Here is the latest installment in my series on eating disorders. If you haven’t read the others, here’s what’s up: A passionate girl named Gabriela approached me and asked me if she could share her story. She is a great advocate for those with mental illness, particularly girls with eating disorders. She is currently in the process of recovering from EDNOS, which means eating disorder not otherwise specified, an eating disorder that does not meet the criteria for: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating. She wants to create an outlet for girls like her and clear any misunderstandings about what they go through. If you are someone with an eating disorder and want to talk to Gabriela, you can contact her on Instagram at @gabrielanadeau. This week’s blog is all about the severe anxiety that can come with an eating disorder. It is quite timely since I myself recently went through a few panic attacks, so it’s interesting to share it from another person’s perspective. Check it out!
Yesterday I had my first panic attack. That night I had my second. This had never happened to me before but considered all that has happened to me this past week I’m sadly not that surprised. I’ve had so much building up in me that it all released in one horrible moment of catharsis.
I had been alone in the bathroom, thinking about college, when my heart started racing, I started shaking and feeling dizzy, and my head hurt like hell. I collapsed and realized I was having a panic attack, with tears streaming down my face.
The second time I was lying in bed thinking about the first panic attack. This time it felt like dying.
Every time I feel like I’m getting better I have another setback in my recovery. My depression has been terrible for the past month or so, my binging and purging has not been improving much at all, and my anxiety has been off the charts. My parents decided that I have had enough therapy (a grand total of two sessions) and my grades have been slipping ever so slightly, enough to stress out my little Ivy-League-Dreams brain anyway. Putting on a happy face at school has become harder and harder, among my other poor decisions.
All of this had been turning in my brain at those moments and basically every moment of my life for the past couple months. Anxiety, depression, and EDNOS all have been constants in my troubled brain for what seems like forever. Sometimes I think we all forget that most mental health issues don’t show up alone, instead they show up with a couple of nasty friends.
That’s why it’s important to talk to someone about your issues, like a friend with similar issues, a parent, a teacher, a sibling, and especially a mental health pro if you’re lucky enough to get one. Support groups are also great if you have one in your area.
Otherwise you will end up alone with your thoughts, on the bathroom floor, wishing you had said something earlier.