Eating Disorder Hell

Part Five

It has been a few months since I last put words to the screen and leaving you in the Hell that had been our lives for over a decade. I wish I could report that we were through with the emotions, the worry, the demons that have dug their way into our daughter’s life. I wish these words reported how she has flourished the way I see others doing; but that is not the case.

Lora’s High School Senior Picture

For a few years she did. She recovered to the point she knew her triggers and how to handle them. She got well enough to go off to a private fine arts college where she had enrolled in their B.A.A. program studying under some of the finest Fine Artist. During the time she spent there her talent grew, but she decided that path was not for her, so she left there and moved back home.

A photo shoot she did during this time.

She still flourished. She fell in love, worked, & saved money – enough to move out of our house into a townhome with her boyfriend. At the age of twenty she became the full-time manager over three point while you drink art studios, growing the store in Summerville into that company’s most successful location. Then the burnout associated with such a high-pressure job seeped in.

Me, Lora, and Jimmy at the Grand Reopening of the Summerville location of the Paint & Drink Studio.

Still, she flourished. Her health was good. She was happy.

Then, for some reason, the ugly Eating Disorder demons reared their heads again, and she fell backwards into their embrace. We watched our once lively, adult daughter succumb to the illness that wrapped itself around her at the age of eleven as her weight plummeted to a terrifying forty-three pounds.

You did not miss read that.

Forty. Three. Pounds.

She looked like a skeleton draped in human skin. She was weak. Too weak to take a shower, to drive, to take care of herself. So, we moved her back in with us so we could take care of her.

For six months we watched her slowly recover her strength and improve until she decided it was time to move back in with her boyfriend.

During those six months she attended counseling, followed her team of doctors’ recommendations, and took her medications. So even though she was not in a formal Eating Disorder program she was getting professional help. You see, it is hard for someone who was told by a doctor when she was only fifteen that she should be locked away into a mental facility to trust a live-in treatment facility. It is hard for her to understand that her rights will not be taken away from her. That she has the choice to be there or to leave.

Yes, I curse that doctor to this day.

Forgiveness. It is something I have to work on.

But back to her, the day she moved out was one year ago and she has had relapses, slipping backward until stopping, before slowly moving forward again.

While she is far from where she was seven years ago, when she went off to college, she can bathe herself, drive, and live her life.

Even though our path through this is far from finished we are still hopeful. Hopeful for a full recovery.

Hopeful that her inner beauty will continue to shine, and the day will come to where she is healed, whole, and complete.

Until then we continue to be her for when she needs us too and stand back when she wants us too.

For now this is where I stop our story but not my crusade to bring awareness to these mental disorders.

Continue reading to learn about another one of these illnesses.

Pica

According to the DSM-5™ Pica is a Persistent eating of nonnutritive, nonfood substances over a period of at least 1 month.

According to NEDA Pica involves eating items such as hair, dirt, and paint chips, etc.

How is PICA diagnosed?

Unfortunately, there are no laboratory test for it, so it is up to a clinical diagnosis based upon the history of the patient. Yet during diagnosis there should be tests for anemia, intestinal blockages, and the toxic side effects of substances consumed such as lead in paint, bacteria, or parasites from dirt.

What causes PICA?

The risk factors for PICA are:

  • usually occurs with other mental health disorders with impaired functioning.
    • Iron-deficienty anemia and malnutrition are two of the most common causes, followed by pregnancy.
      • This is often a sign that the body is trying to correct a significant nutrient deficiency.
        • Can often be resolved with medication or vitamins.

It is unclear how many people deal with this Eating Disorder. It can affect children, adolescents, and adults of any genders.

Again, Eating Disorders do NOT discriminate. They do NOT care about your race, gender, sexual orientation, or your socio-economic status.

Pica can be associated with intellectual disability, trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder), and excoriation (skin picking) disorder.

To learn more about this disorder go to:

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