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[–]Jinera 19 insightful - 1 fun19 insightful - 0 fun20 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Hey I am glad I see someone else making the connection.

When I was in my teens I suffered from anorexia, for about 6 years. I have a disorder - which I didn't know about at the time - that, among other things, causes my skin to be very stretchy. I was convinced this was fat, despite being underweight. I knew when I looked in the mirror that I wasn't overweight, but I did see myself as "average", despite being functionally underweight. Until I learned of the disorder I have, and it was like a switch going on in my head: oh. I am not fat after all.

I will admit I still see myself as average, until every now and then I catch a glimpse of myself unexpectedly and I am surprised by how thin I really am.

I was also diagnosed with autism, although both the professionals and me aren't sure if I actually have it - and at this point I do not think I have it. Eating disorders and autism frequently go together. Eating less makes your mind quiet, can make you more numb. Also a lot of autistic people have issues with certain food textures.

For me, my disorder causes me to feel better when I eat small portions. My anorexia was actually rewarded by me feeling better.

Trans people often have autism, last time I checked it was about 20%, but it wouldn't surprise me if the number was higher.

I'll try to explain my theory:

Autism causes people to have a hard time dealing with changes. During puberty a girl's body changes a lot, very fast, without it being in our control. We feel uncomfortable with our body, because not only are these changes hard to deal with in general, but due to autism it is even harder to accept this constantly changing body as our own.

We'd rather have everything stay the same (my fixation was, not ever gaining any weight, rather than specifically losing weight) as it used to be.

Now what most closely resembles the body of a prepubescent girl? The body of a teen boy. No breasts, less fat, no hips.

A girl with autism will look at herself and potentionally see two things: 1. she has too much fat - and wants to lose weight. 2. She has breasts and she doesn't want them.

In the past, this usually resulted - at least I think so - in an eating disorder. Which of course, psychologists will treat appropriately. Now I won't claim the treatment for eating disorders is great, it isn't, but therapists won't go along in the delusions of their patients.

Now, a teen girl with autism, will go online and complain about the curves of her body: she must in fact be a boy!

It's the perfect solution for all her insecurities (or so she is told on social media).

Instead of having her therapists working on her insecurities, she will get medication and surgery to get what she wants: the changes that puberty caused, to be undone.

This is much the same for the girls without autism, with an eating disorder. Getting that curveless, shapeless body is now no longer framed as having an eating disorder, but instead you're told you have gender dysphoria and your self hatred is totally justified.

I know that within the trans community it is not uncommon for ftm's to starve themselves so they won't get bigger breasts - instead of that behaviour being met with horror, it is met with understanding. How different is that truly from anorexic girls starving themselves?

This is why I think that a lot of trans men are autistic. The "gender dysphoria" is a symptom of anorexia and autism, or the combination of both. And instead of getting the appropriate help, therapists feel forced to only treat the gender dysphoria. My(14 yo) sister is a great example of this as well, has anorexia, and autism and identifies as a 7yo boy. You'd say that the therapists would focus on issues like autism and anorexia, but they can't. Social media teaches trans people to be manipulative. "If you do not treat me as a 7yo boy, I will kill myself. If you do not get me to take hormones, I will kill myself." "I will not go to therapy if they do not go along with my identity." And then what? Forcing someone is essentially impossible.

So you're stuck with a cycle. Autistic, anorexic girls think their insecurity is gender dysphoria. They think they can cure their insecurity with testosterone and surgery to remove their breasts (spoiler alert: they can't). Therapists can't get to the core of the issue because either the patient acts like their eating disorder is simply caused by the gender dysphoria (hint: if you don't have an eating disorder, you wouldn't be starving yourself), or because if the therapist does not go along with them, they won't show up to therapy.

I sadly know two girls who were both autistic and anorexic, went on hormones and killed themselves not long after getting their breasts removed. This is a real issue, and I wish psychologists would be more aware/eager to research this.

Edit: and it is only logical that in this cycle, autism comes first, as we know by now that people are born autistic rather than developing it later in life, and that brain imaging can actually tell if people are autistic even from a really young age (in some countries, like Brazil, brain imaging is actually used to confirm the diagnosis of autism, rather than just using tests).

[–]HelloMomo 15 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 0 fun16 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes, the eating disorders rates are quite high among the trans population. This isn't a secret: lots of trans people will tell you this too.

When I was 14 and had my period of dysphoria, the anorexia was the biggest part of it. I experienced them as basically one and the same. I've always been pretty slender, so the fat I was trying to stave away was my breasts and hips. I knew that this amount of fat was the normal, healthy kind that you're supposed to have. I just didn't care—I didn't like it, and I didn't want it, and so I was going to do what I could to get rid of it, "normal" be damned.

But in some ways, my dysphoria sort of helped me stop the disordered eating too? I've never heard anyone else with a story like this, and I'm curious if I'm the only one this has ever happened to. But at the time, I didn't know that disordered eating was super common among trans people. The only model I had for disordered eating was "stupid straight girls who want to look like barbies because they've internalized dumb societal shit." (In hindsight I was a pretty mean and judgey 14-year-old.) And because I conceptualized disordered eating as so feminine, and that was at odds with my self-image, I was like, "Well why are you acting like a dumb straight girl?" And that really held me back from going too far with it, in some ways.

My view of disordered eating as feminine also played a role in which techniques I used. I treated my anorexia as an test of endurance, in contrast to the intricate, detail-focused anorexia I've heard other people describe. For example, I never counted calories, and I didn’t pay overmuch attention to which foods I ate — I would just fast. I never ate lunch, and other meals might be small. Talking about calories seemed like a stupid straight girl thing, while enduring hunger seemed tough and strong. I could endure a famine and survive it. Calories felt capitalistic and artificial, while good old-fashioned hunger seemed naturalistic.

[–]theytookourjerbsXX only. 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've noticed the difference between their Gender Identity Disorder and my Body Dysmorphic Disorder as well, except that one sees themselves as the other biological sex and people with Body Dysmorphia (like myself) see themselves as ugly monsters. I've never had a good relationship with food; in my preteen (10-12) and teens (13-19) there's time periods where I've didn't eat the best, either ate quite too much or very very little. I've noticed people who are anorexic or obese make excuses but I've been like both of them in the past. While I was only slightly underweight and slightly to moderately overweight and underfat and overfat in these time periods, and not very anorexic or obese at all, I noticed how they eat, and the reason why they keep on getting fat or thin is because they eat way too much or way too little. So the BS with "I do nothing and always gain weight" or "I eat all the time and can't gain weight" is a bunch of BS only the 1% people with medical conditions actually are legitimately cannot help looking anorexic or obese, but it's very rare. Well I for a period of time, ate very little, not even 700 calories of food, and exercises every day excessively. But the past year, in my 20's, I ate quite a lot above my recommended intake, which is 1,700 calories (I'm below average height (average 5'5" and mine is around 5'2"), and I ate like almost 3,000 calories of food in one day. I've had a lot of triggers to my body image before, like an obese girl calling me flat chested, even though my chest is 37" and I have a big difference between my band and bust circumference; I cannot even find my bra sizes in stores because of my small band size. I've also had triggers with obese and anorexic/manorexic people claiming they have muscle, tall manorexic people lying about how they can fit into Boy's/Unisex Youth t-shirts despite anyone above 5'5" cannot fit into the shirts length wise, because the 18-20 boy's height is 5'4" and nothing taller than that. I've also had triggers of obese people call me "skinny" despite being moderately overweight and quite overfat, people that are 95% obese BMI's and at least 40's body fat claiming they fit into a US size 6 despite looking like a US size 16, and my oldest sister is a size smaller than the size they claim to wear, whom is around fitness or acceptable body fat. I've also have triggers with my face a lot; my nose is kinda large, my face looks ugly, and I have too much acne at times. I feel like I have no muscle mass, and I need to fix, which fixing first needs to lose body fat appropriately and then gain muscle. A lot of continental Europeans commenting on how USA is 42% obese, despite the Nationwide reported by region (Southeast (and two Southwestern states) 33%, Midwest 33%, Northeast 29% and West (West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, and Mountain West) 27% (Lower than the obesity rate for the United Kingdom, which is 28%)) contradicts their absurdly high rate. Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada has the same obesity percentage as Mississippi and West Virginia, which is 40%, yet every continental European on social media thinks we're all obese. I see myself as weak, no boobs, wimpy ,ugly monster, and the most obese person in the world, despite the fact I'm only moderately overweight, overfat, and not moderately obese (30 BMI for adults 20+ and 95% and up for babies, toddlers, children, and teens 0-19, and obese body fat IMO is for women 20-39 and girls 16-19 around 36% and boys 16-19 and men 20-39 31%, because that's where obesity starts on BMI levels.) I also have autism, and people always thought I wanted to be a boy in my teens because I like boy's and men's t-shirts then, but not so much now because I feel fat in unisex t-shirts, and much rather prefer being a larger size in a ladies t-shirt versus being a "smaller" size in a unisex t-shirt, which wouldn't fit my body shape correctly, since I have a more pear or spoon (circle part on the bottom, skinny part on the top) body shape, and boy's t-shirts are more like a rectangle, and men's t-shirts are more cone. I also like masculine things, like sports, cars, technology, more "masculine" music, and more "masculine" colours too. I feel like being comfortable with your body and still be GNC is a lot better than being convinced (or groomed if the person is 0-19) that you're a transsexual. Autistic and LGB people are more likely to be taken advantage of the TRA's too. Almost always the ftm transsexual is LGB or has Level 1 or Level 2 ASD or both. Almost always. Sorry if I went in circles; this is just my thoughts. Everyone does have moments of insecurities of our bodies at one point, but people with eating disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Gender Identity Disorder has them more often than others, and it affects them quite often. People with GID either need to talk to a therapist about them wanting to be the opposite sex and IF and that's an IF they actually want to be the opposite sex, then any adult above 20 can make the choice on being a transitioned mtf or ftm.

[–]GConly 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Some of the research now from Savic and Burke suggests GD is related to body perception issues.

There's also a medical condition where people fixate on having a limb amputated. 19% of them, about 10 years ago, were trans.

Bear in mind that only 0.2% of the population is actually trans, and this is too large to be a coincidence.

I've often wondered if anorexia is an OCD or depression related condition. I'll have a look.

Did find out that an OCD and AN has the same area abnormal as in trans subjects, many links in here

Same area (inferior Fronto-Occipital fascicle) abnormal in anorexia.

Using voxel-based dMRI, several studies have observed decreased FA in adults with AN as compared to normal weight control adult subjects. Regions for decreased FA have been observed in distributed cortical white matter brain areas, including the bilateral fimbria-fornix, fronto-occipital fasciculus, posterior cingulate Frank et al., 2013, Kazlouski et al., 2011, superior and posterior corona radiata Frank et al., 2013, Frieling et al., 2012 optic radiations Frieling et al., 2012 and the superior longitudinal fasciculus

patients with anorexia nervosa showed mainly white matter microstructural abnormalities of thalamo–cortical tracts (i.e., corona radiata, thalamic radiations) and occipital–parietal–temporal–frontal tracts .i.e., left superior longitudinal and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi

[–]haveanicedaytoo💗💜💙 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm a lifelong sufferer of ED (in control now) and I've made this connection too, in many different ways:

1 - The social contagion aspect of it

2 - That it's the mind's way of distracting the person from some other trauma. (When you delude yourself into thinking "When I'm 80lbs / a boy, everything will be perfect and my life can finally begin" you are completely avoiding all your actual problems and blaming all your hardships on your weight/sex and you're in for a big shock when you finally achieve your goal and you're still as miserable as ever.)

3 - Unrealistic goals. Back when I was active in pro-ana communities, people would post thinspo of supermodels, very tall women, and most likely photoshopped (though we didn't really understand the magic of photoshop yet back then.) In the same way, I see many of these trans people posting goals of anime girls. Like................... At least the supermodels were human. And thinspo like Mary-Kate Olsen was very attainable because she was 5'2. It feels like the trans not only have no idea of what's attainable and what isn't, they get angry when people around them don't validate their fantasies about what they look like. How dare this lesbian not see that I am a hot woman, uwu???

At least for teenage girls, ROGD really does feel like Anorexia 2.0