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I thought I was recovering from anorexia and my restrictive behavior, but the more I felt I recovered the less control I felt I had, and I started to develop bulimic habits. Am I the only one? What does that make me?

11 Answers
Last Updated: 10/20/2020 at 5:09pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
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Graham Barrone, Adip ICHP, MCBT


If you've found that your quality of life has reduced because of anxiety, fear or some kind of mental hurdle that you just can't get over then lets chat.

Top Rated Answers
April 7th, 2015 9:46pm
This is 100% normal, and something I went through as well. A lot of eating disorders morph over time and shift between restricting, purging, and binging. In fact, the vast majority of people with eating disorders don't actually fit the definitions for anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder and land in the 'Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified' category instead, which can be anything from restricting but not having lost your period to purging without binges to binging/purging, but not with the frequency required for a bulimia diagnosis. Balance can be one of the hardest parts of recovery, but the fact that you are already recognizing your habits and are trying to recover shows so much strength and you can get through this!
March 30th, 2015 8:02pm
It's very normal to develop another eating disorder during recovery from anorexia. I developed binge eating disorder. It didn't get better for me until I finally let go and let myself eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I know how scary that sounds, and it was very scary to do. But I knew that I needed to retrain my brain to learn how to eat normally. I also made it a point to forgive myself and learn to like my body. It's a very long process, but you will get through it. I am here if you need someone to talk to.
March 31st, 2015 5:37am
This makes you a sufferer of eating disorders. This is exactly what happened to me. I restricted so much and recovered, and gained weight- and then found that bulimia was the only way to control- not just the food of course. Overeaters Anonymous is an excellent place to go to meetings and discuss your feelings, behaviours and share with people who are going through the same thing. It helped save my life, and I highly recommend getting to a meeting- and seeing your doctor and be honest. Don't be afraid to ask for help- and congratulations by the way- this was your first step! :)
May 11th, 2015 7:30am
it very common. VERY VERY VERY VERY common. your restricting served a purpose and when you stopped doing that the feelings resurfaced,which is probably why you feel less in control. and to tackle with that you stareted binging purging. My advice:see a therapist
June 7th, 2015 9:44pm
I'm so sorry to hear about you're conditions, I know someone with similar problems and I just want to say you are not alone, You can talk to anyone of us here about anything, You aren't a condition, you are a beautiful human being of course you have concerns about yourself, but it's not all about what people see on the outside it's the person you are on the inside. Be the best person you can be and that's all that matters, you can do great things, I know you can. I hope I have helped you, please ask more questions if you have any, we want to help as much as we can.
June 10th, 2015 5:54am
It makes you human. I think you need to speak up to the people who helped you through your anorexia and they can help you through this stage too !
November 11th, 2015 1:18pm
Exactly as stated in the question, most times restricting is about control. So by lifting this, it's only natural that repressed feelings will resurface and you'll feel you lack control (because in a sense, if you've connected control over abstract aspects of your life to control of nutrients, you really have less control). This often leads to the other end of the spectrum and happens to many people trying to recover. Finally, this makes you a person who suffers from an eating disorder and is trying to get over it. Don't let a diagnosis become your identity.
- Expert in Eating Disorder
December 29th, 2015 3:00pm
This is very common on those who are recovering from eating disorders. It is all about the way you are coping with your habits. Try different coping techniques. It is hard for many people to give up their "control", but think about it in a different way. You may be giving up control to eat the foods ED is telling you to eat, but try to gain the control over ED; in other words, you can control the way you spend each and every day, so make a positive decision to do the right thing that will help you towards your recovery.
January 26th, 2016 12:37am
It is very common to go between bulimia and anorexia. After losing the control of restrictive eating the binging and purging makes you feel in control again. It happened to me personally.
May 26th, 2020 6:28pm
You are certainly not alone in feeling this way! I went through something similar during my recovery process and it makes for a confusing and difficult recovery experience. However, eating disorders do not always fall into neat little categories and there can certainly be overlap between the different types. What is most important is regaining a healthy relationship with food and continuing the process of recovery, which differs for each person and can sometimes change throughout the course of recovery. The label is not what defines you. You are a strong and courageous person. Recovery is not easy, but it is possible, and you are so worth it.
October 20th, 2020 5:09pm
That makes you someone who is aware and that is very important in any type of recovery. I cannot tell you if this has happened to others but I can refer you to someone who is better able to help in these situations as I am not trained to do that. If that is not something you would like to do I would still like to discuss this with you and I am here for you in any way you need me to be. I know recovery can be difficult and I want you to know you are not alone in this.