Chicks in Control Overeating? Binging? Share uplifting support and gain control!

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:49 PM   #1  
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Default Horrible time in therapy - please help!

Heya. I'm not in therapy particularly for my weight, but my eating issues have become enough of a problem to focus on. My psychiatrist seems to think I may have some repressed memories (I highly doubt it, but I trust him!).

He was asking about my childhood and attitudes towards food in my childhood, and I was telling him about how my mother was obese when I was young (she isn't anymore), etc. He asked me to visualise her when she was at that weight, and I couldn't do it, I felt violently sick and had a panic attack. (I don't know why, at all - I don't see a person as their weight so it usually doesn't bother me!)

But since then I haven't been able to stop bingeing and overeating. It's seriously gotten really out of control, which I had some restraint over before. I'm just completely lost.

Any thoughts, advice, suggestions?
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:05 PM   #2  
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Is it possible that you are using this "possible repressed memory" as an excuse to eat whatever the heck you want...just because it would justify it.?

I have no way of knowing anything here, but that would be something I would do. I remember once my entire family came down with a horrible stomach flu. They couldn't eat for 2-3 days and all lost some weight over it... So while I was waiting to "catch it" I binged like no tomorrow, thinking that I'd be so sick and puke it all up. I never did get it. Just gained more weight is all.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:59 PM   #3  
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However bad you feel, overeating won't help. You will feel bad about having done it, in addition to whatever else is going on.

I'd suggest trying to think of nice things to do for yourself, that will comfort you and let you show that you love yourself. Long bath with candles, a new bottle of nail polish or some new earrings, curl up with a good book or whatever your thing is. Maybe a nice cup of specialty tea with a couple of small tasty biscuits.

Main thing is, feelings don't get fixed with food. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you might try writing a letter to yourself or to your mother about what's happening to you....get it out onto the paper and seal it in an envelope. It might even be helpful to your psychiatrist.

All the best with what you are going through.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #4  
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Hi vrabbit,
I agree with the suggestions above...do the things that make you feel comfortable. It's important to reduce the association between food and feelings. Losing weight is hard enough before adding tough emotions to the mix.

I know how you feel when it comes to talking about weight in therapy. It's not my main presenting issue, either, but it does significantly impact my self-esteem, which was already low to begin with. It's hard to talk about being overweight with a therapist who has got to be at least a size 2. She says, though, that she's a huge advocate for reducing the stigma associated with self-image issues and eating disorders, so that helps.

Hope you feel better soon (((hugs)))
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:20 PM   #5  
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The concept of repressed memories is a highly controversial one. I urge you very strongly to read up on the subject from reputable sources (scholarly articles, online information from a .gov or .edu site).

Here's an article from American Psychologist that might be helpful for you. Here's another from Harvard Magazine. Those will get you started.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't trust your therapist--on the contrary, it's good to have someone you can trust so fully. But even the most logical and helpful therapists have concepts to which they adhere that may later prove to have little scientific merit. Think about all the people who were once told that they suffered from "penis envy" or "castration anxiety" because Freudian theory held sway at the time. Even the best therapist is a product of his era, and repressed-memory theory is a part of this era that seems as though it may hold less water than many thought.

I'm sorry that you had a rough time in therapy regardless of the reason. Weight itself--our own, our parents', other people's--can have plenty enough accompanying negative freight that picturing your mother as she was when she weighed more could be very distressing to you without there being any repressed memory involved. Acute distress plus worry about the possibility of a repressed memory lurking in the subconscious could very easily equal an uncomfortable binge.

I, too, hope you're feeling better.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:40 PM   #6  
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I don't see how visualizing your mom at that weight is therapeutic or helpful. What kind of therapy are you doing? This seems counterintuitive to me for any real progress on your personal relationship with food today. I can understand some issues around body image, acceptance, etc, and how your childhood and relationship with your parents might have some profound influence on how you see yourself, etc. But I am still not sure how visualizing your mom at that weight (especially when it causes you such a strong physical reaction) has anything to do with today or how you move forward in the present.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #7  
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Thankyou so much for all your help, I'll take that on board. I think sometimes it's hard to see the difference between emotions and food!

Nola Celeste, thankyou for the links on the links! I agree in that a psychiatrist is a product of his era, thankfully my psychiatrist is pretty receptive to me and has years of experience.

And christine123, I think he wanted to see if it was troublesome for me (I had absolutely no idea I'd react like that, I didn't think it would bother me), and if it was, he wanted to do some work on it in the future (EMDR? He said although it's used for PTSD it's starting to be used for eating disorders) because he said he thought it has something to do with my eating disorder. But it was a pretty disturbing experience, I'm not sure why, as it really shouldn't be...
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:59 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrabbit View Post
Thankyou so much for all your help, I'll take that on board. I think sometimes it's hard to see the difference between emotions and food!

Nola Celeste, thankyou for the links on the links! I agree in that a psychiatrist is a product of his era, thankfully my psychiatrist is pretty receptive to me and has years of experience.

And christine123, I think he wanted to see if it was troublesome for me (I had absolutely no idea I'd react like that, I didn't think it would bother me), and if it was, he wanted to do some work on it in the future (EMDR? He said although it's used for PTSD it's starting to be used for eating disorders) because he said he thought it has something to do with my eating disorder. But it was a pretty disturbing experience, I'm not sure why, as it really shouldn't be...
EMDR is actually starting to be used for a lot of things. I'm doing it with my therapist for anxiety issues brought on by childhood bullying...people have had promising experience with it.
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