National Eating Disorders Association

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Do I have a disorder?

A bit about me: I'm male, 25; suffer PTSD, anxiety disorder, and bipolar. So I'm not entirely sure if my eating problems are so much an eating disorder, or more-so a problematic symptom of other disorders, but I have a friend who suffers from anorexia and is being treated, and she said many of my habits seem consistent with that of an eating disorder.
The issue is that I simply hate eating. I'm a personal trainer, as well as an avid exerciser, so although I am often preoccupied with not being fat or with "looking thin", I don't fear eating because it will make me fat.
I just hate eating. I never want to eat. There is no appetite, even when I am starving to the point that my stomach feels like it's tearing itself apart, and I can tell that it significantly alters my energy levels and fuels my depression and anxiety. I feel as if this is an enormous limiting factor to my life, and preventing me from 'healing' in other aspects.
I don't know why. Again, I am not afraid of gaining weight - I am actively trying to gain it and put on more muscle to build my physique. But despite generally having an enormous amount of willpower, I'm just not able to "will" myself to eat, and I do not understand it.
I'm just not sure what to do.
So what I'm asking is, does this sound like something I should treat on its own, and look for help through an eating disorder specialist? Or is this something that sounds like I should focus on treating my other illnesses, and hope it goes away as a treatable symptom?
If I were to attend an eating disorder support group, would I be completely out of place, or would I be able to find solace and comfort and not feel alienated there?
I'd really like help in this matter, and I very much appreciate any advice anyone can give me. Thank you so much.



Thanks for trusting this forum to share your struggles with you eating patterns..sounds like you really want to get the right help and are determined to figure things out.
In answer to your question about whether you should talk to an eating disorder specialist- I would definitely encourage you to speak to someone who is well versed in the area of eating disorders. This way, the two of you can take an in-depth look at what is going on and figure out the most effective treatment modality for the presenting issues.
The NEDA helpline is a great place to start (1-800-931-2237) as trained volunteers can provide support and guidance as well as connect you with professionals to service you in your area. You can also take the eating disorders screening test (found on the lower lefthand side of the NEDA website) which may help you gain some insight into what you are currently experiencing.

Don't forget that no matter what you are going through, help is a phone call away, and you deserve to get the best help possible! it is no always easy t make the first move, but you already did so by posting on this forum, so the journey toward wellness has begun...

Best wishes for success and healthy future ahead,


Hi javadad88,

Hi javadad88,
Thanks for sharing your story - I'm sorry to hear you've been dealing with this situation and the confusion that comes along with it, but reaching out for advice is a huge step that I'm glad you've taken!

I really encourage you to see a medical professional like an ED specialist who may be able to better interpret your habits and feelings of not wanting to eat, even if they are not due to a fear of gaining weight. Triggers can be different for everyone, even people with the same diagnosis, so getting a professional and objective perspective on the situation can help you understand and overcome your unique situation. Since exact behaviors and combinations of symptoms can be so different, what's important to realize is the effect that they are having on living your daily life. It seems like you are having some depression and anxiety with these things, and EDs or similar problems definitely ARE treatable with the right help! They are NOT things to simply battle on your own - help is out there and seeing someone earlier can help prevent things from getting worse, as well as help you sort through these thoughts.

Also, regarding your question about support groups, I think they are a great resource that I encourage you to seek out! You are not alone and a support group can help show you that, as well as provide a safe environment to share your questions and hear from others who may have had similar struggles.
Here are some links for support groups that might help connect you to others in your area or online:

The NEDA Navigator program is another great resource that can connect you with someone who can also help you give advice, find helpful resources, or simply offer a listening ear: And the NEDA Helpline is another place where you can talk to someone who can help you locate other resources or answer your questions: 1-800-931-2237 M-R 9-9, F 9-5 EST.

Recovery is possible and you're on the right track - keep going!
All the best to you,