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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have struggled for a number of years with an eating disorder,

Customer Question

I have struggled for a number of years with an eating disorder, depression, OCD..All related to one another. As it turns out I am still overweight.. I tend to binge and purge. My main problem is laxative abuse and I am really determined to stop taking them however I seem to be caught in a vicious circle now that I cannot get out of. Can anyone offer me advice as to how to break this cycle for good?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It seems from what you said that you have good insight into your problem. This is a great first step. Insight and acknowledging a problem is half the battle. The other half is dealing with the behavior. You need to learn to cope with your eating disorder by learning who you are beyond the disorder and trusting and loving yourself again.


You have lots of options to help you. You can seek out a therapist to help you. Talking to a therapist can help you gain more insight into why you have this behavior. Oftentimes, that is an important part to stopping the behavior. You can find a therapist by asking your doctor for a referral or if you attend church, talk with your pastor. You can also search on line at The therapist can do an evaluation, determine your treatment needs and help you develop a plan to deal with your eating disorder.


You can also search for a group for eating disorders. The support you can gain from talking with others about what you are going through can help you feel less alone. It can also help you by hearing what other people do to help themselves. Here is a helpful link:


Talk with your doctor about medication that is appropriate for your depression and OCD. There are medications that can help take the edge off so you can deal with the eating disorder. You can also see a psychiatrist for medication as well. Your therapist, once they do an evaluation, can refer you if needed.


There are also some books that can help you get started. One is called The Eating Disorders Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Eating Disorders (Sourcebooks) by Carolyn Costin. Another is Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too by Jenni Schaefer and Thom Rutledge. You can find these on or your local library may have them available.


I hope this has helped you,

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much for the a above advice.. I am currently taking 60mg prozac.. My binge attacks arise out of low self esteem and can be aggravated when I am under pressure as at present with exams. But while I acknoelge the above my difficulty is physically stopping taking laxatives.. Every medic I have gone to tells me to stop taking them in such high doses but out of dependency over the years I need to take very high doses and I am at the stage now that if I do not taken them I get very sick and my bowel gets very compacted. This is the difficulty I am trying to address as its preventing me stopping taking laxatives. At the same time when I do take a large dose I end up very unwell the following day with heachaches, weak and faint spells and muscle aches. Any advice re this specific area of weening off very large doses of laxatives?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I understand. Thanks for the additional information.


You cannot just stop the laxative addiction on your own. This is something that must be done carefully with a physician's supervision. You are talking about a physical reaction that occurs when you take a drug. As with any drug that is being abused, a doctor must oversee withdrawal. Also, you must have blood testing done and your electrolytes monitored to be sure you come off of the laxatives safely.


Please contact your doctor and let them know that you are wanting to detox from laxative abuse. They can best guide you through the process. Then you can follow through with a therapist to help you address the addiction and your other symptoms so you can recover and not relapse.



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks so much for your help. Im sick going to GPs and they are all the same. They just tell you to stop immediately but can't help or at least dont want to help you, Honestly I dont even think they want to talk about it. Anyways, thank you for the above advice and your time.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I understand. I am sorry about your experience with the doctors you have gone to. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to find a good doctor who will listen and work with you. I have had the same experience myself.


Try asking around for suggestions. You can even contact your local hospital and sometimes a nurse or another worker will tell you who the good doctors are in your area. Friends, family or co workers are great sources too. I found my doctor through a neighbor and her husband, so you never know who may know of that one doctor who can help.


Take care,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Many thanks
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You are very welcome! I hope it all works out for you.



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