change, I lost the ability to talk, I could only suck ice cubes I was not allowed water because my body would end up killing me if I drank or eat anything. I remember standing up for the 1st time in over 1 month in hospital and the starvation before I got admitted was 3 months, when I stood up for the 1st time I looked in the window and because it was winter it was pitch black and the hospital windows are huge and I was on the top floor, I looked into the window and I burst out crying, I looked well my stomach was gone you could see my ribs, my arms, my legs were so skinny, I remember getting home I wear men’s clothing clearly and I had to buy boys aged 7 yrs jeans to fit me, and boys t-shirts. it was horrific. That was my 1st time I experienced that, also before I got admitted, I’ll share this because its Awareness isn’t it, before my admission I got to the point where I could not go to the toilet and it all stopped working, days before admission I would pee but it would be  needle like, also it would be blood, how it got to that stage was well basically like I said earlier ‘ You don’t deserve food, food is your enemy’ for many years I believed that, today I’m very well and healthy but it wasn’t that long ago I wasn’t well, this first admission happened in 2009. I just wanted to share that to raise awareness that starvation IS NOT EVER, an option. NEVER, and coming from me of all people that’s a statement in itself.

Now according to the professionals eating disorders if you have BPD, eating disorders are directly a result of your BPD, and therefore they refuse to say you have an eating disorder because it relates to your Personality Disorder. I dismissed this at first but iv begun to learn how that’s the truth for me personally.

Now id like to give you some clinical information relating to eating disorders.

Eating disorders and borderline personality disorder (BPD) frequently occur together, but until recently, very little was known about the relationship between the two. Recent research is revealing how often BPD and eating disorders co-occur, why they may be related and how to treat these two types of disorders when they do co-occur.

What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are psychiatric disorders characterized by severe problems with eating behaviour.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), the official guidebook to the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders used by mental health providers, recognizes two specific types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

The central feature of anorexia nervosa is a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight (body weight greater than 85 percent of that expected for the individual’s age and height).

In contrast, the central feature of bulimia nervosa is the presence of binge eating, followed by behaviors that are attempts to compensate for the binge eating, such as self-induced vomiting, overuse of laxatives, excessive exercise, and others.

There can be some overlap in symptoms between these two disorders. For example, someone may engage in binge eating and purging, but also be unwilling to maintain a normal body weight.

 

In this case, the individual may be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, binge-eating/purging.

Eating Disorders and Borderline Personality Prevalence

People with borderline personality disorder have a greater prevalence of eating disorders than people in the general population.

For example, a widely cited study by Dr. Mary Zanarini and her colleagues at McLean Hospital found that 53.8 percent of patients with BPD also met criteria for an eating disorder (compared to 24.6 percent of patients with other personality disorders).

In this study, 21.7 percent of patients with BPD met criteria for anorexia nervosa and 24.1 percent for bulimia nervosa.

Of course, this is not to say that people with eating disorders necessarily have borderline personality disorder. In fact, the overwhelming majority of people with eating disorders do not have BPD. It appears that the rate of BPD in people with eating disorders is somewhat elevated when compared to the general population (about 6 to 11 percent, compared to 2 to 4 percent in the general population). 

Some eating disorders, though, are associated with having a higher risk of BPD than others. One study found that people with bulimia nervosa, purging type may be at a greater risk for BPD (with about 11 percent meeting BPD criteria) than people with anorexia nervosa, binge-eating/purging type (with about 4 percent meeting BPD criteria).

How Are Eating Disorders and Borderline Personality Related?

Why do people with BPD seem to have eating disorders at a greater rate than people in the general population?

Experts have noted that one possible explanation is that BPD and eating disorders (particularly bulimia nervosa) share a common risk factor: Both are associated with histories of childhood trauma, such as physical, sexual and emotional abuse. It could be that having a history of childhood trauma puts one at greater risk for both BPD and eating disorders.

In addition, some experts have suggested that it may be that the symptoms of BPD put one at risk for developing an eating disorder. For example, chronic impulsivity and urges to self-harm may lead one to engage in problematic eating behavior, which may over time rise to the level of an eating disorder. Engaging in eating disordered behavior may lead to experiences of stress (e.g., intense shame, hospitalization, family disruption) that may trigger BPD in someone with a genetic vulnerability for the disorder.

Treatment for Eating Disorders and Borderline Personality

What can be done about BPD and co-occurring eating disorders? The good news is that there are effective treatments available for both types of conditions. While some studies have indicated that people with BPD do not respond as well to eating disorder treatment, other studies have found no differences in treatment response between people with eating disorders with or without BPD.

Which problem should be treated first? It may be that both the eating disorder and the BPD symptoms can be treated at the same time, but this may be decided on a case-by-case basis. For example, some people have eating disorder symptoms that are so severe they are immediately life-threatening. In this case, hospitalization for the eating disorder symptoms may be necessary before treatment for the BPD symptoms can begin. Alternatively, in someone with very severe BPD symptoms that are either life-threatening or threaten to reduce their ability to engage in treatment, the BPD symptoms may be treated first.

Finding Help with Eating Disorders and BPD

If you think you (or a loved one) may have BPD and/or an eating disorder, the first step is to find a mental health provider who can make the right diagnosis. For more information on finding treatment, check out these articles:

Once again id like to thank you for reading this post today on EATING DISORDERS. feel free to leave any feedback or comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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