Yesterday we had our lecture on eating disorders.
So far I’ve found my Behavioral Health class very interesting. Since mental health is something I struggle with (I have an anxiety disorder) learning about it from a clinical perspective is really fascinating. I was especially interested in how eating disorders would be presented, so I made sure to be at class.
The lecture was given by a PhD specializing in eating disorders and obesity, and she did a fairly good job. It’s so hard to really dive into a complex disorder in just an hour, and I know they have to pick and choose what to focus on. I do wish she had spoken more on the many non-weight related causes of eating disorders, how difficult and complex recovery is, and a little bit of the challenges that insurance companies create for recovery. Overall I’m pleased that medical schools are devoting a whole lecture to them at all — I think awareness and knowledge is definitely increasing.
After class I went out to lunch with a few friends. I started talking about my own experience with an eating disorder, and they were a bit taken aback. I didn’t realize they didn’t know about it! To them, I had just casually slipped a major medical issue into conversation without any background.
I forget that people don’t know I had an eating disorder! I’m in school with a whole new group of people, most of which have no interest in my blog, so really….how would they know unless I brought it up? It’s not really a part of my life anymore, so it doesn’t come up often. Some of my closest girlfriends know, of course, but in general I don’t have a reason to talk about it.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this. It’s really not a big deal, I guess. I’m actually proud that people don’t know, because it means my food behavior is normal! In previous years I think it would have been semi-obvious that there was something going on because of certain food fears/rules/anxieties that were still lingering. It’s kind of liberating to have that part of my life completely behind me, but it’s also such a huge part of who I am and why I’m even in medical school that it feels weird to have friends be unaware.
I’m sharing just because it was such a strange experience to have something that was such a big part of my life for so many years be gone. To those struggling or recovering — it’s possible! You can get to a point where life is just normal and the eating disorder is behind you.