eating disorder group?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by alison, Apr 8, 2011.

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  1. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    Has anyone been in an eating disorder group? What were your experiences?

    My therapist has recommended that I join an eating disorder group with a colleague of hers. I am unsure if this is something I would want to do. She says she's suggesting it because my bulimia is getting worse (I purge, on average, once a day. Some days I'll purge more than once, but about once a week I don't purge at all). Also, my other diagnosis is social phobia, so she thinks it will be helpful for me to interact with other people in a controlled setting.

    Honestly, my biggest concern is that I will be the fattest one in the group. My therapist said that it is a group for young women (college-20s) who engage in restriction or binging & purging. I binge and purge, and do not restrict. My binges have been getting larger and larger, on a typical day I probably consume ~5,000 calories, so even with all the purging I'm still consuming a lot of calories so I am overweight right now.

    How bad will this be? Will the anorexic girls think I'm disgusting? I understand that people with anorexia are also out of control with their eating, I really do. But its hard for me to not resent their ability to stick to a diet, when my eating feels so much more erratic and out of control. I hope no one takes offense to this, in my brain I do understand that people with anorexia are not in control. I'm just worried that I'll be surrounded by people who restrict and I'll be the only binger, and that they will hate me and that I will hate me more than I do already.

    Any thoughts? "Yea.. it'll end badly, you should stay away from that" isn't insensitive, I won't be upset! - It's protective and if its going to be bad, I need to know now before I do it.

    Sorry this was so long. I'm just so nervous. I hate being "overweight" and "eating-disordered."
  2. icequeen

    icequeen Well-Known Member

    hi alison, double question really...clearly you have self esteem issues connected to the bulimia so that is gonna create a lot of understandable anxiety about the group. the colleague, is he or she going for treatment or support? if its support to you then you have nothing to lose by going to the first group...those with anorexia might repulse you for being so thin, it works both ways, you may not even be as big as you think you are, anorexia and bulimia are opposite ends of the same spectrum. think of the anorexic seeing themselves as overweight and you do who is right and who is wrong? you each have disorders with food and how you see yourself and you are all there to get help...if you have someone to support you have nothing to lose by going to at least the first session and it may at least allay your fears...good luck
  3. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for the confusion! My therapist is a social worker, and her colleague (also a social worker) is going to be the clinician who will run this eating disorder therapy group.

    I do not know anyone who is going to be a patient in the group. All I do know is that the group is designed for people who restrict and people who binge & purge.

    I understand that anorexics are out of control with their restriction behaviors and bulimics are out of control with their binging and purging behaviors. And you're right, it does go both ways.. but I'm so nervous they're going to judge and dislike me simply because of my size. I know that eating disorders can cause people to see themselves as larger than they are, but objectively - I am overweight (my gp told me this, my BMI confirms this).

    Also, to be in this group, I don't know how committed you have to be to recovery. For sure, I am sooo willing to try to stop my binging behaviors. I hate binging and if there was a simple solution I'd give it up in a heartbeat. But purging?.. it feels more elective. Honestly, until I stop binging I'm not giving up purging. There's no way. I'm already huge, and with my binges I would balloon up for sure.

    Thanks for your response. It's really nice to have a site where I can talk this out. :)
  4. alison

    alison Well-Known Member

    Sorry to bump this again, but is there anyone who has actually been in an eating disorder therapy group? If so, would you mind telling me your experiences?
  5. NotAnotherUserName

    NotAnotherUserName Banned Member

    I have been in a ED group before, I found it fairly helpful, I found some parts of it difficult, but knowing they had been through similar things, it had made me feel a bit more confident. I got to know the people more and more slowly as I visited all group sessions I really benefited from it, and from the support I was given. I had also made lodes of friends in the group, so even though I dreaded it, I still went even though I had dreaded it, so if you have been given the offer go through with it, it's awesome and very helpful. Hope I had helped!

  6. Rubyshoes

    Rubyshoes Member

    I say give it a go. Just tell yourself it is a trial and if you don't like it you don't have to go back.

    Such is the nature of eating disorders, whether we're anorexic or bulimic, or anything in-between, we all worry that we're bigger than everyone else in the room. I expect pretty much everyone else there will be feeling the same way you do, regardless of their actual weight.

    I was once in treatment (for bulimia) at a mixed ED unit, there were patients with anorexia, bulimia and compulsive over eating there. The girls with anorexia were convinced they were bigger than the patients with COE. Everyone will be too worried about their own appearance to worry about what anyone else looks like.

    Sorry I went off on a tangent there! Just wanted to wish you good luck and I hope you decide to go. x
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