Anyone ever know of an adult over 40 who has anorexia?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, May 15, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Tell me what you think.

    1/I never see eat.

    2/Goes on diet to lose a few pounds if she reaches 100 (she is about five foot four). Proud of being a size 0.

    3/Works out seven days a week at a high level and gets up at 4:30am before work in order to do the workout. Rarely misses a day.

    4/Says "When I was anorexic..." Apparently doesn't think she is anymore and I don't know either. I think she looks emaciated, but I need to lose some weight so maybe that's just me wishing I were skinny enough to eat anything I liked. The thing is, she doesn't eat.

    Is it possible to have anorexia at an older age? This person had it as a teen. Just something I was thinking about today.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Sure it's possible. My cleaning lady is in the middle of finalizing a divorce and has lost 15 pounds in the last 5 weeks and she was rail thin to begin with. I'm thinking she's older than I am. That, or she partied way too hard.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure of their exact ages but I've known two people who were anorexic. I would guess that both were in their late 30's, possibly even 40, but I don't know for sure. One was a girl I worked with at the prison for several years. She had some very serious issues although I've lost track of her and have no idea how she is now. She was a nice girl, the kind you automatically watch your language around, and very obsessive and precise about her work. She was very, very thin. She never talked about being on a diet but we hardly ever saw her eat anything either. She would get up at 3:30-4:00 am every morning so she could clean her already spotless house. When she came to work in the morning she would go straight to the prison clinic and weigh herself on the big scale they have there. The nurses were very concerned for her. Her "lunch" would be a few leaves of lettuce in a sandwich bag. She was married and desperately wanted children but was so emaciated that it didn't happen. She finally allowed herself to gain a few pounds and got pregnant and a year or so later gained a little weight again, had a second child, then right back to the lettuce leaves. She went on to a very responsible well paying job with another state agency and apparently went right off the deep end! We heard that she had left her husband and kids, was running around with a lot of men, eventually lost her job. If you knew this girl, that all was completely out of character for her!

    The other was a young man I worked with at the newspaper in Florida. He seemed very nice but none of us really knew him very well. He was a proofreader who worked nights so we mostly just saw him in passing - he would be coming in to work as we were leaving. You could tell that he was extremely thin but he always wore big heavy sweatshirts to work ... in Florida! He was unmarried and lived alone. And not too long before I left there to move to Tennessee, we heard that he had died! None of us had any idea that he was that bad. We just thought he was a very slim young guy but apparently under those heavy sweatshirts he was just skin and bones! They said that he never really allowed himself to eat anything! No solid food at all! He kept cans of evaporated milk in his apartment and when he absolutely had to, he would drink a little of that to get a bit of energy again. It wasn't that he couldn't afford food. The newspaper didn't pay all that well but it certainly would have been enough to eat on. It was a real shock to find out that someone we saw every day was in that desperate condition and we didn't know, didn't even have a clue
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm not sure one can be "cured" of can be successfully treated for it however. But like bolemia, it can rear it's ugly head again under high stress ect.

    I would say this person is most likely in a relapse of the disorder.

    There are those that prefer to be rail thin and will work hard to stay that way that aren't anorexic. mother in law's aunt Katherine was one such person. Now she was several inches shorter than me.....and I'm not even 5 foot tall..........but she had to stay no heavier than 90 lbs her entire 98 yrs on this earth. She looked thin.....but not emaciated.......but awfully thin. Sad part is her determination never to let herself gain an ounce (literally) over 90 lbs cost her 7 or 8 pregnancies. doctor had warned her time and again she had to increase her nutrition when pregnant, she flat out refused. She wanted children so badly.
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Do I know of "an"? No. Do I know many? Yes!

    Dozens and counting! We call them the lollipop moms. ( stick bodies with big heads) In fact one of them is a well respected doctor who always looked "normal/fit" but when I saw her at the pool last year, I thought for sure she had cancer. She's that thin.

    I'm 45 and 42 seems to be the onset. The tend us start having lunch with the lollies, talk only about what they won't eat--out do each other with your non food lunch order?(Cobb salad , no eggs,avocado, bacon or cheese, no dressing, just lemon wedges on the side)and then immediately discard 2/3 when it arrives and eat just 1/4 of what's left, order dinner "in" for h @ the kids- no cooking and easy to skip the meal add sunrise boot camp and plus a hot yoga session and a spin class - 7 days a week until you're a size 00 and then - and only then - start talking about the desserts you love and how your kids ruined your body. 45 years old, 5'5"" , brand new breasts & botox, at 100 lbs, driving a luxury, 8 seater SUV - our all American suburban mom.

    Bitter? Party of 1. Seen too many friends succumb.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Just looking at the symptoms you posted and having known many women with anorexia (granted in their early 20s at the time), yes, she has it. Over-exercising, over-dieting, the body image issues, etc. She's a textbook case. I wouldn't be surprised if she's one that uses solid colored cups when she eats with someone else so she can spit food into the cup to hide the fact that she's not eating, watches every calorie and can quote to you every "negative calorie" food. Bet she has a stash of "thinspiration" somewhere, too.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I was just curious. This is my sister who is 53. I had always thought she was very well adjusted because she knows how to put on the act of "I'm all right." So I admired her all of my life and our little spats...I forgave her and blamed myself. I don't plan on talking to her again, but always wondered if you could have anorexa all of your life. I don't remember a time she ate or had even close to a normal body weight.

    Funnily enough, she LOVES to cook and to watch other people eat. I mean, her kitchen is full of great smells and recipes and she loves to bake, yet she never eats what she cooks. Her daughter is a lot like her...worries about her body image all the time, runs six miles a day, is a shark on nutrition issues.

    I had always heard anorexia was a teen/young 20's illness so I kind of just agreed with her that she was cured even though, although she doesn't realize it, other people think she looks ill.

    I wonder if it runs in families. My uncle was a lot like her and only ate certain, odd concoctions and ran over twenty miles a day until his 70's and then down to three. He died at 75, which surprised me. With all his running and the supplements he took, I thought he'd go on forever!

    I never knew the cause of death, but there was no inkling he'd been sick.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Anorexia is strongly related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), so you can certainly have it all your life. I think the focus in the media has always been on teens and 20-somethings, but there are many older women who struggle with anorexia and bulimia.

    *Loving to cook and watching other people eat is part of the disorder, and the related obsession with food.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is being an obsessive cleaner of the house part of it? Kind of nervous cleaning in a nonstop type of way?

    I have a dear friend who also has an eating disorder and admits that she still uses suppositories or she can't go! She is 55. She looks healthy, but she still does clean up all the time. I don't think she's as bad off as Sis because her body weight is normal...she looks normal thin.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Obsessive cleaning can be part of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), so that might fit.

    Eating disorders can cause lifelong damage to your body, especially the digestive tract. Years after my own recovery, I still have significant digestive issues and some dental trouble, all as a result of the damage done in my teens and early 20s. For people who keep at it, the damage can be far far worse.

    (And I clean a bit obsessively when I'm upset about something. I actually wore the finish off my kitchen table once).
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I guess Michael Jackson had an eating disorder most of his life too, didn't he? Or was he that skinny just due to the drugs? Anyone know?

    I'm bored this morning and guess I need to know trivial things :)
  12. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Anorexia can well be something she's learning from her mother, on top of having genetic tendencies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behavior.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    MWM - you were going to detach from your sister? Worrying about her anorexia won't be helpful with that. I know it can be easy to think of family that we're leaving behind, I have a sister who is a raging alcoholic and is the darling of the family. But it's not helpful to the detachment process.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not worried, witz. And I have detached. I just get interested in topics sometimes and while I was taking sisters pictures out of some private albums, I saw a picture of her and cringed. Then I started wondering if people can actually still have eating disorders over 40 or even 50. I am not upset at all.

    It *will* take me about three months to detach 100% because, although we were talking very little at the end, we still were. But I've had to do it many times and I'm pretty good at it. It's not that I miss her because I really don't. I'm just used to her being there, even if in an abusive way. It's amazing how one gets used to abuse. I am slowly getting rid of all abusive people in my life for the very first time ever. She is the last one I had to decide to detach from...and, aside from Scott, the biggest abuser over the longest period of time.

    Thanks for caring! I think I agree that it's best to drop the topic so that s he is off my mind completely!
  15. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I was treated off and on for this for a few years, the latest time was just over a year ago, my lowest weight was 87 last year. I'm 5'3. I have a problem around excercise, I can never do it because I overdo it. I'm active enough in my life and I don't want to go down that rabbit hole again. It's an obsession, it gets out of hand and then you lose your mind....literally, your brain shrinks and you can't understand things or think clearly. But all the while you think there are flaws in your figure.

    Nobody can tell her otherwise she has to come to her own conclussions, just tell her you love her and she is perfect as is. I know I would resent anyone telling me that, also I thought they were just jealous.

    But, every once in a while I would see a tiny glimmer of the truth in the mirror. That is when I would try to get help. I was never the youngest one at the hospitals I had been treated at. Certain things stuck with me, a young college girl had no colon, it basically died when she abused laxatives, she had a colostomy bag. She was a college student. During the surgery she had a stroke and now has a very unsteady gait, also she had a feeding tube in her stomach because when they removed the colon, her stomach could not keep down food (all part of the same system), so she "ate" at night hooked up to a bag of liquid. This all happened 8 months before I met her, she was there because the hope was that eventually her stomach would start to work on it's own. This girl was not skinny at all by the way. She scared me, people do not realise what they do themselves. I hope I stay healthy. I am enjoying food and life---it's not worth injuring myself.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    UAN, i am glad you posted here. As i was reading I was wondering if you would be offended......I was planning to consult the Mods to see if we should move this thread. I am sooooo glad to see you are doing well with your treatment. You 'sound' so healthy! Warms my heart!
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love when people start to do really well :)
  18. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member