My experience with eating disorder therapists

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

I've seen a couple ED therapists throughout my life and a lot of the things they believed in and said were very unhelpful and even damaging. They framed things as I was a rebellious crazy girl with this disease in my head and dismissed my complaints of discomfort, which were due to the allergic reactions from my then-undiagnosed allergies.

Bread for example has wheat in it, and I was forced to eat lots of bread because they said I was afraid of it for no reason. It was really difficult and I had a lot of bad physical reactions to food which made me want to avoid food even more. During my medical treatment for ED when I was 17 and in subsequent years I always felt belittled and not heard. I ended up really hating myself for my body’s natural instincts. It’s sad so many ED patients are made to feel this way.

This evolutionary explanation for ED is not well-known and needs to get out there. My own negative experiences with ED treatment motivate me to take those learnings and translate it into action, through producing online education that helps people see this other way of treating ED.

I've shared with my family how bad the FBT experience was. It helped me a lot with getting over the experience, finally not getting as upset about it. Maybe my parents had a choice to pull out of FBT. I’m not sure. They tell me now that they know the things they had done previously to me were wrong, but they did it because the doctors told them to.

I was really hurt by what conventional ED treatment had done. Luckily my family relationships are great now, but for years after ED treatment I honestly though they’d been damaged beyond repair. What really helps me get over that unhelpful victim mindset is to grow from this experience and use it to help others avoid similar mistreatment. Also, I know that trauma doesn't irrevocably change one's personality or fate and that "childhood trauma" is often overblown.

We have the power and agency to take control of our lives and recover.