National Eating Disorders Association

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Another Symptom?

I think he's been engaging in his old behaviors for a while now. He is looking thinner. His doctor does not take this seriously. I've asked him to refer my husband to a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders. The doctor said he "would feel uncomfortable doing this and so far it isn't affecting his health." Ummmm what?!!!

To me it feels like watching yet another symptom erupting when someone is dying of a terminal disease.

I remind myself that this is his choice. I cannot fix him. I must concentrate on fixing me. I must detach.... so many "musts" and yet no answers.

I don't enjoy the weekends; it is just more time spent silently watching and pretending I do not notice and I am not frightened by what I see.

I still need to find an attorney to speak to in order to protect myself from the fallout.

Life goes on.

That's no good! Have you

That's no good! Have you tried talking to your husband about this? If you can, you should talk to him about it, and if you don't know what to say, I would suggest contacting the helpline soon. You could also talk to your husband about finding a psychiatrist for him. You're right, yu can't fix him, but you can support him and try to nudge him towards recovery. The doctor's behavior is unacceptable and you should have him start seeing someone who actually cares about their patients.
I wish you luck.
If you see this, keep writing?

New Symptom.

"Ummm what?!!!" is right !! "..if is isn't effecting his health ? "

I do think a WTF is in order here.

The thing about purging is that it can seem like this wonderful thing in the beginning. You get all that food out of there, and your anxiety is relieved. Why didn't they think of this earlier ! So it is this great thing…until it isn't. Once people realize that they can't control it, then it's not so wonderful anymore, people feel ashamed and stuck with one more habit that they wish they didn't have to deal with.

If this doctor won't give you a referral, you may want to see if there's any ED therapists in town, and ask them what they think your next step should be. Purging is no joke, particularly on top of restriction, and if he won't see a therapist, perhaps you should. <—Not kidding about that. Many partners do.

Thank You

I would very much like to speak with a therapist, if for no other reason than to help me deal with this. The problem is my insurance will not cover it so I bear the entire financial cost; there are very few therapists who treat this in my area; the very few who do treat it won't work on a sliding scale and their office hours are not compatible with people who have to work for a living as their business hours are very reduced and do not include weekends. So, basically, I'm not sure how anyone affords them or finds the time to see them.

I was chatting with a young woman at the office. She said that her boyfriend is diabetic and only eats one meal a day. I mentioned this is very dangerous behavior for a diabetic. She said that she had already told him the same thing but that she realizes she is not his mother, cannot change his behavior, and so she steps away from it and lets him do what he wants. Somewhere in there is my answer and I am getting closer to achieving it.

My biggest worry is what is this going to cost me financially if he needs hospitalization, and at what age is his health going to fail? But, I suppose everyone has that Sword of Damocles hanging over their head since we all die in the end of something.

Other options?

Insurance can be horrible and finding therapists within certain areas throughout the country can seem tricky. But something you can keep in mind is the free and low-cost tab in the NEDA website to find different support groups and there's two different apps that can offer some type of online assistance. Sometimes we need to focus on ourselves first.


No lie - getting treatment can be a bitch. Therapists have jobs just like anyone, and would like to be on a reasonable schedual themselves. So you can't really blame them for wanting to keep normal hours. And if you are in the US, I probably don't have to tell you how insurance is. Sometimes you can twist their arms, and get them to pay when they initially say that they won't, but that can be a battle in itself.

As your friend said, how one deals with the frustrations surrounding the people we care about is a huge part of it too. I work on a large board with the girls, and they'll come right out and say that they don't want to recover….until they do, that is. What it takes to reach that point…they'll talk about that too. And it seems like it's an individual thing for all of them, and nothing that's ever really cut and dried. Usually there comes a time when the pluses outnumber the minuses, but what they consider pluses are often quite different than how non-disordered people might feel.

So yeah, how a person is supposed to "be patient" with that is hard to say. Because it seems like we have to. If we can stand it, I mean.

No one can be expected to be super-human about the patience part though, so it's something each person has to work out for themselves.

Not much of an answer I know, but it's kind of how it goes it seems. xx