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July 21, 2012

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I wonder if you were "allowed" to eat all food if your obsession with certain foods would lose power. I have read (and noticed with myself) that food has a much weaker pull when it's not given so much status (ie a good food or a bad food, a food that will make me good, a food I should hide...). It sounds like the bingeing on "good" foods is your rebellious side flipping off your controlled side. It's all sarcastic like, "what? You said I was allowed to eat meat loaf..." I bet you could use that rebellious side to your advantage. It could made the eating disorder it's bitch.

I thought the same thing, Maggie, and it didn't work for me, sadly. The binge behavior has been in place since I was a little kid and I suspect there's some chemical thing at work (my dad has a binge disorder, among other things). Plus I really just physically cannot handle most carby stuff. Even little bits have far-ranging effects.

Well, wait -- it worked very well when I was hypomanic. That was the only time it worked. Tip the scale a bit either way and kablooey.

Don't worry, I am TOTALLY going to bring it up with my therapist, who has no idea what she's gotten herself into. :)

I'm pretty sure there is a lengthy German word that would sum up the way in which I agree with you. xx

I am reading, for the second time, Women Food and God. It's about our relationship with food and how it isn't about the food. There is a lot of wisdom in there, and no creepy God stuff, but good stuff. You might take a peek at it.

Hmmm...never really thought of myself as a binger...but you kind of just described me. Great. And to be honest, that's another thing I like about pregnancy: the morning sickness is the most natural appetite control I've ever had. It makes me eat a small meal every two hours and I absolutely can not overeat. I've wondered if they could make a synthetic morning sickness drug. I eat so much more "naturally" and am forced to listen to my body.

Wellbutrin didn't help me with that either. But what do you think is in play here really? I'd reflexively say that you have two common things leading to overeating; depression leading to self-medicating with delicious things, plus an addiction to sugars perhaps not related to mood. Do you suspect something else?
I'm starting to think that meds that raise a person from clinical depression can't really help with eating disorders if the person is still fundamentally convinced deep down that he or she is a putz. You'll still run to the half-gallon carton of Blue Bunny Bordeaux Cherry Chocolate Chip and slurp on that reassuring tit till its gone. Which would imply that talk therapy is the way to self-love [snicker] and a svelte body, but so far my years of therapy have helped fuck-all with that. In any case, you should maintain pride that you can do what so many find impossibly hard: running, exercising, working off the food. In my eyes, it's as if you somehow quit cigarettes and cocaine cold turkey with every run.

You're right, Dan. Cigarettes and cocaine ARE the answer.

I have to make a phone call.

But seriously: I think there are at least 2 things at play, and one of them is purely physiological and has to do with my insulin resistance. Carbs, especially refined sugar and flour, to someone with metabolic problems, are like crack. As in they light up your brain in exactly the same way. For real. So that's one thing. The other thing is that I *do* sometimes use food to take care of myself when I am feeling, I dunno, undernurtured? Like it's the one way in the universe that I am going to be cared for. Which is not true but blah blah you know how it is.

Me to a T. And so far I'm ignoring doing anything about it. It is flat out ridiculous how many prunes I buy. And many sweet potatoes worth of roasted fries. Oh, yeah, and I love meat loaf.
Oh, yes, and beer.

You sound EXACTLY like me in terms of the foods and the PCOS. Carbs are crack. I wish so very much that I could eat moderately of these items.

I guess my lame observation on this is, it's the typical frustrating complexity of co-morbidity: I'd wager there are psychiatric, psychological and endocrine issues all in a gorgeous, mind-fucking orchestration here. The 'list' is pretty much all-inclusive, right? it's not as though there's anything that you could digest that could NOT be on the list, but some of them (e.g. insulin-triggers) much more problematic than others. And to top it, it's inaccurate to distinguish absolutely between 'endocrine' and 'psychiatric', since there's such a strong integration of endocrine factors in neurochemistry. And then, even if a behavior starts out psychiatrically, the negative experiences resulting form a pattern that has a psychological effect, a 'story' that it's hard to interrupt. I think if my shrink were eavesdropping on this one, she'd put in a strong bid for trying some new behavioral techniques while you're sorting out the rest of it--because they can really have some powerful psychiatric benefits as well. Even stuff that sounds incredibly stupid, like the ole rubber-band-on-the-wrist, or stocking an inventory of tangible immediate (non-food) rewards for re-directing behavior patterns that make you miserable (and this would include re-directing the impulse to ignore hunger in order to be 'good')--these methods sound like crude Skinnerism, but they can really provide a lot of relief and keep your momentum in the right direction. Maybe a fat iTunes card, and you download a song from a wish list when you succeed in redirection? Don't know if this is helpful but I hope so.

I don't have too much to add, but I recognize this dynamic in my own life, in different ways.

Anyway, my understanding, as a still relative n00b to bipolar, is that most antidepressants are actually pretty dangerous, and can kick off rapid mood cycling. Not sure if that applies to Wellbutrin, but I thought I'd pass along what docs have told me.

Also-- I kinda wish there were a way to medicate so I could just float in early hypomania forever. Wouldn't that be great? Like being a superhero, minus the actually thinking you're a superhero part.

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