PTSD and eating disorders

"a common mistake made by therapists inexperienced in the treatment of eating disorders is to not fully appreciate the need for nutritional rehabilitation before beginning actual exposure work."


  1. I question that statement, though based only on my own experience. One of the main components of my eating disorder is dissociation, which is often a symptom of PTSD. I get "pushed back in my body" and can't control my eating behaviors--often, I don't even remember whether I've eaten, what, and how much as a result of dissociative amnesia. The only way I've found to effectively lessen dissociation for long enough periods of time to make a difference is to dig in and do trauma work. As my dissociation improves, I'm much more able to take control of my eating instead of letting my ED control me.

    As I said, though, that's only my personal experience as someone with an ED and PTSD, and your mileage may vary.

  2. I'm not sure your perspective is incompatible with this.

    I think the idea here is that full nutrition helps the brain be able to truly recover. Otherwise, the patient will continually slip back into nutritional trouble because it feels better - temporarily.

    Lasting recovery would require holding someone in a healthy state while they engage in therapy.

    I hope you are getting all the therapeutic and nutritional support you need!


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