Do I Have An Eating Disorder?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I don’t know if I have an eating disorder or not. Back in July, 2012, I started eating roughly 200-600 calories a day and exercising about 2-4 after my friend said, “If you eat, you lose the starvation contest.” I hate my body, and weight, but I hear people talk about how much they hate themselves all the time, so I’m not sure if this is really an eating disorder. Also, about a few months afterwards, I started binge-eating for a week and gaining roughly ten pounds, and then eating 0-100 calories for a week and losing the ten pounds. I’ve heard these are the symptoms for EDNOS, but since I’ve never gotten an official diagnosis or told anyone in real life, I am not certain on what this really is. Also, I lost seventeen pounds in three weeks, as well as gain thirty pounds in a month. If this really is EDNOS or any type of eating disorder, I don’t know if it’s as severe as some other people’s eating disorders and needs treatment. Please advise?

A. I can’t say with certainty whether you have an eating disorder but your behavior is very troubling. Even if it seems normal in your circle of friends, your behavior is far from normal. Starving your body of food is harmful. You are barely eating. Your body is unable to function properly without the proper nutrients and these must be gotten daily. It is a problem.

I would highly recommend that you report your behavior to your parents and ask them to take you to treatment. Meet with a mental health professional as soon as possible to deal with these issues. It is abnormal to be so restrictive in your diet and it is a sign that something is wrong. Eating disorders can be deadly and immediate treatment is required. Please speak to your parents as soon as possible and let them know that you want treatment from mental health professionals. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 May 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Do I Have An Eating Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/23/do-i-have-an-eating-disorder-8/