Especially for "Jellyfish" Marina Vasilyeva, a journalist from Delovoy Peterburg, tells how girls with eating disorders abuse drugs and fake prescriptions - and what this leads to.
One of the most important aspects of the problem is medical: in order to lose weight, girls (mostly they suffer from RPP) use diuretics and antidepressants originally intended for completely different purposes; This can lead to serious health problems.
The names of some of the heroines of the material changed at their request.
Since childhood, Natalya considered herself to be ugly - even in elementary school she discussed the weight with her friends. In high school, I decided to lose weight — and for several months I tried to do it without medication: giving up sweets or dinner. “Then I realized that if you induce vomiting, the calories will not remain in the body,” recalls the girl. “After that, the pills started - laxatives, antidepressants, and appetite suppressants.”
Natalia lost weight with pills in the middle of 2000-s and picked up the medication herself. Modern girls in this sense is easier - there are a lot of groups in VKontakte, in which administrators and participants advise each other a variety of medicines that help to lose weight (for example, “Typical anorexic”, “Slim”, “0 calories”). Muscovite Maria entered into several of them after a painful break with a young man.
“He told me that I was fat,” recalls the girl. - It was superimposed on the depression, I stopped eating, more and more looked glossy pictures in magazines. Subscribed to the group - and off we go. "
To lose weight, she took furosemide - a strong diuretic with a short-term effect. Among the side effects of furosemide are arrhythmia, general fatigue, fever, abdominal pain; overdose of medication can cause cardiac arrest. Maria sat on furosemide for several months; now, five years after she stopped taking the medicine, she still has kidney problems.
Julia from Kharkov, who fell in love with a basketball player and did not want to “look like a donut on his background,” also drank diuretics - she switched to them from antidepressants.
“You run to the toilet eight times a night, [pills] horribly dry the body - capillaries burst around the eyes. On the second night during the next raid to the toilet, I lost consciousness right in the middle of the hallway in the hostel. ”
She tried and other means for losing weight: “ECA”, a mixture of ephedrine with caffeine and aspirin (“You drink one cap and you are figarit like a drug - the heart beats stronger, strong sweating begins”), and also bisacodyl is a laxative. After these medical experiments, the girl lost ten kilograms and became isolated; she was terribly afraid to ride the subway - it seemed that "everyone is watching." Sometimes she fainted - in the shower, then in public transport.
Natalia describes her attempts to lose weight with the help of medicines like this: “For me it was such a suicide, only slow. As if I was doing the usual things - and at the same time I was flying out the window. ”
Diuretic to refine facial features
Until the middle of the 20th century, eating disorders (the most famous of which are anorexia nervosa and bulimia) were rarely diagnosed; a sharp rise in statistics is commonly associated with the proliferation of glossy culture and new standards of beauty: as psychiatrist Hans Hook points out, while in 1950s in the Nordic countries, there were an average of four diagnoses per million people, in the next decade, 16 per million, 4 times.
In 2006, researchers Valery Romatsky and Igor Semin wrote that the prevalence of the most popular eating disorders - anorexia and bulimia - may be 8 and 12 cases for 100 thousand people, respectively (this is averaged from several European countries and the USA).
One of the most popular ways of losing weight, which community members advise each other about anorexia, is medication: as a rule, it is about taking medications that are not designed to help lose weight. Employees of St. Petersburg NPOs who work with RPP problems believe that in Russia over the past 5-10 years there may have been several hundred thousand cases in which girls and women with a certain eating disorder abused medicines.
One of them is furosemide: a strong diuretic with a quick effect, one pack of which in a pharmacy can cost from 13 rubles. “It is, unfortunately, widely used in RPP for the purpose of rapid“ fluid withdrawal ”,“ refinement of facial features ”,” explains Yulia Sibagatullina, therapeutist of the Enso-Therapy Center.
In general, furosemide is usually prescribed to patients with high blood pressure, or in severe edema (lung or brain). The drug actively removes potassium and fluid from the body, therefore, in hospitals, when taking furosemide, hemodynamic analysis (pressure, pulse) is constantly monitored. As the doctor explains, if you take the medicine without control and medical evidence, it can lead to a sharp decrease in blood pressure and fainting; moreover, a decrease in the level of potassium in the blood is fraught with irregular heartbeats.
Laxatives that can be consumed for the same purpose, such as bisacodyl and senna extract, can also lead to health problems.
As the head doctor of the Israeli clinic explains LevIsrael Victor Levy, taking them, a person artificially removes electrolytes and fluids from the body that are not required to be removed, which can lead to heart rhythms disturbances, convulsions and confusion.
Another popular drug, fluoxetine, which is usually prescribed to patients with depression, can lead to increased anxiety and overexcitement; according to Levi, a person in such a state “is capable of performing rash actions, often dangerous to the life of himself or others.” Sibagatullina adds that in patients who take antidepressants, physical strength can be restored before emotional - which, in turn, is fraught with suicide attempts, so you need the control of a doctor.
"They think: well, I will drink carefully, nothing will happen to me." Natalia from St. Petersburg recognizes - in her case, something like this was.
“When I told the psychologist that I took various pills without a prescription, she asked if I would do that now,” she says. - I replied that I would consult with her now, but I thought: “The hell is there. I would do the same. "
“Every person in life has moments when he ceases to control himself. During the exacerbation of bulimia, I’m nervous, I’m anxious, and then at some point, having done nothing yet, I realize that I’ve already lost. And today, on the way home, I will buy two chocolates, a couple of packs of cookies, eat it all, and then stick two fingers into my mouth, and I will vomit. Or drink a pack of bisacodyl. "
Similar stories are told and other interlocutors "Medusa". Olga from Elektrostal was teased by her childhood “fat” - and when she read a book about models, she realized that she wanted to get “into this world”. Public about anorexia she found in subscriptions with her sister.
“At first I was preparing myself a potion (“ ECA ”) according to the prescriptions indicated there from the drugs available in the pharmacy and stores. Soon this was not enough, I began to order ephedrine. I developed a sickly addiction, I took a lot of this drug, I did not eat for weeks. In the end, it turned out in a mental hospital. I was really breaking up, it seemed to me that the bones turned inside out. I sat in a corner. ”
Anastasia from Ufa told about the preparations a classmate who found out about them in one of the public tables. By that time, the girl had already tried to lose weight herself - with the help of diets and artificially induced vomiting. Fluoxetine and Grandaxine (tranquilizer, used to reduce anxiety), she decided to try reading the comments that these drugs help to lose weight; her elder sister bought medicines for her, which did not ask why they were for a girl.
“I wanted to kill everyone around because of the hunger,” Anastasia recalls. - Everything was angry, annoyed. With pills, I became calmer. True, I began to sleep more - 9 – 10 hours, but fatigue did not pass.
“With these drugs, I refused to eat at all, only drank, literally one water, sometimes tea with honey. So that my mother did not notice that I did not eat, she ate what she was cooking and then two fingers in her mouth. ”
Polina from Tyumen also tried to diet first - she became interested in anorexia publics when she was 13 years old. Polina saw nicotinic acid (a vitamin that affects the metabolism), microcrystalline cellulose (a means to fill the stomach and reduce hunger), then switched to tranquilizers, laxatives and diuretics.
She had energy from phenazepam and her emotions disappeared: “I had a kind of entertainment - to immediately take a large dose and observe unimaginable hallucinations, and then fall asleep so quickly that you do not have time to get to bed.”
Apathy started from fluoxetine, dehydration and nausea from other drugs, but according to Polina, after taking the pills, she still felt easier and calmer. Motivational posts and positive evidence in public places reinforced confidence that everything will be in order. Now the 17 girl, she is being treated by a psychotherapist, and it is still hard for her to eat normally. She developed resistance to antidepressants. Doctors diagnosed the girl with chronic gastritis.
A resident of St. Petersburg Inga says that she switched to pills because she has a “very weak reflex”. “I do not know how to induce vomiting,” explains the girl. - All methods were tried - two fingers in a mouth, a spoon, salt water, water with potassium permanganate, but nothing helped. So I chose laxatives. ” In addition to them, she used Bronholitin (cough syrup with ephedrine) and some types of antidepressants.
“When bulimia began, I was embarrassed to tell me that I’ve been breaking all the time,” recalls Inga. “I swept all the products in the refrigerator clean, could eat a kilogram of marshmallow or cookies at once, wash it down with a liter of milk, and then take pills and moan all night from stomach pain.
“The stomach was terribly sick, it was full, it interfered with breathing, and the pills became even worse - the action of laxatives was very painful, the intestines seemed to be tied in knots.”
She still suffers from insomnia - already fighting for bulimia.
According to another St. Petersburg resident, Polina Bashurova, with all the variety of tablets Fluoxetine and Bisacodyl is a standard set for girls suffering from eating disorders. “From Fluoxetine, hallucinations are sometimes a general change in consciousness, but you sit down on Bisacodil much more densely,” she explains. “I know girls who are so addicted to Bisak that they couldn’t help out without him.”
Nadezhda from Petersburg tried almost all the medicines. “All my life I waged a struggle with my body, trying to fit into the standard of beauty, which I learned not only from magazines, but also from my favorite literature. While jogging, sleeping, even when letters of love were written to me, I seemed to myself ugly, “unbreedy,” as if I were a horse, not having the right to live a normal life, ”she says.
The girl recalls that while taking Fluoxetine, she could eat 6 days for an apple a day - but on the seventh, “she found herself in the kitchen and ate everything: dried bread, cold cereals”.
“Furosemide tied to the restroom, its calves drove away,” the girl continues. “And the worst of all was when I tried Metformin, a drug that people with diabetes usually lose weight with.” He can dramatically reduce blood glucose, I knew that, but I was not afraid. As a result, she found herself above the toilet with a reduced stomach and an irresistible fear of death. I felt as if I were going to die, and they would find me only by breaking the latch. ”
Help is hard to find
There are problems with drug abuse not only in Russia - and each country solves them differently. Alexandra Kupavskaya, a psychologist of the highest category of the British Psychological Society, says that in England there are no pills for weight loss in mass use.
“Antidepressants are here under strict prescription control; you cannot register for yourself.” And all doctors have strict licenses, which are easy to lose, they prescribe potent drugs with caution, she explains. “Many people living here are familiar with the situation when you feel very bad, and the antibiotic to which you are used in Russia is not prescribed.”
According to her, in the USA this problem is more noticeable due to the powerful market of pharmaceutical companies, which “actively encourage doctors to prescribe as much as possible and more often”.
“In America, there is a lot of advertising of prescription drugs on TV with bright promises (like“ I drank - and life got better ”,“ I drank - and I'm full of energy ”), which end with the phrase:“ Ask your doctor, maybe you need one too? ”, claims Kupavskaya. “I can’t say whether drugs for weight loss are advertised in this way, but advertising for anti-depressants, painkillers and cardiovascular drugs is uninterrupted.” In American scientific publications they write that the abuse of laxatives is one of the main components of bulimia. There are in English-speaking social networks and community dedicated to RPP.
According to psychoanalyst Julia Ovchinnikova, who works in London, you can get the necessary drugs in Europe, for example, for this, people ask their friends to bring drugs from those countries where it is easier to buy pills without a prescription. In addition, dietary supplements, slimming teas, laxatives and diuretics are available without a prescription. Clinical psychologist Peter Skripchenko, who studied and worked in France for 12 years, also indicates that the underground, black market of drugs exists everywhere.
“In my practice, such cases occur constantly,” he says. - Girls go to any risk in order to lose weight or keep it below normal.
“RPP is a real mental disorder in which a person is not aware of the risk to which he is abusing drugs. Both in Europe and in our country one can buy a lot without a prescription, mislead doctors (especially those who do not have experience in treating such patients), and use medicines in higher dosages than prescribed. ”
“The“ contagion effect ”is here, of course, it has a stronger effect on people who have lower self-esteem, or they have experienced some kind of injury, or it may work against the background of violence, suppression of the personality. By the way, the food form of exposure is often used in sects, ”says Alexander Isaev, a psychologist at the School of Nutrition non-profit organization.
“Eating disorders are a disease that damages a person. And without the help of a specialist it can not be restored. “It’s not easy to decide:“ from tomorrow, eat it right, ”and get well.”
According to him, at the initial stage, a psychologist can prevent the problem, but when the disease has developed - only a psychiatrist. After a course of treatment for the patient requires observation. From the moment when Natalia from St. Petersburg decided to seek help from psychiatrists, about five years passed. According to her, the work that left little time for self-destruction helped her survive the crisis - as well as the fact that instead of anorexia groups she now read bodippositive publics and books like The Myth of Beauty by Naomi Wolfe. By the time the treatment began, Natalya recalls, non-healing teeth marks appeared on her knuckles; she was diagnosed with reflux, hernia of the esophagus and gastritis. “Now I am being treated - both by a psychiatrist and a gastroenterologist,” says the girl. “I have not taken anything for several years, but I often eat more than I should, and I feel hunger almost continuously.”
Natalia says that the attacks of aversion to her own body have not disappeared anywhere.