National Eating Disorders Association

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thelittlemermaid
Family therapist told me I am not sick

So today we had family therapy for the first time and I thought the therapist was so arrogant and just not the best but hey my mom liked her and she is good at her job so I sucked it up and worked through it.
Anyway so she starts asking me about my past and all and I tell her about some things but I do modify some of the truth and don’t tell her truly what’s going on with me. My mom does tell her I have (had??? When DO you stop having it???) anorexia or an Ed and she goes “Yeah hmm it doesn’t sound like it, it may just be a light disordered pattern”
Okay but I WAS diagnosed last year when I was at my lowest by my pediatrician and an Ed specialist and have been in specific therapy for anorexia. Now, since I’m pretty much weight restored she can’t tell.
But is this just me coming to terms with the actual truth? Did I never have an Ed? Is she right? Who can I trust? This is honestly giving me the green light to return to my past behaviors because she said I never had anorexia.
Thank you guys so much

ashwina
I had the same experience

I had the same experience years ago when I met with a new therapist for the first time. I also modified some of the truth (withheld information) when telling her what I was dealing with, and she told me that I didn't have an ED. It was a really upsetting thing to hear, even though I knew I wasn't telling her everything, and that based on what I WAS saying, yeah, it DIDN'T sound like I had an ED. Even now it's kind of upsetting for me to think about. I didn't feel validated in what I knew to be my true experience. But now I realize it wasn't just that this therapist didn't SEE me; it's that I didn't let her in. I intentionally didn't disclose details that felt too personal at the time, and that was a way for me to keep my ED experience to myself––in a way, to keep it going. I'm sorry you had this experience, I understand how upsetting it is. But this person doesn't know you. It's the first time you've met, and, as you've said, you did "modify some of the truth" and didn't tell her "what's truly going on." This is something I'm still working on myself, but part of therapy is learning how to be completely open and honest with another person––regardless of how afraid or ashamed you are to do that. Only you know what your experience has been like for you. If those behaviors negatively affected your health and emotional wellbeing, it doesn't even matter if they were ever officially labeled "anorexia" or not. They are worth recognition and you deserve recovery, health, and happiness. I'm not saying that you didn't have an ED, but I am saying that unhealthy behaviors are unhealthy behaviors. Please do not go back to them because someone has said that they weren't unhealthy "enough." Again, only you know your experience. Don't let anyone else's interpretation of it keep you from getting better :)

thelittlemermaid
Thank you so much Ashwina

Honestly, thank you. That was exactly my experience and it helps that I'm not alone in it.

qiandani
Do not trust/Seek other opinions

I haven't personally experienced that, but I have a friend with bulimia (as me) and she was told she didn't have an ED because "she didn't purge regularly". I am currently studying psychology, and I don't want to throw shade to therapists, but it is true there is such a classicist view towards ED in the field (at least older professionals in my country).
The thing is, don't dwell on that too much. If you had been diagnosed and you still feel you are not well yet there is a reason. Look for what other professionals have to say if you don't feel confortable with that one.

Tryingtoheal
I disagree

I think you SHOULD seek the opinion of professionals versed/trained in eating disorders. You may have to try a few, but there are good ones.