Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I have a very skinny brain......

Eating Disorders Awareness

Many people with eating disorders, particularly anorexia, will talk about the conflict within their head, their anorexic voice, and I was no different.
I felt like I was being constantly tested. Food was everywhere, in shops, in my kitchen, on TV, in magazines, the temptation was painful but the feeling when I denied myself and didn't give in was so worth it, or so I believed. That was what my Anorexia was telling me.  It had gotten into every part of my being and was biting away at my personality, my character, my relationships, my thought processes and my ability rationalise or reason.
What I didn't realise was that starvation has a funny effect on the brain!  The brain ultimately is an organ, this needs nutrition just like other organs in your body. If you deprive your body of the nutrition it needs you are also starving your brain.  Your thinking will be slow and foggy, you will make bad choices/decisions, lack in concentration and will constantly think about food!!  Unfortunately the more starved you become the worse the Anorexic thinking becomes.  Its a vicious circle and the only cure is to eat.  As easy as that? Not quite!!
One thing that changed for me during recovery was reading the Minnesota experiment which explained easily what happens to a person during starvation. Have a read. You may be surprised.
It certainly helped me to understand what I was doing to my body, why I was thinking the way I was and what to expect during recovery.  
So if you know someone with Anorexia, please don't tell then to just eat or snap out of it. Don't expect them to see themselves how you are seeing them, its so much bigger than that. Support and listen........
Once I was able to begin eating again I was able to work on my triggers, deal with the emotional feelings surrounding eating and  to tell that Anorexic voice where it could get off  and never, ever come back.  But that's a story for another day ....

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