07 December 2008

An atypical anorexic

I can't be anorexic because a. I was diagnosed at age 42. b. I come from a working class background. c. I didn't totally lose my periods.

I am anorexic because a. I was (and still am) less than 85 percent of my minimum weight b. I am a raging perfectionistic who nitpicks herself to death and can never, EVER, be good enough c. I both feel and see fat when I look at my body and d. I still, in spite of being told I could die from this, have a strong, almost unbearable urge to lose weight.

What's going on here?

As I search for help - mainly through books and the Internet - I am confronted with the fallacies of eating disorders. That it is a "teenage" disease. That only upper middle-class, white girls are struck by these disorders. That you must stop menstruating for three consecutive months to be diagnosed. And etc. etc. etc.

I tried to pull out this criteria as proof that I am okay, that I do not have anorexia; not me, I am too old and do not totally fit the cookie cutter box set by the DSM IV. My doctor just rolled his eyes and said, right, you can still die of anorexia.

Because God knows I don't want to be anorexia. I'd rather just be thin.

But until many of the people writing about and working with people with eating disorders get it together, many people are going to fall through the cracks and not get the treatment they need. It's bad enough to kick yourself for being a pain in the ass. It's harder feeling like you don't even need help.


alex45 said...

Compared to pure cases of anorexia nervosa, atypical cases were less likely to drop weight after discharge, recovered more rapidly, and had lower cumulative risk for developing binge eating.



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