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Disturbing Diagnosis

Anorexia Nervosa is a very difficult disorder to understand. Even the most recommended specialists in the field often do or say the wrong thing. When someone, whether it be a doctor, therapist, or family member, says the wrong thing to a victim of anorexia, the results may be harmful. Many doctors have misdiagnosed victims of eating disorders simply because of the fact that they were not extremely under weight. Please realize that a person does not need to be emaciated in order to suffer from anorexia. A person can be a victim of anorexia and weigh as little as 40 pounds or as much as 400 pounds. Anorexia is an emotional and mental condition; the physical damages are just the consequences of the prolonged condition.

If you are noticing the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder in yourself or a loved one, you should get help for recovery. You deserve help. You need to know within yourself that if you or a loved one is truly suffering from an eating disorder, then you should do whatever possible to retrieve help for the victim. Even if a supposed professional just pats you on the back and tells you that you should not worry, you will know in your heart if there is a problem. Always trust your instincts.

To recover from anorexia you must have determination and will power. The only one who can make a sufferer fully recover is the sufferer themselves. A therapist and/or doctor can only open the door of recovery, the victim must walk through it. Although many of us may live by what the doctorís say, here are some reasons why you must sometimes go by your own judgment.

Actual quotes from doctors and/or therapists to the victims of anorexia.

I became anemic due to my prior problems with anorexia. I had put off going to the hospital for a week, and finally agreed to be admitted. The doctor told me "You should have a transfusion, but that I don't think that you deserve one, because you caused your own problem, by having an eating disorder. When people donate blood, they do not expect it to go to somebody like you."

While being hospitalized in an eating disorders hospital I was told by an RN "You are a young man. This is a woman's problem. Why can't you just eat and then work out and become buff instead of starving to become a weightless twig?"

While at the hospital and getting blood drawn, which confirmed that I had low electrolyte count, the nurse said to me "I'll bet you didn't gain 20 pounds when you went off to college, did you? You really know how to control your weight!" What a stupid thing for a person in the health professions to say to a person with anorexia!

I finally built up the courage to visit my physician after being anorexic for over 14 years and asked him to help me. He just looked at me weird and while laughing said "You know I've never seen anyone your age with anorexia. What's the matter? You didn't get asked out on any dates because you were fat?" I refused to see that doctor ever again.

My parents were told that since my sister would eat a piece of bread with peanut butter on it once a day, (but that was all she ate) she could not possibly be anorexic because peanut butter was "too fattening."

I was checking into a psychiatric hospital after 3 years of anorexia. I mentioned my fear that I might get osteoporosis to the doctor who was interviewing me. She turned to me and said "Oh, just drink some milk".

A therapist whom I'd been seeing for 3 months told me I was extremely depressed and that I had very low self-esteem. However, in the same session she went on to say "Your roots really need to be touched up and I think that you would look much more presentable if you wore some nicer clothes than the ones you wear all the time."

Weighing only 82 pounds at the height of 5'6", I was taken to the hospital and had my blood taken by a doctor who knew nothing about eating disorders. I passed out while he took blood and while my blood was getting tested I started to get major chest pains. The doctor came back to my parents and said "I can't see that there is anything wrong with her. She doesn't have leukemia or anything like that. I think she just needs more protein in her diet and exercise to give her energy." At the time I was eating nothing and exercising for hours on end.

I was admitted to the hospital and due to my low weight I was always cold. A nurse came to me and said "Why don't you go and walk some laps out side in the sun and move you body around. It will warm you up." This didn't make sense to me since I was supposed to be bedridden, but I went outside and walked around anyway. I was so weak that I passed out.

I went to a doctor whom I had never met before because he was the only one who could fit me into his schedule. He walked in and asked me what my problem was. I told him I had anorexia and would often purge if I ever had to eat anything. He said "No you don't. You're not that skinny and your teeth are not yellow." I sarcastically apologized for not being half dead on his floor. I never felt so unworthy in all of my life.

About 3 years ago I was extremely underweight and had a very low pulse. My mother brought me to the ER. An unprofessional doctor agreed to see me, even though she continually complained about how she had no extra time on her hands, but gave in after my mother pleaded for her to see me. Without any x-rays, blood work, weigh-in, or flashlights, the doctor looked into my mouth and said "She's just fine"

I was really sick and my mom took me to the doctor and told him she was worried that I was loosing too much weight and that I didn't eat. He pinched my side and said "You don't have to worry, she still has plenty of meat on her."

I went to the doctor because I was getting really sick and was extremely underweight... I could hardly stand up. He looked me over and said "Well it won't kill you if you skip a few meals".

Upon my first hospitalization including an IV a nurse commented to me "I don't see what all the fuss is about, you're not very thin."

After I lost a dangerous amount of weight during a relapse, my insurance company informed me that they wouldn't pay for my expensive hospital stay because "weight loss isn't a medical problem."

I gave a doctorís note to my PE teacher that explained I would not be able to participate in PE because I was recovering from anorexia and had a very low heart rate. He turned to me and said "You should join the track team. I know plenty of runners who would die for a heart rate as low as yours."

I was in the hospital, picking at my assigned meal, practically crying because I just knew I was gaining weight, when the nurse who was assigned to sit with me asked me how much weight I had lost. When I told her, she responded "Gosh, I wish I could loose that! You're so attractive too!"

I was meeting with a doctor for the first time when I told him that I was anorexic but I would sometimes binge after long terms of starving. He then said "Oh, anorexic? Really? Wanna share a bag of candy bars? Those will plump you right up."

While crying in front of my therapist after she scolded me for doing so poorly in my recovery, she had the nerve to say "I don't care if you recover or not. I get paid either way."

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