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If you suffer from an eating disorder now or have in the past, please email Joanna for a free telephone consultation.



Eating Disorder Recovery
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Eating Disorder Recovery Psychotherapist
serving Arizona, California, Florida, Oregon and Utah.
All appointments are virtual.


I remember the first time my primary care doctor found out about my bulimia. He was questioning me on some lab results and also asking me questions about the anxiety I was having...mostly palpitating heart. I admitted to him that I was purging...I was actually relieved to have someone to tell because I was feeling so bad about it. He just told me "you really need to stop doing that, it's not good for you", and gave me valium. That was probably 17 years ago. Fast foward to last December. I still have the same primary healthcare doctor. I was having heart palpitations again, chest pain. I had not been eating for about 4 months. Initially he asked me questions about stress in my life...he even seemed to gloss over the fact that maybe it really could be a heart disease issue (women are often overlooked for that too at my age)...flippantly gave me an EKG...to appease me, I think. My mom was with me as I was too afraid to drive myself. She told him that I was not eating and she felt it was due to that. He laughed and said "oh, she could lose a few more pounds"..."she is healthy"...and completely lost the opportunity to counsel me on my eating issues. After he read the EKG he told me that I really just "needed to reduce my stress and not let the holidays overwhelm me so much"...my mom again expressed concern about my lack of eating and he totally ignored her. Of course, he may have observed my icy glare in her direction. I think in my situation, I had a doctor who visually saw someone who was not underweight, who appeared a healthy weight. I don't think he realized we had had the bulimia conversation years ago...he is busy and I rarely visit the doctor. I was pretty upset that he said I could "lose a few lbs"...that really turned ugly in my head as you can imagine. I am not angry with him. I wish I could do something to help educate doctors too. There are so many woman struggling with eating disorders and most of them fly under the radar. As far as a copy of your book being placed in waiting rooms, I would say that it would probably be stolen...instead, I would recommend that the book be placed in the actual exam room. At my primary care, the counter has various magazines and books on health related concerns. It may be a good place for someone to peruse while waiting those average 10 minutes between the nurse and the doctor.. perhaps you could have some published with "office copy" on the cover. Or perhaps you could publish some of your information into a booklet? Send me a box of those and I will hit every pcp office in town for you as well as place them in my hospital units for the patients. tracy

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