View Full Version : ADD and Eating Disorders


PrincesPostpone
01-11-10, 06:28 PM
I just wanted to share this case study link with you all...
http://www.carolyndukarmmd.com/downloads/ Case_Study_Laura.pdf (http://www.carolyndukarmmd.com/downloads/Case_Study_Laura.pdf)
...I know not everybody with ADD has an eating disorder but I understand that it commonly goes undiagnosed and that there is a link between eating disorders and ADD.

I recently started seeing a new psychiatrist for bulimia and she diagnosed me with ADD and started me on treatment...she told me that having ADD makes it hard to stick to a meal plan and makes you more impulsive and easily distracted with food. It also creates added stress as it is difficult to get work done sometimes, which contributes to the use of an eating disorder as a coping mechanism.
Well, this was news to me but once I read this case study and researched more about the issue I recognized my symptoms exactly!! I am hopeful about this treatment...worth a shot anyway!
I am also reading a book called,
"Pieces of a Puzzle: The Link Between Eating Disorders and ADD" by Carolyn Piver Dukarm, MD. if anyone is interested or thinks this might apply to them...
I am really interested to know if anyone else is also struggling with this duel diagnosis and has any tips or just wants to talk about it!
I really want to make some positive lifestyle changes or help someone else to do the same!

daveddd
01-12-10, 12:48 AM
I just wanted to share this case study link with you all...
http://www.carolyndukarmmd.com/downloads/ Case_Study_Laura.pdf (http://www.carolyndukarmmd.com/downloads/Case_Study_Laura.pdf)
...I know not everybody with ADD has an eating disorder but I understand that it commonly goes undiagnosed and that there is a link between eating disorders and ADD.

I recently started seeing a new psychiatrist for bulimia and she diagnosed me with ADD and started me on treatment...she told me that having ADD makes it hard to stick to a meal plan and makes you more impulsive and easily distracted with food. It also creates added stress as it is difficult to get work done sometimes, which contributes to the use of an eating disorder as a coping mechanism.
Well, this was news to me but once I read this case study and researched more about the issue I recognized my symptoms exactly!! I am hopeful about this treatment...worth a shot anyway!
I am also reading a book called,
"Pieces of a Puzzle: The Link Between Eating Disorders and ADD" by Carolyn Piver Dukarm, MD. if anyone is interested or thinks this might apply to them...
I am really interested to know if anyone else is also struggling with this duel diagnosis and has any tips or just wants to talk about it!
I really want to make some positive lifestyle changes or help someone else to do the same!

thought they were on ocd spectrum

they all seem to be related anyway

ADXP
01-12-10, 12:14 PM
I have a lot of foods I am allergic to.

irishgrl
04-26-10, 04:05 PM
I just came across your post and I can relate to it all too well. Thanks for the book recommendation and good luck with the bulimia thing. I dealt with bulimia since the mid80s. It sucks. I understand being preoccupied with food.

FYI...My friend who is also bulimic since the 90s has found that doing a set meal plan has helped her. She went to inpatient 2x and outpatient treatment lots of times and nothing has worked until she started ordering these shakes and bars. By doing this, she doesn't have to worry about eating. She knows this is what she needs to consume for each meal and it's working for her. By not having food to worry about, she can focus her mind on working through her own issues. Good luck.

Princess Moon
04-26-10, 05:52 PM
I have anorexia behavior. I know I am skinny but I continue the behavior. I starve myself all day long and only eat at night and at night I only eat healthy, low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables, mainly just apples. I do 75 minutes of treadmill every morning. I eat nothing at all during the day. I haven't gotten my period in two years and have low progesterone and low estrogen. The thing is, while I am skinny and do have anorexia symptoms, doctors assume I'm like the typical anorexic type and treat me like that, when my anorexia is different and not by the book. It's more related to OCD/ADD. I am able to appear normal and have a lot of stuff going on outside of it, the anorexia like habits are just a part of my day, they don't take over everything. At night I can go out, party and things are normal. You can tell I'm skinny but you can't tell I starve myself all day long unless you know. I only eat apples, carrots, peas, fruits and vegetables really. Just one meal a day really.

demfabbones
07-06-10, 06:47 PM
Yes. Bulimic. Have always struggled with weight gain and I definitely think that for me (and probably many others) it is related to ADD. Here is why, in my case:

1. Food creates its own adrenaline rush that for some people is similar, in some ways, to the rush or enjoyment of drugs or alcohol. ADDers seem to have a higher frequency of drug/alcohol abuse...I think it makes sense that we'd have a higher frequency of "food abuse" too. I think ADDers are more prone in general to addiction. I have struggled with overindulging in many an unhealthy habit, overeating among them.

2. I live for the moment. I am impulsive. I make mistakes that I know I shouldn't be making. This is a very ADD trait, for me anyway. Overeating or not eating healthily is often about instant gratification/not internalizing the long-term consequences (i.e., gaining weight and being unhealthy.)

3. Eating disorders are SIMILAR to #2 - the instant gratification of purging rather than actually having to WAIT to lose the weight. I get the "oh no, I've overeaten my whole life, now I'll never be thin" mentality which reminds me of the "ADD" feeling I get - "Oh no, I've screwed around my whole life, I'll never accomplish anything." Catastrophizing.

4. Inability/Difficulty following a weight loss or healthy eating plan because it requires planning, organization, etc.

5. Social anxiety/depression/etc. which can lead emotional eaters to overeat.

I could go on, but these are the main ones for me.

nonADHDer
07-06-10, 09:25 PM
I have anorexia behavior. I know I am skinny but I continue the behavior. I starve myself all day long and only eat at night and at night I only eat healthy, low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables, mainly just apples. I do 75 minutes of treadmill every morning. I eat nothing at all during the day. I haven't gotten my period in two years and have low progesterone and low estrogen. The thing is, while I am skinny and do have anorexia symptoms, doctors assume I'm like the typical anorexic type and treat me like that, when my anorexia is different and not by the book. It's more related to OCD/ADD. I am able to appear normal and have a lot of stuff going on outside of it, the anorexia like habits are just a part of my day, they don't take over everything. At night I can go out, party and things are normal. You can tell I'm skinny but you can't tell I starve myself all day long unless you know. I only eat apples, carrots, peas, fruits and vegetables really. Just one meal a day really.

Wow, 75 consistent minutes of treadmill A DAY?! I think I'd die with angst on day 2, sheer joy on day 3 knowing I wouldn't have to be doing that anymore. :D

What does 75 minutes a day translate for you in miles? If it's 5mph, that's gotta be over 40 miles in a given week. Your body fat should be essentially nothing. But those aren't the issues of major concern.

Princess Moon
07-09-10, 08:13 PM
Yeah, I do about 70 minutes of treadmill every day, between 60-75 minutes. 5 miles per hour every day. I was diagnosed with anorexia and the doctors are being annoying and like 'you need to see someone from this list of treatment centers' some doctors are talking about inpatient treatment (no way will I go) Some of the doctors are really annoying with their treatment thing. I eat one meal a day really, at dinner, only healthy things like fruits and vegetables.

aheart.d
08-26-10, 06:09 AM
If any close relative or parents have binge eating disorder problem then increased the risk of this develop problem in your body.
Binge eating disorder creates some complication in your life. This complication may arise as psychological and physical in your body and reducing your quality life.

paulabear
11-13-10, 03:22 PM
Hi :) thank you for the case study, it's really relevant to me.
I have had bulimia since I was 15 (now 30), which has been somewhat subdued by fluoxetine for about six years now but still shows up at moments of high anxiety and if I ever try to diet. I do still eat impulsively and am overweight. I really identify with what you said about not being able to follow an eating plan; I either come up with some radical diet for myself that I can only follow for a few days by being obsessive about it, then I lose interest; or else I just eat randomly, whatever's quickest, because I hate waiting for stuff to cook. At times I crave huge amounts of carbs, although my stomach can't take the abuse I used to put it through and I get full quicker. I've read this can give you a 'squirt' of dopamine (Delivered from Distraction) so maybe that explains it. I'm waiting to see a psychologist about my suspicions (conviction) about having ADHD and I'm hoping that the right meds will give me the help I need to follow a sensible eating plan. The more impulsive part of me is hoping desperately that pills will kill my appetite but I'm trying not to think like that because it's not good!

birdie567
04-10-11, 04:05 PM
Hi :) thank you for the case study, it's really relevant to me.
I have had bulimia since I was 15 (now 30), which has been somewhat subdued by fluoxetine for about six years now but still shows up at moments of high anxiety and if I ever try to diet. I do still eat impulsively and am overweight. I really identify with what you said about not being able to follow an eating plan; I either come up with some radical diet for myself that I can only follow for a few days by being obsessive about it, then I lose interest; or else I just eat randomly, whatever's quickest, because I hate waiting for stuff to cook. At times I crave huge amounts of carbs, although my stomach can't take the abuse I used to put it through and I get full quicker. I've read this can give you a 'squirt' of dopamine (Delivered from Distraction) so maybe that explains it. I'm waiting to see a psychologist about my suspicions (conviction) about having ADHD and I'm hoping that the right meds will give me the help I need to follow a sensible eating plan. The more impulsive part of me is hoping desperately that pills will kill my appetite but I'm trying not to think like that because it's not good!

I can totally relate. I was just diagnosed ADHD last year (at age 53!) after finally seeking treatment for a lifetime of binge eating. After a couple of months with a therapist, she asked if I had ever been diagnosed ADHD. I was shocked at the question - had absolutely no idea! Since starting the meds, my life has definitely changed for the better. The urge to binge is increasingly rare and usually controllable. Actually, if I remember to take the ADHD medicine, the urge is always controllable. I take Vyvanse in the morning, but it wears off around 4PM - always prime binge time for me, anyway. The doctor added another med that's not time-release to take at 4 and, as long as I remember to take it, things are good. I notice the appetite suppressant effect a bit, but not much. And eating when I'm hungry isn't what has caused me problems. The diagnosis and meds have made a HUGE improvement in my life!!

Dark Angel
04-13-11, 02:13 PM
Definitely a thing i will check out! Ive had an eating disorder for 13 years and its not easy to deal w. both things. I have to deal w. epilepsy at the same time too though. I find it especially very hard atm. cos i just started on meds. for adhd and where both says that normal side-effects is weightloss and loss of appetite! Makes me happy but at the same time also nervous cos i dont wanna end up hospitalised again! Makes me happy cos well i wanna loose weight and i wanna eat as less as possible. Sometimes takes a 10 days break from food! Im nervous that some peeps who suffers from ED and knows what ive been through is right that ive recurrence! Starving for days.... lots of work-out... laxatives! Back in the lane again. Started to get back on that lane 3 month time ago but i think the meds. ive started on only will make it harder to get of it.... think it only will push me in the wrong dirrection! Ritalin has prettyb much killed my appetite... finds it good and bad! Most good actually... I havent told my docs and one i speak w. from the local authority each month... and i dont wanna!

michaela
04-17-11, 02:02 PM
Thank you for this! I've always wondered about the possibility of a connection between the two. If you don't mind me asking PrincesPostpone, would you say seeing a psychiatrist has been helpful to you (eating disorder and add)? I was told by my doctor it wasn't very effective but I've heard great things from others. I've just always been afraid I wouldn't know the right things to do or say.

Also, best wishes to everyone struggling!!

chicka37
04-19-11, 11:11 PM
yes it also makes me not want to eat, I have to write a note for myself to eat and drink and I am already underweight, don't wanna lose more but my vyvanse makes me not wanna eat.

twilighter3000
04-24-11, 09:27 PM
I am not on any medication for my ADD because I haven't told any adults yet (I know, I need to, but I'm procrastinating) but around the same time my ADD started getting really bad and I started to notice my appetite dropped. I feel like I'm never hungry anymore and I try to eat normally because I don't want to be unhealthy, but sometimes even the thought of food repulses me. Could this be some sort of eating disorder brought upon by ADD?

MMetelli13
06-28-11, 12:28 AM
Honestly, I'm not sure if this qualifies myself, but I have an odd duck problem with weight management: Whenever I go on a diet, I lose weight by conducting proper exercise and healthy (or at least light) eating. Then, after I lose enough weight to say...slip into a nice suit, I gain weight back until I can't fit into it anymore. Frankly, I think of it as me losing my gusto; but I am going back to my gym starting tomorrow; although I don't really have a plan for going to the gym outside of focusing on one area of the body and train them until I can't do anymore.

C-digs
07-07-11, 11:17 PM
That doctor is in my home city actually, but she is never accepting new patients. Since I started meds for ADHD my complusions to work out and "always have to be doing something" have been lessened significantly. It's amazing how one drug that most doctors would never dream of touching for someone wth anorexia has actually saved my life and given me hope for the future.

speedyhobbit
12-02-11, 04:29 PM
I'm definitely utterly wacko about food... I've definitely done the binge eating, making myself throw up (I don't do it often enough to be technically considered bulimic- does that mean I'm okay?) and barely eating thing at all. Technically, just from reading symptoms lists thoughI don't have any eating disorder.

People tell me "It's all about moderation, a handful of Skittles won't kill you" but moderation is not in my vocabulary. If I eat even one, the next thing i know, the whole giant bag will be gone, and then i'll feel horrible for being such a pig.

It's a lot easier for me to not eat/drink something bad than it is to stop once it's started.

What does all this mean?

pechemignonne
12-03-11, 04:55 PM
I'm definitely utterly wacko about food... I've definitely done the binge eating, making myself throw up (I don't do it often enough to be technically considered bulimic- does that mean I'm okay?) and barely eating thing at all. Technically, just from reading symptoms lists thoughI don't have any eating disorder.
You keep saying "technically". If your eating is disordered, then you probably have an eating disorder. I doubt that any health care provider is going to tell you that you didn't make yourself throw up exactly enough times to meet the bulimia threshold, so you're "okay". Binge eating, forced vomiting, and calorie restriction are all very dangerous and very harmful to your body. If you are doing these things, I think that you should find someone to help you.

If they tell you that you don't "qualify", then they are idiots, and you should look elsewhere.

People tell me "It's all about moderation, a handful of Skittles won't kill you" but moderation is not in my vocabulary. If I eat even one, the next thing i know, the whole giant bag will be gone, and then i'll feel horrible for being such a pig.

It's a lot easier for me to not eat/drink something bad than it is to stop once it's started.

What does all this mean?
To some degree, having difficulty controlling your eating is common for people with ADHD, for the same reason that drug addiction is common for people with ADHD. It is an issue of executive functioning.

So, while it may be to some degree "normal" for someone with ADHD to have self-control issues, sometimes these can develop into full-blown co-morbid disorders, such as an eating disorder or an addiction disorder.