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Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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Hello. I know this is an American website but if you have

Resolved Question:

Hello.

I know this is an American website but if you have any UK psychologists that would be appreciated - i think Marian I saw yesterday works for the NHS. Just because the health system over here is really different.

I am seeking advice from you as my friend hinted in passing that i have a psychological problem with food. It has made me think about some issues from my childhood that i had never really thought aboud since becoming an adult (I am 23). I was born prematurely as a twin and i think my mother had issues with us emotionally as we have never bonded at all. We were both 'failure to thrive' infants (i think tube fed for a bit), and i remember going to hospital at one point around age 3 or 4 to have an endoscopy, and finding all the attention quite exciting.

From what i remember as a primary shool child, dinner was like torture, being left alone in a room for what felt like hours hours with food that had gone cold, waiting for my father to get home and punish me (smack/shouting/once threatned to make me eat my own sick). I remember felling scared, and so lonely and sad. Failing to eat in the allotted time meant never being able to go to parties, though my twin sometimes managed and got to go. From the age of around 12, me and my twin were considered too disruptive to eat with 'the family' ( 2 younger siblings) and were brought in food to another room, i didnt ever eat much of it i think to spite my mother. I saw a photo of my 12 year old self recently and i looked anorexic. Whenever i feel sad i completely go off food. (I also cant seem to finish meals, even when im still hungry and I dont eat until i am full. I am pretty skinny and would like to be fatter although I think I am otherwise attractive).

There were a lot of problems that continued and magnified into teenage years; mutual avoidance, frequent screaming matches, occasional physical fights, me smashing things, extended periods of having to get the bus to the same school my younger sister was driven to. This wasnt interspersed with normal periods like with most teens, it was 'the family' and 'the girls', i even woke up one morning aged 16 to find a note saying they had gone on holiday for two weeks.

At school i was always a bit disruptive but fairly popular apart from a bit of bullying/being bullied around age 10-12). I got very good grades (it was a private school) as my goal was to go to university. That was the only reason i stayed where i was. However I had to drop out of university twice due to two seperate episodes of severe depression which i guess were due to course pressures (chemistry!) and financial worries as i thought i was having a great time! The last and worst episode started this time last year and completely floored me - i thought the first one was a one off period of illness and thought i had been doing the right things to avoid it again. I only started to feel normal again in may having been on medication for over 6 months.

I saw a councillor a couple of times during the first episode at 19, and she asked me about my childhood. However I didnt see it to be relevant and I consider myself to have been relatively well off compared to some people, there was no abuse or drugs, I went to private school. Im not conciously bitter about anything and didnt think that maybe these problems could be related. I would be grateful for your opinion, I know I have put forward a couple of different issues there, but if you could direct me to take futher steps I would be very grateful.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Shirley Schaye replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Shirley Schaye :

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. Give me your exact location with zip code and I will look for someone for you. I have several patients to see so check back with me around 5:00 PM.

Customer :

Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.

Customer :

ok im going to re post the question sorry

Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Hi there,

Thanks for your question. I am an English psychologist and therapist and if I may say so, having read your information, I would be more surprised if you didn't have issues about food, as it seems to have been a factor in many emotional situations for you from an early age. You have been punished (perhaps excessively) for not eating, and this can affect how you think and feel about yourself in a profound way. I am going to recommend that you seek an EMDR therapist, who will help you to find the underlying beliefs that you have been left with from these situations which will exist in your subconscious mind and which can have a very powerful effect on day to day life. The beliefs are lodged in the subconscious mind and act like a tinted pair of spectacles through which you see the world and yourself. When the beliefs are triggered (probably by food but could be by many other things in daily life) then your feelings (anger, hurt, etc. etc.) can resurface and your reaction to the current situation can seem to be overly strong. You are then reliving the situation from the past in emotion and thoughts. Normally we process anxiety levels away at night during REM sleep, but when the emotion is too high, this doesn't happen, so EMDR simulates the same conditions in order to allow the brain to process the unwanted emotions away. You still keep the memories, but they are allowed to fade back in time where they belong instead of seeming so real and vivid. Have a look on www.emdria.com for further information and a therapist local to you. There are lots in the UK. You might like to know that EMDR is the recommended treatment by NICE the National Institute of Clinical Excellence here in the UK for trauma. The trauma doesn't need to be of worldly proportions, the things that you mention regarding your food and your upbringing are satisfactory to require this therapy. I wish you all the best and hope that is helpful to you. Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much. I had a look at the website (.org actually) and it looks like that might be a really good step to take - i had never heard of that before. And I shall reccommend you.

Expert:  Sarah replied 3 years ago.
Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX Best Wishes, hope all goes well, Sarah

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