Hello my darling fudgies!
Preface: For the people constantly googling where I'm going to college next year (I see you in my stats, children!), the answer is...I don't know yet. The moment I do know however I promise to tweet, blog, Instagram, scream it at the top of my lungs. We cool, bros? :) On to the real topic of today:
I must say I am, once again, what else is new, incredibly torn about this topic.
When I started this blog almost 3 years ago (!), I was adamantly opposed to the use of medication to treat eating disorders. But as my understanding of the ED culture and more importantly my understanding of medication has grown exponentially since then, so here are my thoughts on the topic.
Why I was against:
My argument against the use of pharmaceuticals to treat EDs was based on 2 things:
1. my understanding of my own experience with bulimia
2. my understanding of medication
Firstly, I felt that eating disorders could be recovered from without meds. After all, I did it!
Sure it's long, and painful, and requires lots of conversations with others and with yourself that you really don't want to have, but my God is it worth it when you cross the finish line!
So why use meds when they simply are not required to beat the monster growing inside your brain? Especially when some anti depressants are known to cause weigh gain, talk about triggering!
Secondly, I considered medication to be a last resort, for long term, clinical, chronic illnesses, like schizophrenia. This attitude probably stems from my upbringing in Quebec, a province not too keen on pill pushing. And even as I did more research, studies suggested that the use of SSRI (mainstream anti-depressants) to treat anorexia or bulimia had generally great relapse rates.
Why I am now torn
Here's the deal: my experience with an ED can help me empathize with others suffering or who have suffered, but at the end of the day, everyone's journey is different. Sure, I was able to beat my ED with talk therapy and blogging, but someone else might not be able to, no matter how hard they try.
To use solely my experience as a measurement for what is right or wrong would be foolish!
To top that off, medication can be used for all types of problems. Sometimes depression can be so deep rooted and intertwined with an ED that recovery is not possible if we don't clear up some of the mood issues in order to get to the root source of the problem. Besides, NEDIC says that the average sufferer deals with Bulimia Nervosa for 8.3 years!!!!! Fine, that's not a life time, but that sounds pretty long term to me, so if medication is needed to survive that period of time, than that's the way it's gotta be.
This topic is delicate, because people's health, physical and mental, is on the line here, but I think this is an important topic to discuss.
Please leave your thoughts down in the comments, I'm really interested in what you have to say.