Bulimia/Eating Disorders/Eating issues

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QUESTION: Hello, I hope you are well. I'm a 24 year old male, ive had cycles of extreme dieting behavior since about 15.this includes very low calorie diets, intensive exercise, etc. I was fairly stable for a couple if years until my wife and i had a child and i gained weight, and used vomiting and dieting to lower it. I managed to bring this under control until i started a new job recently during which i eat about 300-500 calories a day until i get home late in the evening, eat a meal of perhaps 500-600 calories and throw up. I have been experiencing chest and throat pain and any advice would be very appreciated.  Warmest regards.

ANSWER: Dear Steve,

What you are doing is extremely dangerous not only for your health but bulimia kills people.  Most of them have heart attacks or esophogeal hemorrages.  The chest pain is an indicator of possible heart problems.  The first thing you need to do is to have a physical from your doctor.  This could be scary for you -- but if you want to be with your baby and watch it grow up, you'll need to take a deep breath and see him/her.  Do you have health insurance?  If so, I would also encourage you to find a therapist.

Treating eating disorders is very difficult and they are deeply rooted.  The therapist can help you stop the bulimic behaviors and help you feel as if you don't need to harm yourself in this way.  There is a possibility that you might need treatment because you've had the eating disorder for such a long time.  I have seen so many people die from these diseases --

Please keep in touch and let me know how you are.  I can help with all kinds of referrals but you truly need to get professional help right away!

Warmly,
Jeanne Rust, PhD
CEO/Founder
Mirasol, Inc.
www.mirasol.net

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Good evening, thank you for your response.I actually had started going to a therapist 4 months ago or so because ny behavior was getting very extreme and i was constantly feeling very ill and i have a family to support. This eventually became very helpful But she did not take my insurance and even with her generous discount i cannot currently afford it. I thought i was able to cope on my own but lately im finding it very hard.

Answer
I know how expensive therapists are.  Usually there are community resources which don't charge.  Even with an eating disorder, you can benefit from the psychological stuff.  You can go to 12-step meetings -- Anorexia/bulimia anonymous, eating disorders anonymous,  even  AA can be helpful.  There are many people that believe that bulimia is an addiction.  

Again, get to your doctor, Steve.  The chest pains and possible heart problems are very very serious.  You won't have a family to support much longer if you're dead.  Sometimes I have a hard time impressing on people the seriousness of the condition.  I've seen too many people die.  you are a severe case.  

You can also go on amazon and find programs in books that are written just for bulimics.  

You can also call more therapists and see if anyone works on a sliding scale.

Again, keep in touch.  Please don't tell me what you can't do -- tell me what you can do!  I'm going to challenge your disease!!

Jeannie

Bulimia/Eating Disorders

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Jeanne Rust, PhD

Expertise

I have been treating eating disorders for over 25 years and I have a doctorate in clinical psychology. I am an expert in anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders and in co-occurring disorders as well -- depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. I was the official eating disorder therapist for the University of Arizona athletic department and love working with girls and women of all ages! 12 years ago I started my own treatment centers in Arizona where we treat adolescents and adults. I love working with people and have been helping people online since 1994. My hearts go out to the people out there who are unable to find help, who aren't sure whether they need help, and who don't have much of an understanding of the terrible consequences, emotionally and physically, that go hand in hand with the eating disorder. I view eating disorders as coping mechanisms that people use when they are under stress. I believe that eating disorders most times have many similarities whether it is anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating. The good news is that people can heal from an eating disorder and learn to create the lives they would like to live.

Experience

I have been treating eating disorders for almost 23 years. I have been in private practice as well as running my own treatment program, Mirasol. I believe that people can be cured from their eating disorders -- that they are not always recovering. I am knowledgeable about co-occurring disorders as well -- depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. I was the official eating disorder therapist for the University of Arizona athletic department and love working with girls and women of all ages!

Organizations
International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, Academy of Eating Disorders

Education/Credentials
PhD in Clinical Psychology

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