Hello, my name is Laura. I’m 14 years old. I suffer from depression, my mum had an eating disorder and bipolar. I’m really scared about putting weight on, I chop my food up into small/tiny pieces or hide it. I weigh myself every morning I currently weigh 39kgs and I don’t like that, I want to be skinnier. I do purge once or twice a week, but I usually don’t eat. The most calories I had today was 350 but I still feel like it was too much. I keep a food log. Do you think I have a eating disorder?

A. Hello Laura. I cannot know with certainty if you have an eating disorder but it is a possibility. You’re hardly eating. Eating only 350 calories a day is not enough for you to sustain life. You cannot do this for long and you shouldn’t be doing it at all. You are obsessed with your weight and don’t think you’re “skinny enough” despite your low weight. Food has become the center of your life. The fact that your mother had an eating disorder increases the possibility that you too might have an eating disorder.

You should receive help as soon as possible. Eating disorders are very dangerous. Your body needs food to survive. It cannot function properly without the proper nutrition and number of calories. Tell your parents that you want to see a mental health professional. If you feel as though you can’t talk to your parents, speak to someone at your school, a teacher you trust, a mentor, the school nurse, the guidance counselor or the principal. It’s important that you do not ignore the fact that you may have an eating disorder.

Without treatment, you risk the development of serious health problems or possibly death. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders and this is precisely why they’re so dangerous. I hope that you will take my advice seriously and see a mental health professional as soon as possible. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice