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    Harry Palmer, posted by Daniel
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Could having an ongoing eating disorder affect levels of serotonin in the brain?

Could someone who severely restricts or purges a lot be helped by anti-depressants or are they just defeating themselves? If this makes any sense?
 

Daniel

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What do you mean by "severely restricts" ?

Even not eating something for more than a few hours can make it difficult to stay focused since the brain uses up a lot of energy (like 20% of the body's total energy needs):

Our brains need glucose, and if we deny it through lack of food, our bodies have to work harder to break down stored carbohydrates for glucose that'll be used to feed our brain and central nervous system. That's why it's a good idea to have something to eat about every four hours or so.

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0515.html

There's also the importance of eating foods with omega-3s and other important nutrients like B-12.

Janet said:
Could someone who severely restricts or purges a lot be helped by anti-depressants or are they just defeating themselves?

Barring major side effects, the antidepressants can only help, IMHO.

With bulemia, antidepressants can help a lot:

Antidepressant medicines reduce binge eating and purging in up to 75% of people who have bulimia nervosa.

http://health.yahoo.com/topic/mentalhealth/resources/article/healthwise/hw266085

In anorexia, antidepressants can help with some contributing factors:

If you have anorexia, you may cry easily, not sleep well and be worried about your weight. Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants to help with these symptoms and lift your mood. Feeling calmer and happier may make it easier to eat.

http://besttreatments.bmj.com/btuk/conditions/13381.htm
 
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Thanks, Daniel. That makes it seem like there may be some good to the antidepressants after all.

I guess by severely restrict I mean not eating for a few days. Maybe that's not really severe.

I guess what I'm wondering is if there is any point to take antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications while the eating disorder is so much a part of my life? Or would it be better to stop the medications and try to get the eating disorder under control so the meds would be more effective later? I know it sounds confusing. I'm just wondering if I'm wasting my efforts with the medications.
 

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Or would it be better to stop the medications and try to get the eating disorder under control so the meds would be more effective later?

The meds can only help. It would only be harmful to stop the medications for a period of time, especially since one often needs to titrate down when stopping a medication and then titrate up when restarting.

I guess by severely restrict I mean not eating for a few days. Maybe that's not really severe.

Not only is it severe, it's counterproductive to weight loss, which is often the motivation behind starvation or fasting.
 
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I just don't know how to even begin sorting out this mess I've gotten myself into. First I am going to try to talk about it with my therapist and tell him how bad it really is and then maybe he can help me or have some suggestions. I think physically I am not doing well and so how can I recover mentally? I think it has to go together somehow.
 

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Hey Janet,

What I have come to understand is that an eating disorder is in a way an addiction. The best way to get any addiction, anxiety etc. under control is through very supportive counselling to find out the root of the cause. If the eating disorder is dealt with in isolation without dealing with what caused it in the first place, it will be harder to get it under control.

When I am under alot of stress the tendencies come back up, and I need to remind myself that I am worth taking care of myself and to nourish my soul with good food. In fact in that way I am taking control back, through living well.

Take gentle care of yourself Janet, you deserve it.:friends:

Ladylore
 
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Thank you. :)

I think you're right about needing to get to the root of the issue. I hope I can begin to do that very soon and get some healing and relief.

:hug:
 

Peanut

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Hi Janet, I don't have a lot to add, but I just wanted to give you my support. It is a tough situation you're dealing with, but you are a tough person and you'll get through it. Try to be good to yourself and your body while you're sorting through all of this. It's a lot to go through and you need nourishment to stay strong and cope effectively with everything. A few days is a long time not to eat. Anyway, be nice to yourself--you deserve it! Maybe you could plan out a menu ahead of time or something to help you eat?

Take care of yourself Janet! We are all pulling for you.
 
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Thanks, Arose. :) I am having a really hard time facing this issue. It is so much easier to face the other things for some reason, but this is a problem that I really haven't admitted to myself for a long time. It just seems so normal to be eating disordered. I can't live my life in fast forward. I can only live it one moment at a time and that is the only way I am going to be able to conquer this disease. I'm hurting a lot inside and it covers up that pain. I'm always using something to cover up the pain, self-injury, sleeping, not eating, eating, throwing up, etc. Whatever works at the moment, but it doesn't really work in the long run. It only ends up hurting me more and more and sometimes that is the goal, to punish myself. If I could take all the desire I have to stop and really use it as energy to stop I think I would be able to get to the root causes and really start to be kinder to myself, but I don't know how right now. I'm such a mess.
 

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I don't think that you are a mess at all Janet. What you just posted made complete sense and sounds so true. If you could take a little of that energy that you spend on doing things to punish yourself on doing things to take care of yourself then maybe you would be able to feel a little better. I know easier said than done but I truly believe that you can do it. You are worth it and will succeed, little by little it will happen.

Take care :heart:
:hug: :hug:
 
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thanks, Halo. It sounds easier when you break it down into little steps instead of trying to deal with the whole big thing at once. :hug:

Thanks for the hugs. They are much needed and appreciated. :)
 
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Peanut

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Yes, I agree and it sounds like you are really taking some time to define the issues you are facing. They are not easy but I think it always helps to really size up the problem before you tackle it (or parts of it). You are stronger than this problem and you also have a lot going for you. You are really smart, you will figure this out.
 
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I was just rambling and making no sense. :) I'm sorry.
 
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Peanut

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I think it made sense. Are you finding your therapist and/or your medication to be helpful with any of the issues that you want help with?
 
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I was going to write a letter to my therapist, but I've decided it's hopeless. I hope this eating disorder kills me. I really do. I'd be better off dead than like this.
 

Peanut

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I think that is a good idea and one possible option. I'm a little unclear on whether the medication your on is adequately helping you or you feel like your therapy is helping you because it sounds like you're feeling pretty low. What are your feelings about that? Maybe a letter would be in order here. Do you think you need to speak to a doctor about a possible med adjustment? I think there are some options worth exploring here. What do you think?
 

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Hey Janet,

The fact that your mentioning exactly how your feeling takes courage and also tell me there is still fight in you. And the world is such a better place because your here. I can tell it through your posts.

I know those tough moments, I've been there too and then I remember what others have told me. Feelings pass and change, they always do. Go second by second if you need to, call a crisis line - number is usually on the inside front cover of your phone book. And yes, I agree with Arose, please get a hold of your doctor/therapist.

Stay gentle with yourself.

Ladylore :grouphug:
 
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Well, I wrote a letter last night and mailed it this morning. I doubt it will help much because I've been doing these behaviors for 25 years or more and that's a long time for bad habits to be ingrained. I feel so defeated and helpless and hopeless. And tired. That's the biggest thing. I can't focus. I hope my letter made sense, but I have a sinking feeling it didn't. I don't really know what else to do. I need help with this and it was hard to talk about and I hope that he knows I'm asking for help and not just whining. I think I'm just whining here and everyone must be tired of it and I've very sorry. I want to work out these things inside my head, but I can't because it's all fuzzy. If I just knew where to start, that would be a step, but I have no idea. I'm so sad. So lost. How do I ever make things right.
 

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Janet,

I am so proud of you for writing the letter and mailing it this morning. I know it took a lot of courage and strength to do it but it will be helpful for you when your therapist gets it and you can discuss this openly. You took a real step forward and again I am so proud of you :clap:

You are not whining here, you are gaining support and that is what this forum is all about. Everyone needs people to turn to in their time of distress and it is much better than keeping it all locked up inside (trust me :eek: ) You have lots of friends here that care deeply about you and just want the best for you. Keep writing and talking Janet, it will get better.

Take care :heart:
:hug: :hug:
 

Daniel

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If I just knew where to start, that would be a step, but I have no idea.

Well, as you probably would agree, the best way to change old habits is to create new ones. Focusing on the next physical action that needs to get done -- like pouring cereal into a bowl (for eating a healthy breakfast) or putting on one's sneakers (for going for a walk) or sitting down on the couch to read a new book -- is a very simple, effective way to engage in behavior therapy, which is why I like the book Getting Things Done.
 

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