Listening to ED

"I'm fat"
"I don't feel heard."
"I need to control something in my life"
"It's not about food"

If you've lived with ED, you've heard these things. We should expect them. But our job is to stop listening as if these are rational thoughts. When paired with restrictive eating and/or purging, these thoughts are symptomatic of brain disorder and no more rational than if the delusion was "I'm aquamarine, I hear Hitler talking to me, I need to control planetary movements, I don't need air."

The reason we think these things are rational when eating disordered people say them is because THE REST OF US are irrational. We actually think thin is better (and a choice), we think starving ourselves is healthy living, we think lack of control is a reason to self-harm, and we think food is magic.

We have to get rational in order to help our loved ones recognize reality when they get back. We need to be rational to reclaim our own sanity and health.


  1. I think the reason we believe them is that we, the parents, are thrown by the illness. After all, if I didn't realize my d was restricting, maybe I missed her feeling ignored. I don't think my feeling stung by my daughter saying she feels unheard was because I think thin is beautiful. It's because I was worried it's true and if it's true than I felt guilty and responsible. Until I knew how common these complaints were by sufferers, I believed them. Now I know it's the ed trying to "get" me. With weight restoration, the comments have dropped to almost nonexistent. Oh, it also doesn't help when bad therapists support the statements!

  2. I found when in treatment and restoring weight, as hard as it was, the comments began to lessen. I mean, I was still saying I felt fat because I was gaining weight but I was taught more skills to counter the other three on the list. Now, out of treatment (not my choosing) I and struggling more with eating, I feel all of the thoughts and less of the skills to counter them. It is true, we as the ones with eds need as many people around us to help counter the thoughts. We aren't trying to get anyone, Ed is screaming at us and if we scream at you it is a scream for help. Just my humble opinion.
    Best Laura!

  3. You are doing a great service with this blog.

    By the way, I am stopping by from the Soup to Nuts Progressive Dinner.

    Stop by the first course and visit me.


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