427: Eating Disorders and Females with Aspergers

Recently there was study released that linked females with Asperger’s Syndrome to eating disorders, specifically anorexia.

The researchers are making conclusions that the eating disorder could be a result of the Aspergerian’s tendency to fixate on one subject or thing; and in the case of anorexia or other eating conditions, this one subject or thing would be food or weight, or a variant of the two. I understand this, and the conclusions makes sense. However, I think there is a lot more to it.

Gathering a selection of females with Aspergers and asking them direct questions and allowing the participants to elaborate on their experience, might deem worthy and productive. There is much to gain in looking at the person who has the condition when searching for answers. But there is far more to gain in talking to the person and asking the female to share. We have a lot to offer. And so many times it is a male without Aspergers, and without an eating disorder, constructing these studies. It seems ridiculous to me. How much better for a female, who understands the gender experience, who is a person with Aspergers, and has an eating disorder, to be the person evaluating and determining results of a study about females with Aspergers and eating disorders. Wouldn’t she be much more able to ask the deeper questions? Much more able to interpret the responses and understand what was happening?

There are layers and layers of complexities that the mainstream evaluator and researcher are going to overlook. Not because they don’t have the wherewithal or wits about them, but because having Aspergers isn’t something you can begin to understand unless you have Aspergers. It’s not like having a mild disease where a section of your body responds differently. Having Aspergers is like having an entirely different system of functioning, processing, viewing, and seeing the world. All the senses are affected. All the ways in which the brain digests information is somewhat skewed—not wrong, or even right, but just different. There really isn’t anything simple about Aspergers and thusly no simple conclusions ought to be reached from any study.

Biologically there are differences from the typical person. We are affected by our guts, our skin, our thoughts, and a lot more. Theories abound about variant enzymes and the like. How we process hormones and chemicals, even how food affects our system is questionable. With so much going on internally beneath the surface that most people cannot figure out or understand, and with so much still unknown, it is impossible to accurately point to a singular cause of any behavior at this point. To conclude an action is based on one aspect of Asperger’s Syndrome is not accurate. The complexity of Aspergers is like a ball of twine. One thread affects the whole. The weight, the design, the outline, the movement, the appearance—each string pulled causes an alternate reaction.

Who is to say that food is not the culprit and that food causes the exact disorder that is being blamed on the Aspergergerian’s tendency for fixation. Perhaps the food itself triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that causes interior upset, either biochemical, physical, or psychological. Case in point being gluten which affects many on the spectrum, causing rapid thoughts, depression, or a false type of high—purely chemical. And if a child were to feel those extremes when eating gluten, then could she not then want to discard of the food, to instinctually force the food out of her.

That is just an example, and by no means suggestive of a theory or even grounds for an eating disorder. It is merely a case in point.

Food definitely affects my health, not by my own doing but from my chemical makeup. Certain foods make me very sick and off center, especially genetically modified foods and products with chemicals, preservatives, and other ‘unnatural’ substances. Certain foods cause inflammation of my body and increase my pain, particularly sugar, dairy products and various white flour products. I bloat up from gluten and sometimes get scary thoughts after eating wheat. Wheat seems to put me in a depressive state quite easily or causes me to over-analyze and loop in thought. I also crave wheat at times and cannot get enough of it.

Often after I eat too much of a food that doesn’t feel good for me, I might spend the next day barely eating. This is a way I cleanse myself and try to purge out the poisons inside of me. I then become fixated.

But not on the food itself or my weight but on the ‘rules of food.’

Everything I have been taught and taken in via reading, word-of-mouth, and documentaries reels through me like an old movie film shooting cross my brain. I have a dictionary of food rules in my head. I know what is bad for me and what is not. The problem is that most of the foods that are available are not good for me. The problem then becomes extreme in my mind. I know the dangers of many foods and I know the aftermath I feel. However I live in a world where to fit in and to do ‘normal’ things, I can’t eat like I think I need to eat: unless I have a lot of money, energy, and time to prep myself healthy meals. In addition, the foods I know are ‘good’ for me, e.g., organic veggies, are often lacking the flavor and texture I have been brought up to believe is best and popular and yummy. Not to mention the food industry that spends billions just to make sure what I am eating (that is bad for me) is addictive, appealing, and leaves me craving more.

There are so many contradictions in food that I become confused. Soy as an example is disputed left and right as a trigger for estrogen. I have terrible endometriosis and PMDD, eating just a bit of soy makes me worry how I have upset my system and what the repercussions might be. Wheat is an obvious trigger, but at times, out with friends or family, the wheat dish is so appealing that I feel I am depriving myself of luxury and joy. It has been engrained and engraved in my head from this society that food is a treat, a well-deserved treat. And my mind plays a ping-pong game of ‘you deserve this’ and ‘you will regret’ this. Yes, I am fixated on the thoughts of what I will eat, but not because I choose food as a fixation but because of the repercussions I often face eating food and of the mixed messages in my mind.

I know the GMO foods are dangerous. I know they are legally registered as poison and not food because of the chemical similar to Roundup, and other disease-like elements, found in the seed of the plant. I know that many a people are having reactions, and many countries are banning the products because of health and farming interests. I know that corn is a main culprit. Thusly I avoid corn. I feel tired and fatigued when I typically eat grains anyhow, kind of a hypoglycemic reaction. So many foods have corn by products, corn syrup being an obvious one. Mexican food, my favorite, is loaded with corn, wheat, and dairy. If I go out to eat my options are so limited, I might get depressed. Or I might just tell myself ‘screw it’ and eat what I want. The next day or two, I pay the price. I am so sensitive that my pain disorders react. I have been diagnoses with hyper-joint-mobility syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and more. Foods directly affect how I feel.

I might spend all day not eating and just having water and herbal tea. I might not eat until four or five in the afternoon because I know as soon as I eat, I will more likely than not have a reaction. I rarely can eat and not feel heavy, bloated, muscle pain and fatigue. It is easier not to eat. Is this avoidance an eating disorder? Or is this behavior a desperation and a means of trying to avoid pain? If a boy was whipped every time he ate, so he refused to eat until starved, is that a disorder, or is that survival?

Of course, in my mind, at times there seems to be a definite means of controlling an otherwise uncontrollable world through diet and exercise. I know that. When my life is essentially overwhelming, as it feels most days, I might fixate on the scale and my weight. Mostly because the rest of the world is entirely unpredictable, full of treachery, deceit and lies. Yes, there are many, many good people and wonderful things about the world, but there are also the continual reminders of the unpredictability of human nature and the deceit of leaders and government. I internalize deceit at a deep level in which I neither understand the drive to deceive nor the person who deceives. My world is often muddled in the mysteries of people and their ways. And sometimes, a number brings me comfort and peace. A familiarity I can trust and control. Sometimes this number is on the scale.

I have been watching my weight recently, as I gained poundage since stopping a low dose thyroid pill that put me into a hyper-thyroid state (hair fell out, rapid heartbeat, rapid thoughts, insomnia, cystic acne, etc.) The pill wasn’t supposed to affect me that way, supposed to be super safe, and my thyroid numbers never got that low, but my system is so sensitive that anything introduced, particularly a hormone, directly causes extreme side effects. Two days after stopping the pill I returned to normal conditions. During the time I was taking the pill I was getting a sore throat two days before my period for seven months. The sore throat often turned into a cold. I was sick almost every month on the thyroid hormone pill. It altered my progesterone levels that caused a reaction to my tongue and the way I breathed at night, which caused the sore throat, which caused the illness. No doctor could tell me what was going on. I had to research. Was I fixated on that too? Or was I trying to solve a puzzle so I could stop being sick? I don’t know.

I am back to watching my weight, because my thyroid numbers are just on the high-normal range. This increases my pain as well. For some reason being in a slightly hyper-thyroid state decreased my physical pain but triggered a bunch of other intolerable symptoms. Now my pain feels two-fold, as if some days my entire body has been dropped off a building. I ache. I throb. I burn. I tingle. Nothing I can’t tolerate, as I have been enduring pain for thirteen years, but something I still hope to diminish.

Less weight equals less pain for me. But it is impossible to lose weight without drastically reducing my calorie intake. If I drastically reduce my calorie intake in an attempt to lose weight, so I can decrease my pain, is that an eating disorder? If I think about food all day, because so much of it seems poisonous and causes me pain, is that a fixation? Or is that me being cautious and over-aware because I have been hurt so much in the past? Is it desperation? Or is it just the way it is, because I know not what else to do?

With all the chemical imbalances and ‘dangerous’ foods aside, weight itself does bother me. Faces change constantly for me. My body image changes constantly. When I am at a healthy thin weight, I know what to expect. I know I won’t find the imperfections and flaws that my mind so easily sees. I am a detail-hunter. I find the slightest things that are off center or not right in all things I see. Not that I am judging, only that I am carefully observing and figuring out. My mind is constantly solving puzzles. Everything I take in is sifted and categorized and made to fit my past knowing and experience. I see things so intensely and feel things so intensely that any normalcy, anything that stays the same, anything that isn’t a surprise, new, or different, is a haven—an inner sanctuary in where I choose to bask.

When I am skinny and look the same weight everyday then there aren’t a thousand messages in the back of my mind. I don’t have a tape of old messages from everything I have previously taken in and learned. I don’t here all the contradictions in my mind that the world has fed me. All the contradictory studies. All the falsehoods. All the lies.

“Belly fat is good going into menopause to help from getting bone loss. Belly fat indicates higher levels of cancer.”

And I don’t have the complications of getting dressed. When I gain a little weight most clothes don’t fit. I don’t keep ‘fat’ clothes because I clean out my closet regularly and can no longer wear certain clothes for reasons I don’t understand. Sometimes it is a memory the clothes evoke, a texture, the color, the cut, the way the clothes pinch at me, scratch me, pull on me, weigh me down. Maybe I saw someone else wearing the same shirt, and now I can’t wear that shirt because that person’s image is now with me. Maybe the clothes, I think, make me look odd, untidy, sloppy, frumpy, slutty, loose, etc. It is common in my house for me to ask my husband: “Does this look slutty.” I ask because I was judged so much as a teenager by my body and my clothes that I still here the echoes of my peers. I can’t tell what fits right or what looks right. Things shift for me. I usually dressed my babies in clothes too big. Things hung off the shoulders; items didn’t match; patterns clashed. But I honestly couldn’t tell. I don’t understand fashion trends and I don’t follow them. And I don’t understand why people do. So my wardrobe is limited from what I have tossed out because I no longer feel comfortable wearing and from things I can’t get myself to wear a particular day for some reason or another. My wardrobe is limited because I am not able to wear certain items for weeks or months at a time. I get stuck in my head something someone said or something I read or saw. Like when I was watching a movie that had a 1980’s flashback and the females both wore their hair like me. Two different styles, both the way I do up my hair now, in this day and age. I thought hard about how maybe I am not supposed to wear that hair style anymore, particularly as the women were portrayed as backwoods idiots. Same thing goes with clothes. I am constantly matching and connecting points in my head. So if an outfit for some reason doesn’t seem like I should be wearing it, I don’t.

When I add weight to the equation, everything comes out scrambled and even more complicated. I start wearing things I don’t particularly like, only so I can hide the spare tire. I go out in public and am continually worried about the small amount of excess fat showing. Because to me, (I have taught myself through media exposure),fat is bad. Even the tiniest imperfection is terrible. I have been brainwashed into thinking I am not good enough unless I am good enough by the big business standard. I know it’s not true. And so the logical part of me and spiritual part of me start debating everywhere we look. Sensing my own fat causes me to spin into loops about the corruption of America and the terrible untruths women have been fed since birth. I start to look for overweight women and justify how lovely they are, and that if I was a man looking at a beautiful woman that the small bit of fat wouldn’t bother me. And that a face and heart is what matters. And then I spin back to my body. Am I good enough? Am I enough? And then I go back through all the spiritual books I have read, all the mantras, the ‘truths’ I embrace at times. And I get all twisted inside; all because a tiny bit of flab isn’t hidden by my clothes. The same goes for other parts of my body. My own cleavage is a major issue. How much to hide. How much is safe to share. What I know of the stereotypes of men and what cleavage represents. All of it confuses me. All thoughts that mostly go back to social norms and expectations; things that make no sense to me.

If I am stressing about a little fat around my waste and don’t eat a lot the next day, is that a fixation? Or is that me trying to stop the constant bombardment of negative messages that fill me when I am not fulfilling a role that society has indoctrinated upon me? Isn’t it society doing this to me, to us? The poisonous foods? The restrictions on how I should look and be? The mixed messages? Am I not just extremely sensitive to the contradictions of the world?

I haven’t eaten meat or poultry since 1984. I stopped eating lamb at age four and pork at age twelve. The animal cruelty, the suffering, the injustice—I saw that all too, from early on.

I don’t think that eating disorders are necessarily a result of a fixation. I think eating disorders are a result of the unjust and contradictory, money-hungry world we live in. I think eating disorders are an attempt to feel safe in a very unsafe world. A way to make order out of caous and unpredictability.

A way to gain back some of the control that has been taken from us when we were taught to trust liars and schemers and not our true heart and soul. I think eating disorders are a symptom of the world gone wrong and not of my brain gone wrong. Eating disorders aren’t a simple puzzle to solve, especially when considering females with Asperger’s Syndrome. There are so many other factors playing out beneath the surface. So many thoughts and deep complexities that the experts haven’t even begun to discover.

And to claim suddently, “Hey, did you know females with Aspergers are more likely to have eating disorders,” seems oddballishyly peculiar to me. As if we couldn’t have told them that from the start.

(I am not an expert on eating disorders. I have never been diagnosed or sought help for an eating disorder. I share to raise awareness of the complexities of food and weight in females with Asperger’s. I realize there are many types of eating disorders, some much more extreme and serious than my story. This is just one story and does not represent the collective whole. Also the ongoing research by others will help others detect Asperger’s Syndrome in some girls with eating disorders, and that’s good. To find answers.)

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36 thoughts on “427: Eating Disorders and Females with Aspergers

  1. I was anorexic when I was 15 (41 now, Asper dx at 40). I actually remember it rather fondly now, I felt in control and purposeful. The crushing way it was dealt with was very distressing. I wish I had been dx with ASD then, it would have made a huge difference. I don’t really think I have an eating disorder now. J

  2. I don’t eat meat/fish, wheat, other grains (except if out occasionally),dairy (other than pastured eggs), and I have dramatically reduced my intake of legumes too, Kind of living more low-carb (starch) these days as an ovo-vegetarian. Your thoughts are similar to mine. I have an ambivalent take on any information soy-related too, because there is so much contradictory information out there. I am obsessed with reading about food, and what is good and what is not, and the wealth of information that makes it’s way to my mental filing system is temporarily stored, left, and later, after enough of one categorical type of information has accumulated, such that its significance becomes apparent, an alarm-bell rings, and I do more research in that one area. There is simply far too much information to sieve through however, for any one person to decide that a specific diet or even an obsessive interest in food and health, is abnormal; like you say, in this world of money-hungry people, digging into a tricky world of food dogma to find the best way in which to live, is a way in which to feel safe. Anorexia to me is grown out from similar roots.

    I have been accused of having an eating disorder from a professional health body, of which I felt quite bemused (if not irritated later on) at the time. I eat enough and have a normal BMI (of which is not a strict guideline, but for here will do), but I am very strict with my food choices (something I mentioned to said person at the time), and I am also aware of my food and of how it was grown, and whether or not it is a sustainable food supply; as well as also taking a considerable interest in my own health, and body weight (for e.g. I am too uncomfortable in my body after a certain weight, so I maintain it with a close eye), and log my weight and any unusual symptoms I encounter/calories consumed/stress levels each day (and have done for years). This somehow makes me a problem, or means my approach to diet is not normal, and I have an eating disorder. Granted, I spend hours reading, cooking, preparing food for my children, shopping online for the best organic produce, reading more, ignoring other’s for the sake of reading more….these things are obsessive – the information collecting part is, I am aware of this, but I would like to be as healthy as possible and this amount of reading seems pertinent given the vast sea of information there is to wade through. I would also like to pass the information onto family members too, both from an educated and objective perspective (as I am not a purist, and find there is always an antithesis contradicting any diet boasting a one size fits all), as well as in the food I prepare for them, and yet in this context of obsessive reading and focused preparation, somehow a desire for health at this extremity is disorderly? Note: a desire for ‘health’ (although to be as aesthetically pleasing is something I have been fed on, and so of course this is a bonus; a stupid concept I can step outside of and snigger at, but one I am still in the grip of). Perhaps I could be accused of orthorexia (having an unhealthy preoccupation with healthy food…hmm, seems oxymoronic in itself really).

    The extent of my reading really is no different from that that goes on in the lives of those in higher education, who chose their subject of choice out of a big enough interest to want to study it in depth, so in a formal system, none of the above would be perceived as disorderly. I know a huge part of my need to seek this information out comes from a need to feel safe (I’m certain all information gathering can eventually be traced back to ‘fear’) , and a need to regain order in my own little bubble. I already study ‘formally’ in higher education, so the interest was previously linked to my 10 year ago course start-date (oops) in a subject I love: science.

    Chaos is always so easily administered into my fragile world, which I know is why I need structure, and my own life plan that keeps my life MINE. If I can control those parts of my health dictated by my environment for as long as possible, I can control my life, and what with the pre-existing feeling of not having control over a lot in my life, this is one thing I cling to. My mother is always in and out of hospital, and her life is suddenly not her own, and is almost solely dictated by inexperienced carers and health professionals who prefer to tackle the symptoms, rather than address the cause. I don’t want that for me, and ensuring this doesn’t happen takes a lot of work, not because I am broken, but because the system is, and because the truth is never cleanly announced for the sake of our health’s. Money always talks the loudest. It’s hard enough living as an aspie in a world of chaos, and the little things I do to promote security are anything but disorderly to me, and if anybody thinks rationally about it in the context of an out-of-control money-hungry world, they also would see that in many many ways, we all obsess over something to feel a sense of self-securing control, and that this, ‘self’ control, is not disorder of mind, but survival of self.

    I did sense the health professional in question didn’t really like me, and I don’t know why, so somehow when I read that she had written a report referring to our discussion about my diet, that I probably had an eating disorder that should be looked into, I tried not to become angry, and instead decided that she wasn’t writing about me, nor was this reflection about my diet. In fact, it may have been about her in some round about way, or the way I made her feel.

    1. awesome comment. You write very well and clearly are logical and know what you are talking about. I relate to all that you said. Yes! So many good and valid points. thank you very much.

      1. Ditto. I love the way you write, as you know. I find you to be very clear, and somehow you have this ability to simplify and unglue yarns of complex ‘sticky’ information, such that I am always drawn to reading your blog each time you post, and the added bonus is that, I relate to a lot of what you write.

  3. I am Aspergian and also am struggling with Anorexia. I think that the two play off of each other a great deal. However, I also think that they are separate disorders. Everyone is unique even if they struggle with the same things. Anyway, I does sound like food is a challenge for you. I am so so very sorry! I wish that things were easier. Ugh, I hate eating disorders but mine is just so strong many times. However I am working hard to get better. If you ever need to connect with someone about it, you can contact me on my blog. I write about Aspergers and my eating disorder as well as various other things I deal with. Anyway, great post! It really interested me and you bring up many great points!

    1. I agree that they can be separate disorders most certainly and have so many challenges with them. Thank you very much for sharing. Feel free to post your link in the reply section as other readers might be interested in reading about your journey. My hardest times are during PMDD, not with eating but with other things. I surely understand the struggle. It’s hard when logically I understand what is happening. If you add your link I will try my best to pop over and read. Thank you for reading. best wishes to you and your journey. It is wonderful you are sharing your journey.

  4. Thank you for so eloquently stating that which has always plagued me. As you said, I get tired of thinking about things so much, I do this complicated thinking with everything..that’s why I like routine and repetition. I had what can definitely be labeled ‘anorexia’ throughout my 20s, 30s, and 40s…then menopause kicked in, now menopause won, I can no longer compete with my body. I agree with your line of thought. Simply, simply put..I was anorexic, because it worked, and was one less huge matter to obsess on, in a never ending stack of things that had to be obsessed on.

    1. Awe hugs sweet Alyce. I so understand. And I am so happy that menopause was your answer. As you know, I cannot wait. Really. I am certain there is hormone therapy that could help females with Aspergers….something delicate and mild..I hope something is found soon. Yes….one less thing to obsess on. I barely ate today, and I feel so much better physically, emotionally and spiritually. I wonder how much we pick up empathically from the food, too. Hugs and love. ~ M

  5. Socially I became more socially acceptable when I lost a lot of weight through getting type1 diabetes during pregnancy I felt I became more socially wanted by groups of both men and women without having to understand the group dynamics and fit in. My thinness and new found attractiveness spoke loud an clear and it was a great relief for me and I treated my weight as armour or a social tool to fit in. (just shows how pathetic society can be). I then took my dieting to far and have battled anorexia for 20 years or more. Currently its under control. I feel like its my way of making friends without having to try. The disorder also provided a strict routine and control for my unpredictable world of people. I am not comfortable with this disorder as it goes against all my personal ideals of superficial bullshit that our world laps up….especially in female groups but even ideals and outlooks arnet immune when you suffer socially to understand and fit in. (you will do almost anything at times)
    I also agree with the fear food presents when faced with the most perfect thing to enter your mouth. I also suffer with depression and bowel issues that are related to what I eat including insomnia and racing thoughts. The eating disorder is motivated by many layers all relating to aspergers I think.

  6. Dear Aspergers girls 🙂

    First off, thank you for your blog, it has made me accept parts of myself a little easier. I am a woman who was recently diagnosed with PDD:NOS, because I didn’t quite fit the criteria for aspergers… I have some of the traits, but not enough to be an aspie. I am in my 20s, and have found it very hard to accept this new truth about myself. I’ve been stalking your blog these past few days, and this place has made accepting my new situation a little easier, as I will (like some people with aspergers) research the topic to near exhaustion trying to find the truth, or.. my truth. I want to be able to see myself in something, before I accept it. You have helped me accept and feel less alone in some of the feelings and traits I’ve always had, but never quite able to explain or understand.

    Thank you.

    Love the None specific, somewhat, but not quite all the way, aspie

  7. OMG! you are describing exactly what I feel and think! I share the same distress. In order to escape it and manage to live in this world, I have resorted to exercise… but as I age it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the level needed to counteract the stress.

  8. I found it really interesting to read your thoughts on this. I’m a 19 year old girl and have suffered with anorexia since I was 13. The illness has had disastrous effects on both me and my family- I had to take a year out of school and am only just finishing my A Levels, and my mum had to stop working for a while to take care of me.

    Throughout my various treatments, a few mental health professionals have suggested that they think I might have Asperger’s Syndrome, and, upon doing my own research, this seems likely. ASD would explain so many of the problems I’ve had personally and socially throughout my life, and just having read about it through blogs like yours and other sources has given me a bit of peace in myself- I feel like maybe it’s not just me, and maybe I’m not just “a freak” or “weird” (as so many have deemed me throughout my schooling). To put it simply, this blog, especially this post, has given me some comfort. So, for that, I thank you.

    I wonder, however, if there may be any way that the link between females with anorexia and females with ASD may be made any clearer, or emphasised to health professionals? For as many people have suggested ASD to me, not one of them ever bothered to take it further, or have me officially diagnosed. Would it have made it easier for me to get support with social situations at school? For me to cope better with bullying? Maybe a different method for treating my anorexia, considering the conventional ones don’t appear to be working?

    The issue is, I feel it may be too late for me now. I’m no longer a child, and so it seems no one really cares. I have no idea where, or if, I can access any support. In September, I’m moving over 150 miles to study Medicine at one of the most competitive universities in the world, a frightening thought for anyone. But I truly am terrified. This is something I’ve wanted for so long, but also something no one ever thought I’d be able to do. Were they right, or am I? If I’m right, what else might I have been able to do, if I’d had support for all the non-academic things I struggled with throughout my childhood?

    The whole situation makes me worry for two reasons. Firstly, how will I be able to cope with my eating disorder and all the new social experiences on my own, with no support, so far from home? I don’t KNOW if I actually have ASD, or, if I do, how I can manage it. Would it not have been nice for someone to try and help before now? And secondly, more importantly, if everyone has managed to underestimate and under-support me, effectively leaving me to handle everything on my own just because I’m now officially an adult, then what is happening to anyone else in a similar position to me? Are there more people just being abandoned at 18 with no real clue what to do?

    I’m sorry for the long and rambly comment, I just don’t really know where else to say anything like this, and I feel like this link is something that could be really important, to me and to others.

  9. Hei, this struck a chord with me. I’m 34 now and have self diagnosed as 75% asperger (if that’s possible. I just don’t tick all the boxes, and that drives me nuts).
    Also read Becki’s post and felt that her post resonnated with my feelings at that age. I hope you are ok, Becki. The eating disorder thing is hard to deal with, because it becomes its own animal after a while. I decided to develop anorexia aged 14 because it seemed an excellent way to stay in control. It coincided with going to secondary school and freaking out over all these changes I could do nothing about, being thrown thinking about how we shall all die and so on.
    Luckily I got to travel a bit and that triggered my curiosity in living to see what would happen next. The eating disorder took a while to go away though, because the pattern had been set in my head. For a long time I thought it was depression, though that did not fit as there was no reason for me to be depressed really. The feeling of being odd and weird (and everyone around me confirms this, I am decidedly strange) was what saddened me.
    It’s been wonderful to find all these blogs online. The sense of support is amazing, et has finally come home kind of thing.

  10. I believe there is a definite brain- gut connection that is faltered within the asperger. I have Celiac disease and am allergic to dairy. I can’t digest most foods
    . Only leaf lettuce, white meat and fish. No fruits, nuts, eggs and most vegetables. I have been gluten free for 5 yrs and dairy free for a year now. My children are gluten free and one of them is also dairy free. Though the others are not big dairy fans. It is extremely difficult and costly. But I see no other option as the effects of ingesting gluten and dairy are far too debilitating. I often wonder is the cause a digestive system flaw? The job it does is so much more important than most would ever know.

  11. Please note I have not been diagnosed with any other food allergy, except the gluten. It took me years to realize other foods caused so many non – digestive issues. The depression, inflammation, blurred thinking (a small break from the babble)
    I am extremely in tuned with my body and mind.
    My consistent interest is medical. Hours and hours researching, trying to make connections and find answers. Most people noted my “pickiness at a very young age. Through out my life I have instinctively, or controllably(?) Refused certain foods. Most foods.

  12. Ps- none of my diet restrictions have helped with my struggles mentally.
    Sorry this is unorganized and possibly annoying. I know it will be to me later.

  13. Hi, my name is mary and I’m 29. I have been recently diagnosed with aspergers. I suffered from anorexia since I was 17 till I was 19 or so. To me, it started suddenly like any other obsession of mine and it ended the exact same way. I remember seeing a tv show about a girl with anorexia and that triggered something inside me. The next day a wasn’t eating any more. I could control it pretty well until I got tired of it. And all of the sudden I was “cured”. Did any one of you experience something ?
    Note: English is NOT my native language.

  14. This had me in tears this morning. I am 28 years old and have had bulimia for 15 years. My bulimia heavily stems from extreme fear of food and what it will do for my body. I have never read anything that so closely resembled my daily head chatter about food. I am also only just finding that I am a female aspie. I am only two months and a few doctor appointments in to this realization and I have your blog to thank for guiding me in that direction. Reading your words feels like I have found my tribe for the first time in my life.
    As far as the bulimia and aspie connection, I have found that not only does my fear of foods and ability to remember everything I have read and to take it literally contribute, but it is also how I throw tantrums. It’s my social meltdown. When I am angry? I puke. Overwhelmed? Puke. Grieving? Puke! It goes on and on. I don’t hit myself like I did when I was younger though my body will clamp down and I will hit my thighs with my fist. The purging has become self harm in the emotional breakdowns. This makes sense because I have tried every treatment out there with no luck. I now know that my bulimia goes well beyond my food control. Maybe I have been treating the wrong thing.
    Now that I rambled, I thank you profusely for all you do and being a light for many of us! Love and light to you!!

  15. At 13 I heard of the concept of an eating disorder and decided to have one. Part of it was about body image but a huge part of it was about not failing at having an eating disorder. I didn’t just cut down on food, I tried to not eat at all. So I’d repeatedly “fail” and eat.
    One time, I dug my heels in and ate almost nothing for 11 days to get into hospital.

    I got over it at around age 20yrs by switching my obsession to other things, and like magic it was gone.

    Since babyhood, I have had painful stomach reactions to milk. But it’s my favourite food. When I was a child I used to throw my sandwich away at school every day. In adult life, I have weird eating habits. I go through crazes of eating the same things, I eat really slowly (reeeeallly slowly, like hours), will use a spoon if I can or a fork if need be, but right-handed.

    I will forget to eat for a day or more. I’ll eat then think “OMG I need to eat today! Oh, that’s right, I ate a couple of hours ago” cos I’m not tuned in to my body. The same thing happens with sleep.

    I relate rigid superstitious meanings to different weights due to the numbers. Eg. I’ll predict “if it’s 52 or above, it means x. If it’s 51.9 or below it means y”, unrelated to size/image.

    Overall, my eating has been idiosyncratic for my entire life however all but 7 of those years are completely unrelated to body image.

    I reckon these are prime examples of how Aspergers colors eating, however I haven’t been diagnosed as yet and I heavily suspect I’ll get a BPD or ADHD diagnosis.

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