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Anorexia & Me

Anorexia is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is an eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, an unhealthy preoccupation with food and weight, and a distorted body image. While anorexia is often associated with teenage girls, it can affect people of any age, gender, or background.

Joe Plumb with drips and feeding tube with eating disorder anorexia and type 1 diabetes
Joe Plumb in hospital with his anorexia and type 1 diabetes

Anorexia is my toxic best-friend and is the only way I manage to maintain control. Anorexia reaffirms everything I think about myself, my image and my weight and it consumes 99% of all my thoughts, energy and time. I wake up and I think about anorexia and plan what I’m not going to eat. Whenever I pass a mirror or reflection, I always see myself and severely obese and I can’t even look at food or food adverts, so I have to put my headphones in and keep looking down until anorexia and me feel safe.

Now, I have had an eating disorder for 13 years and have been shouting and screaming for help to challenge my thoughts and behaviours (vomiting & laxative abuse) but only recently was I finally given help, but due to the length of time I have been battling this, anorexia consumes everything I do and floods my mind 24/7.

Having feeds through a tube whilst knowing what’s happening and battling all the thoughts and emotions flooding my head and trying not to do anything to sabotage getting better. Medically, it’s caused a big mess too and my body is completely depleted of all vitamins and minerals and then having to battle refeeding syndrome on top is exhausting, and this is just the start.

I appreciate that these pictures aren’t the nicest and aren’t ‘happy Joe’ or my normal positive self but honestly, I’m struggling so much.

I’m documenting everything on here and my socials, in the hope that it not only raises awareness of anorexia and eating disorders, but hopefully others may feel able to seek help and know that you’re never alone.

This is honestly one of the toughest relapses and battles I’ve faced and the devastation it’s caused along the way feels endless.

Small steps everyday and I hope that soon, I will get to the other side. Relapses are inevitable and the thoughts and relationships with food don’t really change (type 1 diabetes doesn’t help either) but I guess you get stronger each time you hit rock bottom.

At the moment, it doesn’t feel like I’m living, but I’m trying to learn to live again .

Anorexia nervosa is a complex and multifaceted disorder that can have serious physical and emotional consequences. People with anorexia may restrict their food intake to an extreme degree, often consuming far fewer calories than their body needs to function properly. They may also engage in excessive exercise, use laxatives or diuretics to lose weight, or engage in other behaviors aimed at losing weight or avoiding gaining weight.

Anorexia can lead to a range of physical and psychological problems, including malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal problems, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, and social isolation. In severe cases, anorexia can even be life-threatening.

Despite the severity of the condition, many people with anorexia struggle to seek help or even recognize that they have a problem. The stigma and shame associated with eating disorders can make it difficult for people to talk about their struggles, and many may not seek treatment until they have experienced serious health complications.

Living with anorexia can be a challenging and isolating experience. Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, and a persistent restriction of food intake. It is a mental health condition that affects people of all ages and genders, and it can have a significant impact on a person's physical, emotional, and social well-being.

One of the most difficult aspects of living with anorexia is the constant preoccupation with food, weight, and body image. For many people with anorexia, thoughts about food and weight dominate their every waking moment, making it difficult to focus on anything else. Eating becomes a source of anxiety and fear, and many people may go to extreme lengths to avoid eating or to burn off calories through excessive exercise or other compensatory behaviors.

In addition to the physical effects of anorexia, such as malnutrition, dehydration, and organ damage, the condition can also take a toll on a person's mental and emotional health. Many people with anorexia struggle with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and feelings of shame and guilt.

The social isolation and stigma associated with eating disorders can further exacerbate these feelings, making it difficult to seek help and connect with others.

Despite the challenges of living with anorexia, it is possible to recover from the condition. Treatment for anorexia typically involves a combination of medical and psychological interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family-based therapy, and medication. The goal of treatment is to address the underlying psychological factors that contribute to the development of anorexia and to help individuals develop healthy eating habits and a more positive body image.

Recovery from anorexia is a long and often difficult journey, and it may involve setbacks and relapses along the way. However, with the right support and care, many people are able to regain their physical health and emotional well-being and live fulfilling and satisfying lives.

If you or someone you know is living with anorexia, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Anorexia is a serious condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated, but with the right treatment and support, recovery is possible. Remember, you are not alone, and there is hope for a brighter future.

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