Many people with eating disorders take diet pills or laxatives. If you’ve taken diet pills or laxatives, you may already know their dangers. If you haven’t taken diet pills or laxatives, DON’T. Although they may be available over the counter, this doesn’t mean that they’re safe for your health. And it doesn’t take very long to become psychologically dependent or physically addicted to either of these substances.
Diet pills can cause dizziness, high blood pressure, headaches, hair loss, digestive tract problems, or even a heart attack or a stroke. Laxatives can cause constipation, dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, bleeding or impaired bowel functions. These are just some of the dangers. They aren’t safe for your health.
If you’re taking diet pills or laxatives or even thinking about it, please keep the following things in mind.
1. Realize that neither of these over the counter substances are an effective way to lose weight. In addition, they’re addictive as well as damaging to your health. You may feel they give you some security, but it’s a false sense of security. They aren’t helping you, but are controlling and hurting you.
2. Be honest with your doctor and counselor about what you’re taking or if you’re even considering taking diet pills or laxatives. They can warn you further about these over the counter troublemakers.
3. Follow your doctor’s instructions for getting off the diet pills or laxatives.
4. Talk through with your counselor why you’re drawn to taking either or both of these substances. He/she can help you develop healthy coping skills and resist taking what is only hurting you.
5. Pray and ask God to help you resist taking diet pills or laxatives or for the strength to get off them and stay off them.
I took diet pills while I had my eating disorder. My doctor called them speed. I didn’t like that because I felt it made them sound worse than they were. However, diet pills really are drugs. He threatened to hospitalize me to get me off them. That wasn’t necessary, though, because I went off them according to his instructions instead. It was hard to do, but of course, I don’t regret it.
Diet pills and laxatives take a person nowhere fast. Their dangers aren’t worth it. It’s better not to get started, but if you take either or both of them already, know that you don’t have to keep taking them. You can be free of these substances that compromise your health. Reach out for the help and support you need.
By Laurie Glass