Do I Have An Eating Disorder?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My weight makes me embarrassed. I think that I suffer from binge eating. I’ve been always overweight. I can barely control myself near food and I always want more. I eat when I’m sad or angry or anxious. I sometimes lie about how much I eat or what I eat. My weight makes me feel embarrassed and I hate my body. I’ve not been able to remain on a diet and I gave up so quickly.

A. It is difficult to know if you have a diagnosable eating disorder. Whether or not you have an eating disorder would be best determined by having a psychiatric evaluation.

It does seem as though you may be struggling with disordered eating. I define disordered eating as having an abnormal relationship with food. Your inability to control your behavior around food would qualify as disordered eating.

My recommendation is to consult a therapist. I’m suggesting therapy for several reasons. The first is to determine if you have a mental health disorder. A therapist can evaluate your symptoms and determine if you match the clinical criteria for an eating disorder diagnosis.

Secondly, a therapist can assist you in developing the necessary skills to control your behavior toward food.

The third way in which therapy could be beneficial is by helping you to develop a healthy and realistic body image. You stated that you are “embarrassed” and “hate your body.” Individuals who have eating disorders and disordered eating often struggle with a distorted body image. It is difficult for them to see the truth about their bodies.

I hope you will consider therapy for the reasons that I mentioned above. It is important to address this problem as soon as possible. You may not “officially” have an eating disorder but you are at risk. Eating disorders are very dangerous and have the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders. Don’t hesitate to write again if you have additional questions. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Mar 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Do I Have An Eating Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/03/16/do-i-have-an-eating-disorder-6/