I’ve been dealing with a pica food disorder for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until recently that I realized what it was and that it is an actual disorder. Pica is defined as the persistent eating of non-food items, known to cause some potential health risks. For me, these non-food items included ice cubes, toothpaste, chalk, dirt and soap.
When I was younger, I wasn’t aware of why or even how this behavior occurs which caused a feeling of shame and embarrassment. And because I usually partook in these activities when nobody else was around, thoughts of feeling totally alone with my condition were ever present many days. To pass the time during school while avoiding raising suspicion from teachers, I often found myself munching on ice cubes right underneath my desk. Or when home alone I would end up snacking on the bar of soap from the bathroom sink without consciously knowing why I was doing it in the first place.
Although it’s been difficult at times to resist these urges and cravings, I have come to learn how important it is to take control of my health and well-being through mindfulness, diet and exercise so that even when challenging myself mentally I am able to stay afloat emotionally as well as physically. As Pica food disorder can be detrimental to one’s wellbeing if untreated - both mentally and physically - it’s wise to seek help if you think you may be suffering from such a condition. I’m no longer ashamed nor do I feel embarrassed about my pica condition because it’s simply another journey in life that allows me to grow into a greater version of myself everyday!
I can relate to feeling ashamed and embarrassed about dealing with pica food disorder for so long before recognizing it as an actual disorder. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot and I want to commend you for not only realizing what it is, but also for taking control of your health and wellbeing.
When I was growing up I had similar urges to eat things that weren’t typically considered food. Back then, I didn’t understand why I did it but looking back now, I understand that it was probably a coping mechanism for unresolved feelings or issues in my life. Since then, I’ve worked hard to identify the root cause of my behaviors and have taken steps towards improving my mental health through mindfulness practices, better diet plan and physical activities. It’s made me more aware of myself and has helped me cope with going through everyday life much more easily.
For anyone dealing with a Pica food disorder diagnosis or situation, know that treatment is available if needed and you are never alone! Seeking professional help or talking to someone who understands what your going through can be a helpful step towards making progress in achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Keep pushing forward!
Thank you for sharing your story and experience. I understand how difficult it must be to deal with something like this that felt so out of control for such a long time, and I’m sure raising awareness should help others going through something similar. It is worth recognizing how brave it must have been to take on the issue head-on and start taking care of yourself in terms of diet and exercise. The fact that you recognize how important it is to stay afloat both mentally and physically is definitely admirable.
There are many people out there who will understand and empathize with what you’re going through, as well as many resources and professionals who can provide support - so don’t feel like you’re in this alone! Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall wellbeing, so please make sure to reach out whenever you need help or guidance during your journey. Best wishes!