#ENDED Twitter Chat with EDN Maryland Recap

Thank you to all that joined us last night for the #ENDED twitter chat with Eating Disorder Network of Maryland.  For those of you that missed it here’s a quick recap

Q1. Eating disorders are incredibly complex- can we start by listing as many risk factors for developing an ED that we can think of? 

 A1. Eating Disordered family members, #endED  
 A1 Comorbid psychiatric conditions such as anxiety + depression; painful life events. “Biology loads gun, environment pulls trigger” 
  Genetic contributors that are passed on and also modeling patterns of food learned from parents perhaps  

 A1. Dieting can trigger someone into developing an e/d but we know it is not dieting alone that causes ed’s. 

Q2. Sharon, you often talk about a person’s ED “traits.” What is that compromised of? #endED  

 We’ve learned is that many with ed/s have very strong traits. Esp perfectionism. Society pushes for thinness so eds can develop. 

 Personality traits: blk-white thinking, strong-willed, rigidity, impulsive, slow to change, perfectionism. #endED  
: A2. We also know that most people with eds have at least one of the following: anxiety, depression, or OCD #endED – 
 As clients we noticed that really common trait is either being really impulsive or the exact opposite…depending on the disorder #endED  
 A2. Food is an easy thing to use and manipulate. You can’t get a DUI, it isn’t illegal, it comes in all types of flavors… 
 A2 Shame, people-pleasing, weak sense of self 
 A2. Another big one is perfectionism. You have to learn and accept that not everything is going to be perfect nor should it be

 A2 As a #dietitian, I find food is the perfect play dough for practicing flexibility.#endED  As people practice flexibility with food choices- what, what, where, how, why they eat, it dominoes into other areas of their life 

Q3. Carolyn Costin says- we can take our traits to the light or dark. How can people with EDs use those traits for recovery? 

 One of the common sayings for those with eds is that “they can’t see the forest for the trees.” Do you know why? 
 A3. With rigidity, it can help when trying to stand your ground against those who can possibly hurt your recovery 
: A3 Jenni Schaefer says turn perfectionism into excellency- and use healthy, balanced determination to beat ED! 
 When you’re anxious it is hard to be emotionally flexible. It is important to really push yourself to see the bigger picture.  
 A3 My clients have amazing drive and commitment that can really support their recovery when channeled!

: A3 A lot of people with EDs are very empathetic towards others. Learn to turn that empathy inward to themselves

 Another grt tool is to make yourself order something diff when you go to a restaurant and not the usual “safe” food

: A3 I really see stubbornness transformed into commitment. And perfectionism, when softened can lead to positive action. 

Q4 What are tips to dealing with these risk factors of family history including mental illness and substance abuse?#endED  
 A4 One important thing to do is to acknowledge that your family has a hx of addiction. Don’t be in denial of it. 
 A4. I think it is important to recognize what risk factors your family has. If you fail to see them then you can’t deal with them #endED  
 A4 Many with family hx of addiction need to focus on doing things in moderation. Not overdoing (food, $, exercise…) 
 A4 Looking for areas of extreme behavior, including drugs, alcohol, emotions, money, exercise, shopping, gambling, etc. #endED – 
 A4 Talk openly with family and your tx about the hx of addiction in the family.#endED  
   I find pt w/ fam hx of addiction like to view food as all or nothing. on or off. No carbs or all carbs. agree? #ended  
  Also important to find another color besides blk or white. Even if it’s only 1 shade over it’s a start! 
 A4 With my clients we are often developing new “traditions” or “guidelines” to live by- establishing new patterns that break from old #endED 

Thank you to Sharon of EDN Maryland for sharing her wisdom and to all that joined!Be sure to join us on August 22nd at 8:30 pm EST for a twitter chat on Beauty Pageants and body image with Nicole Ortiz @MissDEIntl2012