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If you have experience with trauma-informed mental health care, it's quite possible that you're also familiar with EMDR therapy. Otherwise known by its much longer name, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR therapy is an intervention used to help the brain resolve unprocessed traumatic memories, as well as the thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and physical reactions or sensations connected to those memories. But is EMDR therapy useful for eating disorder treatment? That's a nuanced question without a one-size-fits-all answer. However, as someone who is currently in the thick of EMDR sessions myself, I want to examine the potential benefits for eating disorder recovery.
For almost a year, I have been going to therapy to work through the trauma associated with the debilitating episodes of acute panic and anxiety I suffered late summer of 2021. In recent weeks, I have been practicing my anxiety-mitigation strategies and testing my resilience to anxiety triggers in preparation for a return to the location where the apex of the episodes occurred. With extreme gratitude, I'm happy to say that revisiting the place was a tremendous success.
I recently bought a deck of cards full of question prompts, and one of the first question cards I drew was, "What is your vice?" The answer that surfaced for me was familiar; Food. I will always be conscious about food, even in times of ease in my recovery. Sometimes this reality is frustrating, and I envy the people around me who seem to enjoy food without stress or guilt. I also learn about the depths of myself from the healing process. I'm understanding now that there's always more to uncover about myself and eating disorders like Binge Eating Disorder (BED).
Up to this point in my life, addressing my mental health struggles and seeking recovery has been personal work. I’ve learned about my illnesses, done self-reflection and soul-searching. It’s been by myself, except for a stint of attending peer support groups and being a part of online peer support groups. During all this time, I’ve wondered, will I benefit from therapy for my mental health?
Facing a verbally abusive situation is emotionally and physically draining. In addition, many victims of abuse find that alcohol plays a factor in how their circumstances play out daily. As someone who lived in a relationship of verbal abuse, alcohol, and substance abuse, I found the combination of these outside elements intensified an already negative situation. 
It’s one thing to say that the opinions of others don’t matter, but actually believing these words to be true is another beast entirely. Growing up, people had a bad habit of telling me who I was, what I offered, and even who I was going to be. Sometimes I would brush these comments off, but I would mostly let them sit and fester until the line between what I believed and what others believed of me blurred. I was susceptible to the thoughts and expectations of others because I lost touch with my sense of self. Our sense of self is like a river flowing through every ocean of our life. It’s the birthplace of thoughts, actions, and patterns. What we think of ourselves drives how we live our lives. When that sense of self is rattled and easily shaken, we leave the door open for the unfounded opinions of others to walk right in and sit on the metaphorical couch that is our mind. When our sense of self is stable and fortified, well, the door is just that, locked and bolted.
I will never forget one specific breakfast during my time in residential treatment. An on-staff clinician supervising the meal told me to throw out my pancakes and grab a new batch. When I asked her why, the answer was confusing, but as with most rules at this inpatient facility, it left no room for further questions. "You spread peanut butter on your pancakes—that's a food ritual," she replied. So I mutely tossed them in the trash, reached for another stack, and ate every single bite. That brief incident took place over 10 years ago, but it's still fresh in my mind for one particular reason: I love peanut butter on pancakes and always have. Is this not acceptable in eating disorder recovery? Is it a food preference or a food ritual? Moreover, how do I spot the difference?  
I haven’t heard schizoaffective voices in over a year. I am so elated about this, especially since I’ve struggled with auditory hallucinations since my first and only psychotic episode in 1998 when I was 19 years old. Being free of the voices is absolutely liberating.
If you've ever asked yourself the question, "Why do I feel like hurting myself when I'm mad?" know that you are not alone.
Thanks to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I'm easily distracted. This is especially difficult when I spend time on YouTube binges or scrolling through social media apps, even though I'd earmarked that time for working.

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Jason
As a well educated person, in the workplace and with those outside the workplace and the socioeconomic circles that I interact with, people generally don't do tattoo's. I suppose I have an advantage of having an education and therefore knowledge that its toxic poisons (little understood) being injected into the body. Aside from the potential damage, skin cells are constantly dying and being replaced. About 330 billion of those cells are replaced every day — that's about 1 percent of all our body's cells. Our skin cells are replaced more often than almost any other. When someone looks at a 50 year old tattoo for example, ALL of the inked cells have long gone decades ago and the ink has migrated all over the place. Clearly its mostly people from lower socioeconomic poorly educated backgrounds getting tattoos. For some observers its a form of mild self mutilation (one is clearly carrying out deliberate damage to the body) irrespective of the reasons to get one, and in my experience its mostly peer group pressure, rebellion and yet at the same time to fit in. Perhaps the same sort of reasons as smoking, body piercings, car joy riding, gang membership, and most drug use? Often regretted once the mind starts to mature in later life.
Jay
Hello!
I’ve been dating an individual with “high functioning DID” (their words) for about 9 months. I would say I’m in a relationship with 4 of them and love them all very much and have a very different relationship with each of them. I am polyamorous and so these relationships have worked for me and how my brain functions. In other words, I haven’t felt like I am sacrificing, settling or giving too much. Some days have been hard, others so happy- just like any relationship. But the highs are high and the lows are low. One alter is a self prescribed alcoholic and frequently has mental breakdowns and she has been out a lot recently. I feel like she is only stable when I am with her. On top of this, a destructive alter has been re-emerging for the last 2 months or so and has been preying on the alter previously mentioned who has frequent breakdowns. I have tried my hardest to talk to this destructive alter and reason with them, ask them what they want, make friends with them. They have said that their goal is integration- all alters merging into one. Even though this is the conventional form of healing for people with DID, this alter is going about it in all the wrong ways. He is “taking” alters away out of malice, not for the end goal of healing. Anyways, I don’t know what to do about this. Everything was going so great until this alters emerged. But I have to come back to the fact that this alter is a part of the ones that I love; they are all connected.
On top of all of this confusion on how to navigate these relationships, the first alter mentioned, had one of her mental breaks when I wasn’t able to be with her and decided to go to her moms house and tell her everything, which is a rule of the system to hide themselves from their mom. When this was going down I was encouraging of it because I thought the mom could help in my absence as I was afraid for their safety honestly. Anyways, their mom did not accept them, didn’t understand, didn’t want to understand their DID. This feeling of rejection from their family led to an intense mental break. I feel like I can’t leave their side now. I don’t know what to do. I want them to get better, but I don’t know how that is possible honestly. On top of this, I have my own dreams and aspirations. I don’t know how to balance my happiness with loving them. I don’t know if that sounds terrible. Don’t get me wrong, I need them too. I love them and would be devastated without them. But I don’t know how to have both even though I want to.
Is anyone else dealing with anything similar- difficult alters, unstable alters, difficulty balancing your personal lives and love lives?
Bill
I too struggle with the steps and don't accept all of it as "divinely inspired." I'll save you the details; but I plan to return to my group (I need support) while maintaining my personal identity. It's a balancing act, for sure.
Julie
I've had friends for 10 or 20 years and then it's just over. No one tells me why. I am emotional and can be volitile. Having a condition doesn't mean that people give you a bit of leeway. I just get blocked. I go from close friend to invisible. As I get older, it gets worse. If I didn't have a partner, I don't think I woud go out and meet anyone - not much point as they will end up ghosting me. Everything that comes out of my mouth is wrong, every decision is wrong. I've done training and it's helped me to be nicer to everyone - but I don't get the same back. Feel like I'm just smashing my head against a brick wll. Being unlovable/unlikeable is pretty hard. Also I'm Childfree by Choice - so I don't fit with many people (talking about and looking at babies/toddlers is so boring to me)
Tommy C
I think under normal circumstances my Ed’s splitting episode would have been like my worst nightmare come true. It was so much worse After spending everyday for almost 2 years together, literally in the same space when Covid started. I was so proud of us thought we’d get through anything together… then she was just gone and it was like none of it mattered I was her enemy and she did everything she could to never have to even really talk to me again.

It’s just so hard when it’s a scary time.. I wanted to get back out into the world but then leaving me became like her empowerment move… it breaks my heart all over again just thinking how close and sweet I thought we were, to the 180 she pulled…

I feel so ashamed for loving her, believing all her promises, she set me up used my past and pin to split and that was it… the closest connection I have ever felt to another person and it was just lies… I was like her stepping stone, I still feel so used and hurt but gets easier in time.

I won’t lie tho I still wake up crying too often, feeling like my soul has been sucked out of my body, it really does a number in you being that close and finding out you meant nothing. My heart is sinking just talking about it, so I won’t anymore.. but I promise it gets better you just have to keep trying