View Full Version : Help me actually understand


llzombie
01-26-14, 10:40 PM
**I'm new. Please take your time to read and understand my story first. Doing my best to include all information necessary while keeping it as short as possible:

I have struggled with depression since I was in the 4th grade. At the time, it was due to social anxiety, lack of confidence (in everything), being "weird" and feeling like an outcast. I lived in a society where social standing was based on superficial qualities. Being the only girl among my 3 brothers, I was hating myself more and more every year. The main source of all my negativity seemed to be directly linked with my body. I was overweight. The only overweight one in the family (and I was always reminded of it). I was surrounded by girls in school who were all beautiful and fit, and yet the word "diet" was always on their lips. I just stayed away because I felt so ashamed that I wasn't on a diet, when I was the only one in my grade who needed to be. Basically, because I was disgusted with my appearance, I didn't go out and didn't attempt to be social in any sense of the word.

Skip ahead a couple of years, now I'm in college. First year was hell, second year was better. My geeky friends accepted me and I felt like I belonged somewhere. However, still hated my body. Constantly attempting to diet, only to fail after 3 or 5 days. Feeling worthless, I was 19 years old at this point and still hadn't ever kissed anyone. I realize of course that I was still very young and it's not that unusual to not meet someone yet, but it made me feel hopeless. I am an idealist, and my emotions mean more to me than my logical sense. So a heartache caused as much anxiety and depression in me as a heart tumor would to someone who was logical.

1 year later body image and eating issues got so bad that I was no longer able to function. Dropped out of college, began isolating myself again and would burst into tears uncontrollably at random times everyday. I hated food but I loved it. I mean it literally when I say I was always thinking about food. I just wanted to eat. Always. I couldn't even remember what hunger felt like because I never gave my body a chance to empty out before my next binge. I abused laxatives, I lost motivation, I neglected the people who cared about me, I overspent on groceries... I was restless. I was tired. My weight at this point was always fluctuating.

Then I'm 21, and thin. I love it. Finally I was confident, I was happy, I was fun. Until I got home and I would realize I was so hungry, but wouldn't let myself eat. I was restricting severely and it made being alone unbearable. Because food was still on my mind, regardless of what I was doing or how thin I was. My mind was torturing me. I do not use that term lightly. I felt like there was a separate entity within me that wanted to see me break to the point of no return.

Throughout the painful years, I sought professional help. First, it was my choice. After it failed, my parents convinced me to keep trying the help. 5 different professionals later, I am no better off than day 1. Now I'm 23, and ******. Feeling betrayed by everyone who gave me false hope. Finally decided to try one last time. After explaining everything to my doctor, she asked me a new set of questions and asked about history of ADHD in my family. Both my younger brothers are diagnosed with ADHD and take medication. She told me she is 90% sure I had it too. She said that the reason I couldn't stop obsessing was because of the underlying cause that every other doctor seemed to skip. She prescribed me generic Adderall IR. Started with a low dose and currently I take a 30mg tab, twice a day. 3 times on days where I feel that the effect is wearing off while I still have a long night ahead.

It was like Magic. I didn't get any sense of euphoria. I was looking for that because she mentioned I might. However, I noticed that by the 3rd day, I wasn't paying attention to my body. I didn't binge 24/7 and my mind was not yelling at me. Food was not my main concern!! I began being more active, more productive, extremely positive and extremely happy. I wasn't even thinking about my weight and I realized that's when my weight stopped fluctuating like crazy! It all balanced out. I felt human. I felt like I had a purpose again. This only lasted for 4 months. It's been a month now of depression and anxiety again. Constant binges, constant negativity, lack of confidence and complete isolation. I am now at my lowest point. The only thing that had ever worked for me, is now almost useless. I still take the adderall, hoping I can beat this downfall with a mind-over-matter approach. I'm a firm believer in it, yet can't do anything about my thoughts. They have taken over me.

I can't keep doing this. Each time I get a sense of hope, the fall that follows becomes harder to recover from. Right now, I'm still trying to find a reason to even attempt to get up. Because now I'm expecting nothing to last. I finally found a way to live with my demons, only to find out it was just another illusion. Where do I go from here? Adderall was the only thing that allowed to me to live without faking. I was actually living, I was actually happy. I have tried Prozac (60mg a day, for a year) but it barely made a dent. Xanax did nothing for me. I used to think I was extremely tolerant but now I believe it is because I have such low confidence that my distorted mind masks the effects of the meds. I am still surprised the adderall affected me at all.

Main question: For someone who's thoughts are such a hazard to her wellbeing, is there a way to eliminate my tolerance/perceived tolerance? Is there a way to get back to my feelings of worth and self acceptance, my appetite reduction and speedy metabolism? Is it at all possible that I can fix this? I am not an expert, and I don't know much about medication any general because I used to avoid it. Any information in laymen's terms, that can help me see not only what I need to fix it, but why this happened to begin with? I am so confused and so scared right now. Scared of feeling happy again only to fall. This is a debilitating feeling for me.

I have tried to research this but the inconclusiveness of it all is stressing me out even more. My brother is convinced all I need to do is take Ritalin. I am not so convinced but then again I am not as well informed as he is on this topic. My doctor mentioned a combination of Adderall and a non-stimulant ADHD combo. Again, I can't figure it out. Any clarity would be much appreciated and amazing. Thank you to those who took the time to read my story and help out.

someothertime
01-27-14, 02:48 AM
Thankyou for sharing your story :grouphug:

Can you please tell us any sort of emotional therapy you have tried like CBT or other.

Can you identify any major contributors to your thinking style? ( apart from adhd )... i.e. Do you feel you were treated differently to your siblings?

1. Go easy on yourself... there is no such thing as a quick fix... the first step is self forgiveness and acceptance...
2. Good professional help - It's important to get treatment from people who know about ADHD, behavioral treatment and related principles.
3. A support network - You need people to confide in and support you...

From here... it's possible to build a base to facilitate change ( actions over thoughts )... There WILL BE ups and downs... They feel ****.... but they are a sign that you are deviating from the default.

1. Is quite a challenge as i'm finding out ... How are you with 2 & 3?

sarahsweets
01-27-14, 05:32 AM
I STRONGLY urge you to seek eating disorder treatment, preferably inpatient. An eating disorder has less to with your weight and more to do with your mind. I know you say you were happy and thin and that adderall controlled your obsession but it all came back right? This is because you need to treat your eating disorder. You have tried to do this all on your own, and with therapists but I suspect and inpatient eating disorder clinic would do wonders for you. It will help peel away the layers of why you are doing these things to your body and you can be monitored 24\7 while trying medication. You can tell me to 'F' off of course but I speak from experience.

llzombie
01-27-14, 06:47 AM
Thankyou for sharing your story :grouphug:

Can you please tell us any sort of emotional therapy you have tried like CBT or other.

Can you identify any major contributors to your thinking style? ( apart from adhd )... i.e. Do you feel you were treated differently to your siblings?

1. Go easy on yourself... there is no such thing as a quick fix... the first step is self forgiveness and acceptance...
2. Good professional help - It's important to get treatment from people who know about ADHD, behavioral treatment and related principles.
3. A support network - You need people to confide in and support you...

From here... it's possible to build a base to facilitate change ( actions over thoughts )... There WILL BE ups and downs... They feel ****.... but they are a sign that you are deviating from the default.

1. Is quite a challenge as i'm finding out ... How are you with 2 & 3?

I don't personally know you, yet you read my post and are going out of your way to help me figure it out. Thank you so much. You don't know how much the effort alone means to me.

To answer your questions: My first form of therapy was a complete disaster. I started with my university counselor (first time ever with counseling/therapy) and she completely betrayed my trust. The family problems that ensued from her failure to follow up with me was unnecessary. The next form of therapy was specifically ED related. It was making things worse and making me more anxious because the other patients would trigger me and I was constantly in fear that they were judging me. Next 2 therapists were CBT advocates and the reason they didn't work was because I wasn't able to follow suit with anything that required me to forget about weight for the next few months and they both required me to be in that state of mind. It was impossible for me. Lastly I had a psychiatrist who introduced me to Prozac which only helped on and off. When I got off the meds, I didn't feel a comedown. Here I am in Chicago, found a psychiatrist who picked up on my ADHD and made a huge difference in my life. Until now when the medication seems to be no match for my disillusioned thoughts.

Family: I was the only girl, and my dad was traditional. I was treated very differently. Although I was the one who followed all the rules and was an A student, I had more restrictions and I would get into a lot more trouble if I ever broke one of the rules. Also, apart from my brothers, everyone would comment on my weight and the need to lose some of it. It was mentioned to me so much that I couldn't ignore it anymore and I started to see what they saw. I guess being a complete tomboy didn't help my image issues. And my dad hated that as well. He would look so disappointed and point out all my wardrobe faux-pas's every single time. I couldn't stand wearing skirts or fitted colorful outfits. I felt so out of place. But none of that is their fault. It is the society they were all raised in. Things are not 100% different now, but there are definite improvements. And I don't live at home so I don't deal with daily criticisms from them.

I feel like my hardheaded-ness and reluctance stems from my restrictions and social standing when I was younger. I never had someone see me as the "social" person. After I lost weight, I was finally able to experience being wanted. I felt like regardless of the outcome, I began to believe that beauty was subjective (whereas before I felt like nobody could actually find me beautiful, not even myself). Being thin allowed me to accept myself, be brave and take risks, and survive rejection. When I gain some weight, when I lose control of my eating habits, I can't even function because I start to feel exactly like the overweight girl in a crowd of twigs. Right now, that amount of extra weight is too fat for me. And when I see old pictures of myself, I can't believe I even allowed a picture to be taken. And I am always fearful of returning to that state (which can easily happen in a matter of 2 months with my intense urges).

I can go easy on myself, if I believed I was moving forward. When I started taking adderall it was because my Psychiatrist realized I needed it. I was in a very similar position before starting with stimulants. But the adderall allowed me to live normally for 4 months. That's the longest period of time I have gone without having a serious breakdown like this. I understand there will be bad days. That is okay, as long as they don't last for a whole month in a row. It's the never-ending bad days that make me want to give up. I don't know if I can survive another major crash like this. And I recently found someone who is an expert and also great listener who is taking it a step at a time with me.

As for a support network, they are also here. I just need to stop ignoring them. I tend to shun people during depression stages like this. I can't explain my feelings to them because they won't understand even if they try to, which makes it harder for me to relax because I just want to talk to people who genuinely care about my wellbeing.

I am up for the challenge of accepting myself, I am usually a very positive person when not in a vegetative state like as of late. If I can stop obsessing over my body image and food, the rest always follows. The depression disappears, I forget I even own a scale, I can have meals with my friends without feeling like it's the end of the world.

I STRONGLY urge you to seek eating disorder treatment, preferably inpatient. An eating disorder has less to with your weight and more to do with your mind. I know you say you were happy and thin and that adderall controlled your obsession but it all came back right? This is because you need to treat your eating disorder. You have tried to do this all on your own, and with therapists but I suspect and inpatient eating disorder clinic would do wonders for you. It will help peel away the layers of why you are doing these things to your body and you can be monitored 24\7 while trying medication. You can tell me to 'F' off of course but I speak from experience.

I would never tell you to F-off. Thank you for caring enough to even give me a suggestion. I've never tried inpatient, but I have done outpatient for a while. Honestly, it made me feel worse. I couldn't go back to a setting like that again. What works for some people, does not work for others.

flashbacks
01-28-14, 05:34 PM
You remind me of me when I first started to take concerta, however things got bad again and I relapsed. I was already in recovery when I started medication but concerta gave me the final push to get better, I was purge free for over a month which I didn't think was possible.

I ended up finding out that my medication was just a band aid solution, it helped with the obsessions but it didn't help the other underlying causes. Recovery and therapy does make you feel worse, trust me, I know. It's horrible. Which is why I'm really proud of you, because you tried many times. Recovery is a long, and quite horrible process. Being supervised in your eating is annoying, being forced to eat is awful and that doesn't count the physical side effects and the constant mental fight. But it's part of what recovery is like. Think of an ED like you would think about drugs, recovering from drug addiction makes you feel worse at first, you feel like other people are trying to control you and you just want to do it all on your own.

I'm not saying you should try to go inpatient, but just having regular appointments with a therapist and a nutritionist who are specialized with eating disorders could be a good thing for you. These are just suggestions, but I'm saying this because recovering from an eating disorder by yourself is nearly impossible, I've seen many people try, many people in denial of it all thinking next week was gonna the week they start to get better. Because everything always gets better in a near future doesn't it ?

I'm really sorry if I'm being blunt.
Your eating disorder is living within you, it's like a person inside your head trying to control your life, it wants to live by killing you. Fight back and try not to blame it all on adhd. Adhd is one of the causes of your ED which is why medication alone wasn't enough.

SentientCoconut
01-29-14, 11:10 PM
I would also suggest going somewhere that does *good* inpatient treatment specifically dealing with eating disorders.
I understand you felt much worse in treatment - unfortunately to get better you are going to need to feel terrible. the fact that you did feel terrible is probably because you were required to eat in treatment, and you did have that control taken out of your hands. in the majority of cases, as im sure you know, Eating disorders are a coping method and a way of regaining control - you may not have much of a say in other situations, but no one can chose when you eat, what you what, or make you eat - right?
I have been through two lots of inpatient stays on ED unit, each for about 4 to 5 months. and then had two shorter admissions in between stays, which I checked myself out from.
One of the major purposes of inpatient is to restore weight to a reasonable, normal level for your height and age. When your body is starved, so is your brain - it actually does not work properly - makes it harder to break from away from what you are doing too.
Once leaving inpatient treatment the last time - I maintained mostly maintained my weight for 6 months but kept having minor re-lapses.
I was so sick of it all, so frustrated and felt so disgusting and terrible... decided to clean out some of my draws in my room and found a large pile of cards that class mates had written for me when I had to leave to go to treatment.

The class elected representative for the year, called my mum to see if everything was okay after i'd been away for a few weeks - and took it upon herself to get people to sign cards - Yes,a lot of the people wrote as little as possible - very generic messages - they didn't know the exact reason I was away), but there were also a larger than expected handful of people who I never really talked to who did write heart felt messages, and said how much they tried to talk to me, or wanted to get to know me better (I had no idea they thought this - was too much in my own world to notice). There were some very sweet, caring messages about some of the good qualities they thought I had.

I was so ill at the time I didn't remember getting these )had to ask mum about them when i found them all). It was a huge moment... my inner critic had trouble trying to dismiss 70 + messages from friends and class mates all saying that they thought I was lovely, sweet, caring and beautiful. I thought a lot over the next two days.... and decided that I didn't have to love myself, but I should at least try to tolerate myself.

It took a few years of being in (out-patient) recovery for me to really stop having mini-relapse episodes... but have been recovered for about a year and a half - hoping it will stay that way.
for me it was one of the hardest most stressful things I've had to do. you pretty much hit rock bottom before getting better - but I can honestly say my quality of life and happiness is ten times better than while sick.
it came down to three choices - recovered and happy - living perpetually miserable and stuck with eating disorderd thoughts - or dead. Neither of the last two were very appealing.

As has been said by others - inpatient treatment and a fantastic therapist will be your way out. Medication (perhaps for depression and the ADHD) will probably help as well.

Lastly - think of what you want for your future - career wise and personal goals (can not include anything weight-loss related). This will become easier the further into treatment you are. If you cant think of anything - perhaps plan an event or activity that is something you have always wanted to do- make it for a two years time, it will give you somthing to work towards and focus on. Give yourself other rewards for good behaviour and effort (for things not fueling eating disorder) The rewards should not be clothing or food items.

Good luck - keep us posted on how you go.