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Do I Have Anorexia?

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From a teen in Finland: Hey! I’ve had thoughts about possibly having anorexia for a long time now. But I’m not sure if it’s possible. Mostly because I’m not underweight yet. I have lost over 10 kg but I’m a few kg away from being underweight. I restrict food from my life and often I only eat two meals or even one in a day because I am so afraid of being fat. A part of me knows that I am not actually really fat but I feel like I am and I just can’t stop until I can truly be happy about myself.

And maybe others would also accept me if I was more like them. I’ve never had a lot of friends and sometimes I have been bullied because of my weight, so it would mean everything to me if I could find a way to me perfect like everyone seems to be. Just not me.

These things have been with me for months now but it’s getting worse everyday. So my question is: “Could i possibly be suffering from anorexia?”

Do I Have Anorexia?

Answered by on -

A.

I’m so sorry you’ve been bullied. I’m so sorry you are so unhappy with yourself. But you are looking for solutions in the wrong places.

I don’t have enough information to know if you actually have anorexia. What I can say is that what you have in common with people who do is the belief that if you change your weight, it will change everything. It won’t. The reason? Because your problem isn’t your weight. Your problem is your shaky self-esteem and loneliness.

You’d like to think that losing weight is the magic that will solve those problems. Controlling your weight looks easier to you than taking on what seem to be things beyond your control. Sadly, developing an eating disorder will only add to the problems you already have.

You’re not at all alone in that kind of mistaken thinking. Eating disorders affect millions of adolescents around the world. According to some studies, over half of young people are over-concerned about how they look and want to lose weight in order to feel better about themselves. In America, where I live, over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors like restricting food or skipping meals or over exercising. The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that counts on people’s insecurity about their looks and their belief that dieting will fix it to increase their profits.

I would need to know much more about you to be able to advise you about how to develop more self-confidence and how to find friends. For that reason, I’m urging you to make an appointment with a licensed counselor. In therapy, you will learn ways to deal directly with those issues. A therapist will give you practical advice and will be there with the support and encouragement you need to try out new ways to think and be.

Please do make that appointment. You deserve to be happy and to have friends, whether or not you are model thin.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

Do I Have Anorexia?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). Do I Have Anorexia?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/09/29/do-i-have-anorexia-3/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 29 Sep 2019 (Originally: 29 Sep 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 29 Sep 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.