Do I have an eating disorder?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have had eating issues for several years. In college i used to binge and purge. Now I still binge, but then the next day I will eat under 500 calories or nothing at all. Is this a disorder, or just unhealthy eating? I’e tried so hard to stop but can’t seem to do it. How do I end this cycle? should I talk to my psychiatrit, or would I be wasting his time?

A: Yes. This is an eating disorder. The key is that you can’t control it. Sadly, your relationship with food has been unhealthy for almost half your life. It’s going to take more than willpower to end it. By all means, talk to your psychiatrist and ask for a referral to a specialist in eating disorders. My guess is that far too much of your time and energy is spent on preoccupation with how much you are eating, what you are eating, when you are eating, what you had to eat yesterday, and so on and so on and so on. Imagine what a relief it would be to have eating take its rightful place in your life as a minor but enjoyable subtext.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Nov 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Do I have an eating disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/11/24/do-i-have-an-eating-disorder-4/