• The ED in her Head

    July 17, 2012 | Blog
  • Have you ever had the feeling that you shouldn’t have done something?

    Imagine this sense was a voice that constantly barraged you with all the ways you have failed. Women with eating disorders experience this every day. A relentless voice (we call it ED, short for Eating Disorder) reminds them of all the ways they don’t measure up and offers them another way to measure up – through appearance, eating, exercise, and perfectionism. Everything that matters becomes reduced to these realms, which can be controlled and predicted, unlike so many complexities in life.

    The problem is, ED’s conditions for success and worth do not stop. ED constantly requires more of the person – “Losing 15 pounds was good, but you aren’t a success until you lose 15 more.” The more ED consumes a person, the more ED tells them of their worthlessness. Women struggling with an eating disorder are frequently filled with anxiety, guilt, and shame.

    ED impacts all areas of a woman’s life:

    • Spiritually, they believe that God is disappointed in them 
    • Relationally, they avoid being honest with friends and family
    • Mentally, fewer nutrients or chaotic eating leads to difficulty concentrating and thinking straight 
    • Emotionally, they feel overwhelmed and try to avoid emotions 
    • Physically, they become unable to do activities they used to enjoy 
    • Women with ED lose touch with their identity and sense of worth 

    But there is hope. With a helpful treatment team (e.g. nutritionist, primary care physician, therapist), and a positive support system, women can reduce ED’s influence in their life. As part of her support system, you can help by listening to her and by holding back advice. You can encourage her to reach her goals and understand that relapses will happen. You can provide hope by reminding her of what is important to her when she has a hard time seeing past ED. Remember: ED is the enemy, not the woman you love.

    Difficult emotions and relationships can feed the ED in her head. To help a woman recover, we teach skills to manage emotions, tolerate distress, and navigate relationships.  If you or someone you love is interested in learning these skills, call 720-935-2663 to schedule an intake interview at our Castle Rock, Colorado office.