I Think I Might Have An Eating Disorder. What Should I Do?


blair-waldorf-eating-disorder

Blair may have had an unhealthy relationship with Chuck, but her relationship with food wasn't good either.

Hi Heather,

I have problems with my body. Some days I will be perfectly fine, having fun eating burritos with my friends at Taco Bell. Other days, I will feel so fat and not eat at all. This doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, I starve myself, and it makes me feel better. Lately it has gotten to the point where I have considered throwing up. Am I anorexic if this isn’t constant?

Also, how do I convince my mom that I have a problem? She doesn’t believe me; all I am doing is trying to get help from her, and she won’t listen. Help?

Body image issues are really hard to deal with, and they can be dangerous. I know telling you that you’re not alone doesn’t make it easier, but you do have to remember that. Also? Remember that you’re beautiful and that you can get better. There’s help out there, and if the first person you turned to can’t give it to you? You’re going to find it somewhere else.

 

gwen-loves-pizza

You're just not your fab self without some food, gurl!

Diagnosing eating disorders can be a tricky thing. Doctors aren’t really supposed to diagnose you as anorexic or bulemic unless your behavior is regular, constant, and affecting almost every part of your life. But even if your behavior falls short of a full diagnosis, it could still be considered “disordered eating,” which can do damage, too. Starving yourself—even just once in a while—does more than make you lose weight, it also deprives your body of super important nutrients that give you energy and make your hair shiny, your skin soft, and your smile bright. You’re not at your best when you’re not eating.

If you’ve already tried having a super calm, serious talk with your mom about how you’re feeling and what you’ve been doing, go to another family member you trust, a friend’s mom who you feel safe with or even a school counselor. The most important thing is that you find someone to be on your team as you work through this.

A lot of gurls focus on calories and losing weight because they feel like the rest of their lives are out of control. When friendships fall apart, your family is dealing with a lot of drama, or you’re freaking out about college apps, it’s super common for gurls to try to find something they can actually be in control of—and what you eat and how much you weigh can become a dangerous obsession. One of the first steps to getting better is usually figuring out what’s really going on in your life and talking about the things that are upsetting you.

To get more help, call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa And Associated Disorders at 630-577-1330, or text Teen Line with the word “TEEN” at 839863 between 5:30 and 9:30 PST each night for help.

Have you ever felt like your life was out of control? Do you sometimes skip meals or obsess over calories? Do you have a friend who was dealing with an eating disorder who got better? Give us your advice and discuss below.

take care,

heather

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at heather@gurl.com.


Posted in: Being Different, Body & Health, Body Issues, Help Me Heather, Help&Advice, Sucky Emotions
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  • EverEvanescent

    I know what you mean :(. My mom had a really fast metabolism and could eat whatever she wanted. my grandmother, on the other hand, had a really SLOW metabolism and got over weight. Everyone keeps telling me I look fat, and it sucks. I actually tried starving myself a few times, and throwing up. It does get better, I talked to my friends and they made me start eating normally again.

  • Mirna_9452

    I understand your pain. There is a possibility that maybe you could have a virus or tape worms in your intestines. All i know is that you need to be very careful what you eat and what others give you as a drink or meal. And a helpful tip to take care of your self:
    Always wash your dishes with hot,steaming or warm water
    Always have fresh veggies or fruits on your plate.
    Instead of eating junkfood as a snack,why won’t you pack a quick toasted wheat bread peanut butter sandwich or freshsliced apple or a jar of your favorite berry or veggie.
    😀

  • lexasweetheart

    Im suffering from ating disorder i would not eat anything somtime or i would vomit sometimes natural it would just come out without me trying im in this habitat i need help. im only 13.

    • EverEvanescent

      No matter what happens, remember you’re not ruled by the number of calories you eat, or the number on a scale. It helps, even though it makes you depressed sometimes.

  • Kadia

    In the past I’ve had to watch a friend go through recovering from an eating disorder, and it was really hard to see how much it affected her, but I was proud of the progress she’d made since she began therapy. After moving schools three years ago I befriended another girl, and have now discovered she’s also got a problem which I suspect is disordered eating. The problem is, I’ve already moved provinces and we haven’t seen each other face to face in half a year. We’re still in touch, but I feel completely useless, because there’s only so much I can do for her through our nightly chats on IM. Her parents can only afford sporadic therapy, but are very supportive of her by making sure she eats etc. She’s said she no longer throws up, but is still obsessed with losing weight and not eating, and certain people or things can cause her to relapse quite easily. I’m not sure who else she’s told, but I suspect most of our group of friends are not aware she has problems. I’m afraid that two of the new girls she met and started hanging out with at the start of the new school year might trigger even worse problems because they have body image issues, and their constant complaining about how fat they think they are (when they’re both much taller and slimmer than my friend) or how much they need to lose weight are harmful to my friend, because they can cause her to feel as if she does not look good. 
    She has acknowledged there’s a problem, but seems reluctant to go for therapy more often because of the financial burden on her parents, and the fact that she’s been hiding how severe her problems are from them. I don’t want to see another friend go through something like this, and since we don’t live in America I’m not sure what help (hotlines, therapists, recovery programs) I can suggest for her. 

    How do I encourage her to get better without making her feel as if I’m criticising her and pushing her away?

    Also, I want to encourage her to surround herself with people with positive body images and to maybe distance herself from the negative girls. I don’t want to tell her what to do, but I’m scared they could be a huge factor in why she feels the constant need to look a certain way.

    I’d appreciate any and all the help I can get with this problem! 

    • Sarah

      Hi Kadia!

      First of all, you are definitely doing the right thing. HOWEVER, disordered eating can be triggered by any comments, even positive ones. My mom jokes about how I ‘never eat’, and all I can think is that she is jealous. She has no idea of the extent of problems that I am working through, and her comments hit a RAW nerve.
      As you cannot see her face to face, you honestly, cannot do much, sadly. The best you can do is inform her parents at the risk of endangering your friendship.

      Please do not feel guilty whatsoever! It’s hard to deal with these issues alone, and the only people who can really help her are therapists. Sorry I couldn’t be of much help, but just let her know that you genuinely CARE so much about her. A help line that I called once told me (the lady told me): Oh gosh. *sigh* It’s really so bad for you, please please don’t do this. You ARE worth it, and you are beautiful!

      It really struck a note with me, and while it may not have changed my eating habits, it helped.