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Thread: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

  1. #1
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    Default Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Hi, ITIL.

    I'm struggling with an eating disorder while living as an ALT in Japan and am considering reaching out for help.

    Here's the catch: I did the ultimate no-no and didn't list my mental health history on my application. Why? It's none of their business and I had been fully functioning for many years. I was on a mood stabilizer for depression and sleep during my freshman year of high school. Depression was solved quickly, but I ended up staying on the pills longer because I was sleep dependent.

    The past year or two has been has been a weight loss journey fueled by negativity, leading me to the outlook and habits I possess currently. Otherwise, life here is going very well and I feel successful. I'm by no means suicidal or wasting away, but I know that there's a lot within me that needs to be fixed in order to become healthy.

    My question to you guys is if you think getting professional help can reach its way back to people that will somehow look into that history and decide to terminate me as the JET application threatens?

    My hopes are that this can be a safe place to ask this without jeopardizing my job.
    Last edited by jellybeans; March 22nd, 2015 at 17:32.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    If you need help, you need help. There's no getting around that. There are English-speaking psychologists in Japan, and JET will pay for 1man of it.

    That said, there's a very good chance this will get back to your co. In my estimation, unless you pay out of pocket and get out of the prefecture, almost certain. What they do with that information is anyone's guess. As for me, I'd be pretty annoyed.

    You said your history was not JET's business. It most certainly was. Existing conditions can be aggravated by living abroad. Just like the military, a foreign government is well within its rights to want to know if you'll need special treatment. Lying just leads to issues like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by jellybeans View Post
    My question to you guys is if you think getting professional help can reach its way back to people that will somehow look into that history and decide to terminate me as the JET application threatens?
    Yes, it can. There'll be someone or several someones in your BoE who handle the insurance/finances stuff and word will sooner or later get back to them.
    The good news for you is, JET ALTs are pretty expensive to hire, and so as a general rule most BoEs prefer not to replace them unless they have to (with the usual ESID caveat). If they fire you now and/or don't recontract you then they have to pay for Tokyo Orientation and start-up costs for a new ALT, and that's both expensive and a pain in the arse. You've given them a nice excuse not to recontract you - as UTIL said, it sort of is their business, since you're one of their employees and a public servant to boot - but you've got a reasonable chance of them not actually doing so. Not because you're especially valuable to them, but because it's more of a hassle to replace you than keep you.

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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Thank you for the information, guys.
    I know I need to create a healthy method of managing my serotonin and reward systems. I really value and enjoy my position here and would hate to throw it away, it's a shame that this is what the situation has become. Ultimately these sorts of changes are mostly independent ones anyway, so I'll try to be proactive enough to change without extra help.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Honestly, the fact that you gave the title of this "trigger warning" leads me to lower my opinion of you greatly from the start.

    Yes, your past medical history is their business. What's happened to you now is exactly the kind of thing they worry about when sending people over - a preexisting condition has resurfaced. The effects of this can be amplified by the feelings of loneliness and isolation that come with staying in a foreign country.

    It's good you're trying to fix the problem rather than fall into despair or blame Japan though. If you're worried about getting caught, the natural recommendation is simply you don't seek professional help. It even sounds like you have a good idea of what you need to do as well. So, just make a plan for yourself, maybe create a support network of some sort (either there or on here perhaps), and follow through with it.

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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeCarter View Post
    Honestly, the fact that you gave the title of this "trigger warning" leads me to lower my opinion of you greatly from the start.

    Yes, your past medical history is their business. What's happened to you now is exactly the kind of thing they worry about when sending people over - a preexisting condition has resurfaced. The effects of this can be amplified by the feelings of loneliness and isolation that come with staying in a foreign country.

    It's good you're trying to fix the problem rather than fall into despair or blame Japan though. If you're worried about getting caught, the natural recommendation is simply you don't seek professional help. It even sounds like you have a good idea of what you need to do as well. So, just make a plan for yourself, maybe create a support network of some sort (either there or on here perhaps), and follow through with it.
    This is completely defensive of me, but I'd like to mention that this was something that only really existed during puberty that was exasperated by deaths and a father overseas. I believe that most people reach a time in their life where they need some extra help, and it's a shame that something that happened when I was 13 or 14 would have to leave such an obstructive mark. I'm not the same person I was 2 years ago, let alone 10.

    The trigger warning was used somewhat ironically; I cannot stand modern feminism, but with other people in mind, well.

    It definitely isn't Japan's fault, it's my fault for being overcritical and insecure. When I went to Japan I was happy and losing weight, and somewhere in between arrival and now things took a negative turn. You can't lose the kind of weight I lost without motivation, and unfortunately I choose the wrong motivation.

    I hope not to become the beacon of mental illness on this site, as that's certainly not what my identity has been the past decade. I shall gaman and ganbaru and stuff and organize my life. I thank you for your 2 cents and support!

  7. #7
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by jellybeans View Post
    I hope not to become the beacon of mental illness on this site, as that's certainly not what my identity has been the past decade.
    Belive me darling, there's no way you could possibly outshine some of the people in here. (When it comes to that award.)

    Best you can do is get treatment and hope for the best, they aren't gonna think less of you for having a desire to improve yourself.

    It's the hiding your past that might hurt in the long run.

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    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Umm,

    If you can get help without having to disclose your preexisting conditions, (IE can be diagnosed independently) then go get help. If you can't best to avoid it because the information WILL get back to you. (My school got my health care spendings report and gave it to me after they opened it.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    "gizmosensei, why did you have your stomach pumped five times last year?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Please seek help. That's the bottom line. If it gets back to your BoE that really sucks, but please put your health first.

    Obviously they put that part on the application for a reason; EDs are unfortunately something that exist with you for a long time, even if you think they're gone, much like depression or anxiety. I have a friend dealing with a similar situation right now, refusing help for a similar reason and it breaks my heart.

    So while there may be a chance that it comes back around... Assuming that the therapy policy is confidential over there, they won't know what you've discussed. Just that you've met with someone.... Which I know is a tough one since mental illness has a terrible stigma over there.

    At least start with calling a hotline in your country - a lot of the time, therapists work at those organizations. It might also be helpful to contact someone from home, a therapist maybe who helped you in the past? I'm sure they will be more than happy to help.

    Good luck!!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member mothy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Ain't nothing wrong with self-medicating through food and drink. This belly warming stout will love me long time.

  12. #12
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by mothy View Post
    Ain't nothing wrong with self-medicating through food and drink. This belly warming stout will love me long time.
    I don't mean to agree with mothy.. good lord I try not to, but there is something to be said for realizing a problem yourself and figuring out how to fix it without medication.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cytrix View Post
    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by jellybeans View Post
    It definitely isn't Japan's fault, it's my fault for being overcritical and insecure. When I went to Japan I was happy and losing weight, and somewhere in between arrival and now things took a negative turn. You can't lose the kind of weight I lost without motivation, and unfortunately I choose the wrong motivation.
    It probably exacerbated those issues though. Also it means you're isolated and have trouble communicating, plus Japan is a lot less considerate of mental health issues than some other countries you could be in.A lot of ALTs develop or deepen depression (and I mean real depression) when they come here.

    I should seek help if I were you. If you think you can deal with this through non drug-related methods (whether that's prescribed or otherwise) then I should do so immediately.

    As for your work, do you think it's been affecting your performance? Does your school feel like you've become worse at your job, or are they pretty much unaware? If the answer is no, I don't think anything bad will come of it, even if they do find out you're seeking treatment. I mean, is there any reason you can't just tell them you didn't have any issues like this before? That they're entirely new to Japan and that's why you didn't put them on your medical self-assessment? Not to be sarcastic, but you've already lied to get in Japan once, why not lie again to stay here?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Guys, I know you have really good intentions and stuff, but it's rarely that easy. There have been times where I'm stressed or anxious and I wont eat well for days. There was a period of time my only source of food was kyushoku, and I could barely choke down half of it. I wouldn't say I have an eating disorder, though I've entertained the thought. I'm just trying to say that it's more than not wanting to eat, it's feeling ill at the thought of food.

    For people where this is severe, it should be handled professionally. It's not something for self help books and booze.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    As for your work, do you think it's been affecting your performance? Does your school feel like you've become worse at your job, or are they pretty much unaware? If the answer is no, I don't think anything bad will come of it, even if they do find out you're seeking treatment. I mean, is there any reason you can't just tell them you didn't have any issues like this before? That they're entirely new to Japan and that's why you didn't put them on your medical self-assessment? Not to be sarcastic, but you've already lied to get in Japan once, why not lie again to stay here?
    Psych-people like to know the full history. It helps find patterns and determine underlying causes, etc, etc. I suppose s(he) could lie, but my understanding is that eating disorders rarely begin in adulthood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    Psych-people like to know the full history. It helps find patterns and determine underlying causes, etc, etc. I suppose s(he) could lie, but my understanding is that eating disorders rarely begin in adulthood.
    But if they're seeking English language advice, would that really get back to their work in full detail?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Satori Shinobi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    After having read your post yesterday and thinking about it, here's what I've come up with:

    Where did you get placed are you urban, suburban, rural, or inaka? What amenities do you you have available to you? Have you considered working out? I've been practicing yoga on and off for the past 7 years and I always recommend it to anyone looking for peace of mind. Something else to consider is that muscle is twice as dense as body fat. I learned this fact from this article written by a girl who struggled with her own body image, please read it all as it's a fascinating read:

    http://sophieologie.me/2013/04/30/st...he-new-skinny/

    As for support, consider talking to friends and family online. Also, you came to ITIL to seek advice so 'stay awhile and listen'. My observation is that most of the posters here are well meaning, albeit a tad cynical and maniacal. I think the sight could use a breath of fresh air in here so feel free to engage in conversation, also create an avatar.

    I myself just got to Japan 2 months ago as an alternate, I'm still struggling to find my groove but I'm determined. I too have dealt with depression, college years as well as post-college. Fun fact: My ex left me to pursue a relationship with a woman. It sucks and it took me 3 tries at JET to make it over, but I did. And I'm fortunate to be where I am, this past weekend while camping I realized how wonderful things are right now. I'm in Japan, I have a well paying job, I like my JTE's, my workload isn't excessive (yet), I'm teaching in a high school (type of minds I'm looking to engage with), I have a crush on one of the teacher's at my school (feeling things I haven't before on the emotional front in quite some time), I'm in a moderately sized city right on the inland sea (I can step outside and can see it from across the street), there are fellow JET participants within town, I know what I want to do when my time with JET is up (and I have backup plans), it's springtime, and finally, were headed towards the future: one with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Androids, Artificial Intelligence, more advanced gaming, space colonization, perhaps even biological immortality. If you burn out before these awesome things come, you're going to miss out.

    Good things can come if you're patient, persistent, and accept certain kinds of help when it comes your way (and it will come from mysterious places at times).

  18. #18

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But if they're seeking English language advice, would that really get back to their work in full detail?
    That I honestly don't know.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    But what if we reverse the polarity of the quantum string theory? According to uncertainty principle there are infinite worlds out there, so it stands to reason schrodinger's cat is alive in one of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87;
    U da real mvp.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by Satori Shinobi View Post
    I'm in Japan, I have a well paying job, I like my JTE's, my workload isn't excessive (yet), I'm teaching in a high school (type of minds I'm looking to engage with), I have a crush on one of the teacher's at my school (feeling things I haven't before on the emotional front in quite some time), I'm in a moderately sized city right on the inland sea (I can step outside and can see it from across the street), there are fellow JET participants within town, I know what I want to do when my time with JET is up (and I have backup plans), it's springtime, and finally, were headed towards the future: one with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Androids, Artificial Intelligence, more advanced gaming, space colonization, perhaps even biological immortality. If you burn out before these awesome things come, you're going to miss out. Good things can come if you're patient, persistent, and accept certain kinds of help when it comes your way (and it will come from mysterious places at times).
    I love your optimism and I'm glad things are getting betterfor you. I also want to say that its hilarious how drastically that escalated:P

    Satori's two step plan to happiness:
    Step 1: Feel gratitude for what you have
    Step 2: Await the pending technosingularity!
    Last edited by Apollo87; March 24th, 2015 at 09:21.
    2010-2015 Toronto JET | Gunma-ken | thejetcoaster.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member Satori Shinobi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trigger Warning: eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo87 View Post
    I love your optimism and I'm glad things are getting betterfor you. I also want to say that its hilarious how drastically that escalated:P

    Satori's two step plan to happiness:
    Step 1: Feel gratitude for what you have
    Step 2: Await the pending technosingularity!
    Moore's law would suggest that these things are going to accelerate :P Although I do feel that it is important to have a long term motivating factor and cyberpunk technosingularity is the best there is!

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