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Confused about being a healthy weight


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I got much too thin over the past year and a half, from a mixture of MI and physical health stuff. I didn't really bother to do anything about it until I finally got myself to a dietitian back in May and made myself eat properly. 

Unsurprisingly, I have gained some weight and I look a lot healthier already. I feel healthier too and I have a a bit more energy, can do a bit of exercise without feeling awful and I know I'm doing the right thing to look after myself.

 

However. I miss having something concrete to show that I'm not fine. Looking ill and exhausted meant people could see that I was ill and exhausted. I've had a few experiences with doctors being dismissive and not believing that there's anything much wrong with me so now I'm scared that they'll just think I'm whining or looking for attention and don't really need any help.

 

I also start to believe that maybe I am just looking for attention and what I really need to do is try harder. It was comforting to step on a scale and see that I was definitely not well, that it wasn't just "all in my head".

 

I'm struggling with this stuff a bit at the moment. When I'm tired and not feeling hungry it's hard to stay motivated to buy and make and eat healthy meals. I know I shouldn't think like this but I can't help it. If I stay depressed and too exhausted to do anything but no one really thinks there's a problem so nothing changes then why force down food I don't even want?

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i can understand this, and i'm sorry you feel this way.  it's all about being taken seriously, isn't it?  sorry you've had dismissive doctors.  i've been through the same thing sooo many times.

 

instead of having to worry about looking "bad enough" after i gained back my weight, i put my worry into finding a doctor who believed my words, not my looks.  i'm the sort who doesn't feel comfortable going out without makeup and clothes that match (unless i'm really depressed, then forget it).  so i can feel suicidal but not always look that way.  hell, i've had to go to pdoc appointments in my work uniform... that says "i'm fine" more than anything.  so i really need someone who will LISTEN.

 

what do  you think your pdoc would say if you talked about your worry?  if you don't get an answer that makes you feel more comfortable, maybe it's time to look for someone else.  maybe that someone else will be able to see you now at a healthy weight, and not have anything to compare it to, so they will have to take your words seriously.

 

i remember a thread from long ago that talked about how people in our situation make ourselves look worse before appointments, for this very reason!  some chose to make their hair look terrible, others wore dirty and wrinkly clothes, that sort of thing.  not because we want to fool our doctors - we just want them to KNOW how bad things are, and that can be really hard when you look "fine" on the outside.

 

does it help to write about how you feel, and get feedback?  that way instead of the scales giving you confirmation that you aren't well, folks here could give you that confirmation that things don't seem right, and give you some support.

 

i'm glad you posted this because you certainly are not alone in feeling this way.  i hope you're able to get the help you need, and still keep feeding that healthy body (good job, by the way!).

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I understand where you are coming from, and it is common and sensible to want validation for your suffering.  It is something that we all crave, no matter what illness we struggle with.

 

I suppose my main question is do you want to remain 'too depressed and too exhausted to do anything'?  If you think that you have to stay ill and depressed in order to get treatment, then I think you have a good chance of staying ill and depressed. 

 

As scary as it seems, sometimes we have to step into our fear in order to move past it.  It might feel risky to use your words to communicate your suffering rather than your body, but I promise that it will be more rewarding.

 

I imagine that what you really want is to get to a healthier place and have treatment providers who actively listen, encourage your progress, and empathize with you.  In reality, both of those things are possible.

 

You already mentioned that you are feeling physically stronger and looking healthier after gaining a bit of weight.  I would try to hold onto that. Remind yourself why you want to ultimately feel less depressed and what your goals are in treatment and in your life.  Will you be able to accomplish whatever it is you want to do if you aren't physically healthy?  What would it mean if you were physically healthy but still struggled with your mental health?

 

Just some food for thought. 

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I think changing your appearance (or wanting to) to look sick(er) is a very very mild form of what I have - factitious disorder. I want to be seen as sick and have changed my appearance somewhat (looking more untidy) and exaggerated my symptoms to be taken seriously. That's usually the extent of it, and I have only a couple times in my life completely fabricated symptoms I didn't have - but some people do that too.

 

Anyway I only realized I had f.d. when I was middle-aged and it took me 2 years to tell my therapist and psychiatrist, because I'd heard of people telling their providers and immediately had all their meds withdrawn and the frequency of sessions reduced - considering that I had real depression and anxiety and needed a lot of support, this scared me a lot.

 

I was extremely lucky in both my therapist and my psychiatrist. I was afraid they'd drop me all together. But instead what my psychiatrists did was try to find out exactly which symptoms were "real" and what was going well, and then increase the frequency of my sessions - because that was apparently what I needed, and he didn't want me feeling like I had to fake or exaggerate anything in order to get that. He makes sure I know he takes all my symptoms seriously, but he also needs to know what's going well in order to prescribe the right meds.

 

So after about a year of that, I now am on the most effective "cocktail" I've ever been on, I trust my doctor to tell him things that are going well, and I'm actually ready to decrease the frequency of visits. He let me know that if I wanted to come back sooner I didn't even need to have a "problem," I could just call.

 

I wish everyone (f.d. or no) could have a doctor and therapist like that, and that nobody felt they had to work to be taken seriously.

 

I am so glad I told my pdoc, but I also know if it had been another doctor it could have gone completely differently. But I would still say, tell your doctor and let them know - if they have a bad reaction move on - because there are great doctors out there who will take you seriously and won't make you feel that way.

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Thank you for you replies. I'd been feeling very irrational and alone and they really helped. 

I think part of the problem is that I don't have a great pdoc situation at the moment. I go to a clinic where some of the doctors rotate so I can't be sure I'll see one I know. I'm also not sure if I'll get an appointment before October - I know I'll have one then but I was supposed to come back 10 weeks after my last one, which is in late August. I only have depression and have never been hospitalised, so I'm low priority at my clinic. People with bipolar or schizophrenia get regular, more frequent appointments, I mostly get in when one of them cancels. There's a shortage of pdocs where I live so I can't really get another one. 

 

Next time I see a doctor I will try and communicate how I feel using words. I'm not very good at this though. I put in a front so much and spent so long denying there was a problem that I don't trust myself to to communicate accurately and get panicky when I try. I think I need to start writing down what I want to say and handing it over.

It does help to write how I feel and get feedback on CB. I will keep doing that.

lifequake: I want to not be depressed and exhausted so much. If I'm physically healthy the tiredness might not be so bad and I'm hoping that eating well will help with my mental health too. My mental health problems are what's really keeping me from doing what I'd like to do; the physical ones are mostly sorted out at this point so even if I was totally physically healthy it wouldn't make a huge difference.

 

kateislate: Your doctor and therapist sound great, and it's awesome that you have an effective cocktail. I don't think I'm getting the support and treatment I need from my doctor but I can't domuch about that now. I'm envious! 

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