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Is an eating disorder some form of obsessive compulsive disorder?


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My friend said that she used to feel like she had obsessive compulsive disorder, and now she has the beginning serious signs of an eating disorder. Could the obsessive compulsive disorder have manifested in an eating disorder? She used to have to touch certain things a certain number of times, or count to certain numbers in her head when she saw a number above 50, ex. Any ideas?

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Hi

she may have become obsessive about what she is eating, or her weight/appearance, and so have developed an ED

 

is she consulting with her doctor about this? I hope so! OCD is hard enough to deal with, but EDs can be very dangerous and this is something she may need professional help with. The doctor would likely refer her to a psychologist experienced in treating both disorders

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, since childhood I have periodically suffered from bouts of OCD; particularly during very stressful periods of my life. At age 17, when I went away to college, the OCD cropped up again as Anorexia. It is very serious and Char is right, she needs to get into counseling if you can persuade her even if it's for a 'pseudo' reason. By the way, the counting and having to touch objects is a very common thing in OCD.

 

Good Luck and Prayers!

 

Trish

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If I remember rightly, anorexia and bulimia are currently classified as separate conditions from OCD but related to it. People who have or had OCD are much more likely to get them. I'm not sure whether body dysmorphic disorder (an obsessive fear that something is wrong with your body, e.g. that you're fat when you aren't) is considered a type of OCD at the moment, but if not, it's closely related.

Of course, as Chemar hinted, OCD may in itself prevent someone from eating properly. For instance, they might have no problem with eating as such, but still eat as little as possible because they're afraid of getting food poisoning.

Either way, she'd do well to try Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. As well as being the favourite treatment for OCD, it's also been found quite effective for anorexia and other EDs. This is a fairly complicated case of course, so as Chemar says, she should find someone who's had some experience with both OCD and EDs.

Wish you luck!

Wombat140

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  • 1 month later...

If I remember rightly, anorexia and bulimia are currently classified as separate conditions from OCD but related to it. People who have or had OCD are much more likely to get them. I'm not sure whether body dysmorphic disorder (an obsessive fear that something is wrong with your body, e.g. that you're fat when you aren't) is considered a type of OCD at the moment, but if not, it's closely related.

Of course, as Chemar hinted, OCD may in itself prevent someone from eating properly. For instance, they might have no problem with eating as such, but still eat as little as possible because they're afraid of getting food poisoning.

Either way, she'd do well to try Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. As well as being the favourite treatment for OCD, it's also been found quite effective for anorexia and other EDs. This is a fairly complicated case of course, so as Chemar says, she should find someone who's had some experience with both OCD and EDs.

Wish you luck!

Wombat140

 

I just wanted to mention the other side of the spectrum. Our son has OCD about constantly eating. he is 6 years old, oddly enough very skinny, but would eat himself ill if we let him. He even questions his behaviour to us and we have to almost physicaly remove him from the main floor of the house so he stays away from where there is food.

we always thought that he was just a big eater but we have come to realise that this is another one of his OCD symptoms.

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  • 2 years later...

Our daughter has anorexia nervosa with exercise compulsion. She's been seeing therapists for an "eating disorder" for many, many years, to no avail. Sadly, we now realize she has PANDAS - and this all started with OCD. Most of her OCD quirks were kept hidden, but one that came on overnight was bladder frequency and leakage. It was a nightmare, and none of the professionals could figure out what was happening. She had no infections. She was in the 4th grade at the time, and she is now 20. None of the professionals she has seen (pediatricians, urologists, kidney specialists, eating disorder therapists) ever mentioned it could be OCD or PANDAS. All these years, all the time and money...

 

We are now treating her for PANDAS, hoping to see some improvement. She ended up with mono last summer, and her OCD became very severe, with depression and hopelessness. It's been a terrible life for her. She was never really able to tell us about the "intrusive thoughts" that go along with the OCD and eating disorder. It's horrible - sometimes she'll grab her head and cry to make "the thoughts" stop. When it gets extreme, she has more "typical" OCD symptoms, like letter counting - but those things don't really bother her.

 

So YES, I believe OCD/PANDAS can transform into an eating disorder. The thoughts and compulsions associated with OCD can be predominantly associated with the eating disorder. (You will NOT hear this from ED professionals, but hey - if this can be treated without them they wouldn't stay in business...)

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Our daughter has anorexia nervosa with exercise compulsion. She's been seeing therapists for an "eating disorder" for many, many years, to no avail. Sadly, we now realize she has PANDAS - and this all started with OCD. Most of her OCD quirks were kept hidden, but one that came on overnight was bladder frequency and leakage. It was a nightmare, and none of the professionals could figure out what was happening. She had no infections. She was in the 4th grade at the time, and she is now 20. None of the professionals she has seen (pediatricians, urologists, kidney specialists, eating disorder therapists) ever mentioned it could be OCD or PANDAS. All these years, all the time and money...

 

We are now treating her for PANDAS, hoping to see some improvement. She ended up with mono last summer, and her OCD became very severe, with depression and hopelessness. It's been a terrible life for her. She was never really able to tell us about the "intrusive thoughts" that go along with the OCD and eating disorder. It's horrible - sometimes she'll grab her head and cry to make "the thoughts" stop. When it gets extreme, she has more "typical" OCD symptoms, like letter counting - but those things don't really bother her.

 

So YES, I believe OCD/PANDAS can transform into an eating disorder. The thoughts and compulsions associated with OCD can be predominantly associated with the eating disorder. (You will NOT hear this from ED professionals, but hey - if this can be treated without them they wouldn't stay in business...)

 

Just to echo here . . . eating disorders do occur in PANDAS cases, and comorbidity of behaviors such as OCD and ED is also a common "tell" for PANDAS/PANS cases. So, in addition to therapy, I would suggest getting a full physical, including an immune blood panel that tests for abnormalities in immune function and increases in antibody levels for bacteria such as strep and myco pneumonia. It would be a shame to go down the long, winding and potentially unsuccesful path of solely psychiatric interventions (medications) when it may be that medical treatment (such as antibiotics or steroids) could provide real, lasting relief for your friend. Good luck!

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  • 4 months later...

 

If I remember rightly, anorexia and bulimia are currently classified as separate conditions from OCD but related to it. People who have or had OCD are much more likely to get them. I'm not sure whether body dysmorphic disorder (an obsessive fear that something is wrong with your body, e.g. that you're fat when you aren't) is considered a type of OCD at the moment, but if not, it's closely related.

Of course, as Chemar hinted, OCD may in itself prevent someone from eating properly. For instance, they might have no problem with eating as such, but still eat as little as possible because they're afraid of getting food poisoning.

Either way, she'd do well to try Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. As well as being the favourite treatment for OCD, it's also been found quite effective for anorexia and other EDs. This is a fairly complicated case of course, so as Chemar says, she should find someone who's had some experience with both OCD and EDs.

Wish you luck!

Wombat140

I just wanted to mention the other side of the spectrum. Our son has OCD about constantly eating. he is 6 years old, oddly enough very skinny, but would eat himself ill if we let him. He even questions his behaviour to us and we have to almost physicaly remove him from the main floor of the house so he stays away from where there is food.

we always thought that he was just a big eater but we have come to realise that this is another one of his OCD symptoms.

I would like to chime in on the same note. My son has preference for the "same foods"- part of his OCD. Eats one thing at a time- almost ritualistic in his eating patterns. Will not eat different foods from same spoon. Will have 3 spoons for a Kid Cuisine meal- LOL!! Will not try anything new and has what appears to be a large appetite. However, he will eat whatever is put on his plate to the point of nearly throwing up. It's like a "just right" OCD or need for completion. Can't stop in the middle of anything or if food is still in front of him. Need for completion. Does not seem to have the turn off switch to stop when he is full. Often he will say (when he has over filled his plate)- "I don't think I can finish all this." More or less asking for "permission" to stop. As he gets older (13 now) he seems to be getting a bit better. Of course, I tell him he does not have to finish it all. He is tad overweight- not obese. Some I blame on Lamictal and Zoloft as he was never overweight before these medications. He is shooting up as he goes thru puberty and is starting to thin out. However, I would agree he has the food thing in the opposite direction or anorexia- over eating.

 

He is same way with homework- teachers will assign odd/even only questions- he will want to do all of them or the entire page if they only assign 1-10 and the page had 30 questions. It is all OCD behavior with him, I've come to realize. Just very quirky--not harmful--difficult to pin point if not around him all the time. Others don't even realize until you get to know him and see it.

 

I agree OCD/ED requires prompt attention...will need intensive therapy/meds etc.to overcome. And, tif hey don't death or long term health problems--shortened life span can occur.

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  • 1 month later...

I think they're related too, given my experience. I am quite convinced I have/had PANDAS, and this came on first as an eating disorder, some type of anorexia at about age 12 and then morphed into OCD at 14, at which point the anorexia aspect of it stopped.

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First off I agree with Mom of OCD boy, blood work is number one. I am a newbie to here but not to PANDAS and I am talking from my own personal experience. We have had both the overeating and weight loss of 30 lbs in two months for an 11 year old boy. Both improved in 36 hours with either and/ or an antibiotic, anti- viral, and a steroid burst. At 6 the week he got PANDAS, (no idea) I would call my husband over to look at our son literally shoving food in his mouth. You would of thought he had not eaten for a week. At the time we also regressed to stinging pains in penis and bed wetting. All ignored by Dr.s and therapists.

 

At 11 the thought pattern was if I don't eat "growing food" I won't get to tall. He was eating a little but no healthy food. This led to losing 30lbs and aggravated the problem since bad food increases inflammation and we ended up in the hospital.

 

From this journey for me I learned over eating was probably caused by a hormonal inbalance of Leptin, the receptor that tells you you are full or inflammation in the brain responsible. Still don't know about the genital pain but have met a few moms who did the penile scope on their boys to no avail. Comes with the disorder.

 

When he was 11 with anorexia too, beforeI got to an immunologist due to wait list, our pediatrician gave us a steroid burst. 36 hours huge drop in OCD and able to eat normally. Lasted about 6 weeks and then it came back.

 

Finally at the immunologist, our Dr. Does everything slow and methodical. As a mom watching your child disintegrate this is very difficult but it does show you what is working. Blood work was done for multiple infections and allergies. Took 5 adults to hold him down. Fortunately the Dr. Was willing to work with him or he would be in a home.

 

First thing addressed was diet. No dairy! Very adamant since in this immune state his Dr. believes you now have a predisposition for Diabetes. Not easy, my son craved ice cream, as in multiple times a day. I learned what they usually crave is what you need to take away. Fun! The immune response gives you a morphine like feeling giving relief to the anxiety until the next hit is needed. I found this to be true for every food he craved. The difficult one was corn because the blood panel said there was no allergy. Thru another mom I learned about GMO'S and over 90% of corn has pesticide built right in. Two different types, one blows up the stomach of bugs, what does it do to our gut? The other is systemic, can't wash off,and is a neurotoxin and endocrine disrupters. When I switched to organic corn we lost the craving. Same with soy. I have become a detective. Diet was difficult and didn't happen overnight..lots of stevia for sweetening and organic chocolate. I would say at least 6 month transition with more cooperation as he feels so much better..

 

Our Dr doesn't do Gluten Free or rice because he sees it still irritates the immune system so no wheat or rice and whatever is flagged on blood work panel. We do blood work every 6 weeks to look at antibodies. He has done immunology for 30 years and saw this made a big difference. Then we taught him something new!

 

My Pandas son started doing the Paleo/ caveman diet because that is what his big brother at college was doing and it was cool! Being the information junkie I have become I read everything and it's suppose to be very helpful for immune issues by rebalancing the body to it's more natural state from years ago.

 

Needless to say my son's allergy numbers went from life threatening to completely normal! His Dr. now puts all patients on Paleo but allows the kids 2 slices of very white bread or white rice once a day. Less reaction and kids can have a sandwich or wrap at lunch. We don't have celiac so I would ask your Dr first. There are cookbooks for kids that has helped. Maybe we can do a section on recipes for smoothies etc. I have found a little bit of beet hides spinach by making the smoothie bright red. I have also paid him not to drink a gatorade at sports since there is flame retardant in it not to mention corn and dyes. He regained all the weight but in muscle and looks and feels great.

 

Then his Dr. addressed each infection. We had strep, mycoplasma pneumonia , Herpes virus 6. I think possibly Lyme but his Dr doesn't address that. That's why I am here.

 

He is back on honor roll after losing ability to read with comprehension. Math is a little slower. Most important he has color back instead of that pasty white and is enjoying his friends and family again.

 

A word of caution. Tread carefully and slowly, watch how you present changes. You don't want your child obsessed with worry about poisons in their food. Making it a healthy transition for the whole family is better and if you don't buy it it will at least cut down on their exposure. Because of awareness a lot more is available such as non GMO and organic potatoe chips, corn chips and popcorn.

 

The author of Saving Sammy met a curious Dr. Who did blood work on all of his patients on the psych ward. Guess what....infections were found on a majority. The psych ward is the worse place for my son because if a person is sick they will trigger him and make him worse. Same with airplanes! At a conference a Dr. Found this hard to believe until multiple parents told them they had the same experience.

 

It makes sense if you think about times when you sit next to someone who has a cold. If you didn't get sick it is because your immune system did its job and revved up and got rid of the germs. Our kids immune system revs up too but since it is dysfunctional more inflammation is created in the brain and we get more OCD, ADHD,Tics etc.

 

Since we are on prophylactic antibiotics and anti-virals this has not been an issue and all his titers are in normal range. I would like to learn how to eventually get off them.

 

An interesting FYI when you get flack about antibiotics at least i do....20% of antibiotics are from medical sources and the other are pesticides such as Round Up (patented as an antibiotic ) and food sources.

 

Hope my journey may connect some "dots" on yours. 3bmom

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I've heard of this happening and a female psychiatrist I once saw who graduated harvard says she almost always sees ocd in patients with eating disorders and vice-versa. For me it started with eating disorder stuff (8 hellish years) then it morphed into ocd and the eating disorder stuff vanished. Almost like my brain is now stuck on other things instead of being stuck on my weight and looks 24/7. They are certainly connected. We see that in studying PANDAS too, that problems with ED's and ocd stem from the basal ganglia.

 

Unfortunately, I have no advice to offer. Nothing has helped me so far.

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone from their pandas just have no appatite I weighed 190 and dropped to 145. I want to eat and its so frustrating. I've had to do a lot of working out to get to 190 I'm not depressed anxious just no appatite that's lasted for 7 months now. I am getting a bacteria/fungi breath test so hopefully they can figure something out.

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  • 1 year later...

At my school age one of my classmate habbit to suck his blood. He mostly use parker or Stabler pin to inject in his thumb and suck blood. We all were scared with his act. Class Madam call his mother to tell about his suitation and found that his mother giving him treatment with many doctor but no order of this solution. What will called anxiety disorder or something else ?

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