Chapter OneMy swimming and schoolwork began to suffer. More and more, I could only think about diets and weight loss. The diets became more extreme. So did the binges, which were so large that I was in severe pain after eating. I began to experiment with purging. I bought medicines like Ipecac to help me throw up until I got better doing it on my own.
I tried to eat normally, but I couldn't. It was as if an alien force inside me drove me on.
Ipecac abuse can lead to irregular heartbeat, rapid heart rate, cardiac arrest, and sudden death.
I knew I needed help. My father, who was doing his psychiatry residency, helped me find a social worker who specialized in eating disorders. I began to see her once a week.
The sooner eating disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be.
I started working at a deli and attending classes. I wanted to be a doctor, like my dad. But bit by bit I gave up on things I loved. I quit guitar, reading, writing, and team sports, so I could spend more time by myself.