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Our Mental Health Blogs

How Trauma and Eating Disorders Go Hand-in-Hand

How Trauma and Eating Disorders Go Hand-in-Hand

Eating disorder behaviors are often triggered by the effects of sexual trauma. Understanding this complex dynamic can help break the pattern of body shame.

Are you all too familiar with that bone-deep torment, roused by memories you didn’t choose to recall but might never forget? Can you feel the aftershocks surging through your body, invading the corners of your mind? Do you numb out from the world, from the trauma, from yourself? Have your methods of coping turned into behaviors that you can no longer control? Did you know this struggle is not yours to fight alone?

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What Happens When Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphia Merge

What Happens When Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphia Merge

There is a common link between eating disorders and body dysmorphia, so understanding this connection can help to address the symptoms of each illness.

Do you know the relationship between eating disorders and body dysmorphia? I remember the first time I stood in front of a mirror, scrutinizing every square-inch of my reflection. My thighs were not lean enough. My arms lacked definition. My stomach looked bloated underneath my shirt. My face registered the deep, gut-level disappointment I felt about my entire appearance. If I could just tweak those “problem areas”—shed a pound here, tone a muscle there—surely the mirror and I would become friends, or start tolerating each other at least. During the most critical and self-deprecating phases of my eating disorder, I had no idea this mirror-image was not reality, but a false representation of my distorted beliefs. I had never heard the term “body dysmorphia” or that it affects an estimated one in 50 people.1 Moreover, I did not make the connection I was one of those people, but eating disorders and body dysmorphia often go together.

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3 Reasons Why Eating Disorders Affect Sex and Sexuality

3 Reasons Why Eating Disorders Affect Sex and Sexuality

Eating disorders can affect the way we view sex and sexuality. They whittle down more than what our bodies look like. They destroy our sense of self, our relationships, and take a toll on our emotional, spiritual, and psychological wellbeing. When I began my recovery in the hospital, the group decided to have a conversation about sex. What I learned was fascinating and solidified that eating disorders affect our sex lives.

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3 Tips For Practicing Mindfulness While Eating

3 Tips For Practicing Mindfulness While Eating

In the last six years since the start of my eating disorder recovery, I’ve been pretty diligent in trying to make an effort not to skip meals along with the inevitable emotions that will surface at times when I interact with food. However, lately with the stress of an active lifestyle, I have found it harder to remember to enjoy and relax while eating, as it feels like it takes away time from other important things. Realizing that this could lead to falling into old patterns, I recently decided to take a mindfulness workshop whose topic was the art of eating with a clear mind, three times a day.

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Why I Connect with Others Suffering from A Mental Illness

Why I Connect with Others Suffering from A Mental Illness

As a mental health advocate, I would like to share with you how it has been important to me to engage in conversations with other like-minded individuals suffering from a mental illness, and, in turn, share with them some of my own experience in battling my eating disorder, bulimia. I do not think it would have been possible to maintain my eating disorder recovery for a few years by now, without having shared some of my struggles with other people who could relate to my journey simply because they have had to cope with their own issues when it comes to mental health.

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Giving Back in Eating Disorder Recovery

Giving Back in Eating Disorder Recovery

Not a day goes by without me feeling grateful about being able to share with you on this blog my lived experience with an eating disorder. The concept of giving back to others who stand where I once stood makes me very happy and truly helps me maintain my recovery.

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3 Tips to Be Comfortable Around Food in ED Recovery

3 Tips to Be Comfortable Around Food in ED Recovery

Some people seem surprised when I mention that, at times, I’m a bit uneasy about sharing a meal with others, or eating in public. “But aren’t you doing well?” Yes, I’m doing well,  thank you, but!

Even in ED recovery maintenance, eating can potentially be stressful. I’d like to share some tips with you on how I get through it, because as I’ve said many times, no matter where you’re at in your eating disorder recovery, you are a stronger person than you think.

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Bulimia Hid My Anger, But I Recovered from Both

Bulimia Hid My Anger, But I Recovered from Both

Bulimia hid my anger under its compulsions. But I healed from both bulimia and anger. Learn the simple ideas I missed--you may be missing them too. Read this.

While I suffered from bulimia, I was a very angry girl. I would use the comforts of food and the feeling of nourishment to cope with all types of stress. As soon as the comfort that came from eating would wear off, I would feel guilty, sad, but mostly angry. Angry at myself for being weak, for never looking the way I wanted, and for not performing at the level I felt I should, both academically and more significantly, socially. 

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Navigating the Holiday Season and Eating Disorders

Navigating the Holiday Season and Eating Disorders

The holidays are upon us with the party season in full swing and it can be a frightening time for someone suffering or recovering from an eating disorder. Most of you must know by now that I consider myself recovered and that I’ve maintained recovery from bulimia for over 5 years. However, that is no to say that I don’t have some moments or even days when I feel more vulnerable to some potential eating disorder triggers; especially during the holidays

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Learning to Trust Myself in Eating Disorder Recovery

Learning to Trust Myself in Eating Disorder Recovery

When I reflect on the years I struggled through my eating disorder; bulimia, and its recovery, it reminds me of how resilient human beings can be. In extreme times, whether tough or the opposite, I sometimes find myself appreciating  my own inherent resolve not to self-harm.

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