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Thu Feb 18, 2016, 05:30 PM

 

The invisible link between autism and anorexia (xpost from GD)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027622315

BY CARRIE ARNOLD




Louise Harrington was starting to doubt that she had anorexia. She knew she was shockingly underweight, and she desperately wanted to gain at least 30 pounds. She had no desire to look like a model. She had no phobia of fatness. She wasnít afraid to gain weight. She didnít have any of the typical body image worries that overwhelm many people with anorexia.

Instead, what trapped Louise in a haze of malnutrition and compulsive exercise for more than 30 years was that eating too little and exercising too much blunted the feelings of overwhelming anxiety that threatened to drown her. (Louise asked that we not use her real name.)

The psychologists and psychiatrists she visited couldnít comprehend what was driving her behavior. When she was in her 20s, one doctor told her she couldnít have an eating disorder because she didnít have a fear of fatness. Other therapists said she was either lying or in serious denial. The assumption that her anorexia was necessarily driven by a desire to be thin further frustrated and alienated her, so she stopped trying to get help.

It wasnít until she turned 40 and she was fainting regularly at work, and was in and out of the hospital with malnutrition, that Louise tried, once again, to get psychological help. For the first time, a psychiatrist connected Louiseís longstanding social difficulties with her rituals around eating, and brought up a possibility that no one had never mentioned: autism. She was diagnosed with autism shortly thereafter.


Snip

https://spectrumnews.org/features/deep-dive/the-invisible-link-between-autism-and-anorexia/

ht/ LiberalArkie

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