National Eating Disorders Association

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Do I have a eating disorder?

I did not know where to write this so I figured that this Forum might be appropriate.
I am honestly not sure if I have a eating disorder. I have talked to different doctors and no one wants to put a title on it. I remember my doctors saying that they thought I was depressed and that my eating behaviors were a negative coping mechanism.
I am getting anxiety just writing about this. I hate myself and my body. I feel like I don't have control of my life and most days I don't feel like I have a purpose. I feel pathetic writing this. I'm sorry...

Hi there! There is hope!!

Hi!! Thank you so much for using the forums! From your post I can tell that you are probably frustrated and a little confused regarding your eating behaviors. While I cannot give any medical advice, I certainly can help you find resources that can support you!

I know that from your post, you said that you have seen several doctors. Have you ever seen a physician who specializes in behavioral medicine or eating disorders? If not, NEDA can certainly help you find one! If you call 1-800-931-2237, the Helpline staff will provide you with resources to physicians, therapists, and anything else that you might request. I certainly would strongly recommend giving it a try!

Another thing that I saw in your post is that you seem a little depressed and having some issues regarding body image. Have you ever considered seeing a therapist? I know that our society sometimes has a judgmental approach to therapy, but those who are in the profession are never judgmental and will always seek to help you get your needs met and to help you regain confidence without using the eating disorder. If you would like to find a specialty therapist, the NEDA Helpline can also help you find one!

Do you currently do anything that helps you to calm down? I know from when I had my eating disorder that most of my behaviors happened because of anxiety. But, once I found ways that helped me reduce this anxiety, I was able to approach recovery much better. Can you think of anything you can try this week?

You can do this!! You are deserving and worthy of a life without issues surrounding body image and eating. It is possible with proper help. Here is a good link talking about what recover means:

I hope that you are feeling ok! Please let me know if you have any questions!


Thanks but I was kind of hoping for a response from some other people that may have had some of the same questions before. I am just interested in peoples opinions. I am not looking for someone to diagnose me.

First, I hope that you feel

First, I hope that you feel STRONG not pathetic about writing on these forums - even though you are not looking for a diagnosis in particular, it is still beneficial to be aware of ED-like or anxiety-driven behaviors. I'm glad to hear you've talked to a few doctors. When I first began showing symptoms of an eating disorder, I remember feeling anxious too about my eating schedule and even though I didn't show clear cut signs of any one disorder exclusively, just identifying the behaviors that were unique to my situation and learning how to overcome them was helpful in my recovery. Even official diagnoses can like on a spectrum and overlap a bit. Are you working with any of the doctors that you've talked to about managing your anxiety or dealing with some of the thoughts/behaviors you have that lead you to question whether or not you have an eating disorder? Labels aren't everything - I would suggest talking to a professional just about the specific things you are struggling with, even if there is no overarching name. It's often hard to categorize these things because even people with the same disorder can show different degrees of the signs/symptoms depending on their unique situation. Like michael26 suggested, I think the NEDA Helpline would be a great place to start if you want advice on how to transform the conversations you are having with your doctors to something more productive that might be able to help you with your anxiety and negative thoughts.

Don't ever forget that you are worth it and you deserve to have control over your life! You are stronger these behaviors and with determination, time, and a support system, you can overcome them.