When should you stop using the internet for a diagnosis?
I can no longer count on two hands, how many diseases, viruses, infections, (the list goes on!), that the internet has claimed I have contracted. You can list your symptoms, and two external links later, some bulletin board then explains that you’re lucky to be alive and you probably should’ve died last week…But miraculously, you’re still here. So it’s pretty safe to say that not everything that is published and not everything that we read on the internet will help us, or even apply to a vast majority of us, though it can definitely scare us into an early grave!
Personally, internet diagnosis of different eating disorders, started off for me, as a useful confidante, a relatable tool and more often than not, a substantial comfort; reassuring me that I wasn’t alone and perhaps I was worthy enough to receive help. However, as time progressed, I sought far lesser consolation from the internet and far greater depths to my eating disorder began to emerge; as I grew an ever more adherent to the characteristics and attributes that constitute anorexia.
Taking into consideration the entire picture, and as much as I still avoid having to say it, I most prominently suffer from anorexia; but since when could it ever be as easy as that to categorise a sufferer. In intermittent bouts, I was a restrictor, a binger, a purger, a compulsive exercise addict, a boiling-over cauldron of anxiety, an increasing social recluse, a total food addict with literal food for thought; 24/7, weight number obsessed, food hypocrite and just generally, an unrecognisable, completely morphed version of the former me. I never actually consciously set out to reach a certain weight goal, or even intend to lose weight in the first place, but enhanced by the people around me who began noticing, I was soon completely obsessed with the control I had over losing weight and all that I could do to reach below 65kg, 60kg, 58kg, 56kg, 55kg, until I became so afraid of gaining weight that virtually any calories surpassing my lips, felt like a guilt-filled sin.