Verging on an eating disorder?

Hi, I'm posting here because I'm just really unsure of my current situation. I'm 16, about 5 foot 5, female, and weigh just over 8 stone, which I am aware is healthy, hence my confusion; I don't know if I have a problem worth treating.

During the last year, I have developed severe depression and anxiety that has caused me to leave school. These illnesses have been festering for a while, but they finally came to surface in recent months.

Anyway, for the past month or two I have noticed myself becoming more and more concerned about my weight. I'd like to think of myself as someone who doesn't worry about bodily image too much- I value intellect, personality, and creativity above physical appearance- but to a fairly typical teenage girl extent I have always been self-conscious in that regard. In the past, I would simply feel a bit crap every time I studied my reflection for too long, but had no willpower or real drive to stop eating or increase exercise. Recently things have taken a turn for the worse- I rarely eat more than 1 meal a day, and when I do eat I feel very guilty about it. I also lost a few pounds, which made me stupidly happy and want to keep up this diet.

One side of me argues that this is impossible, and will only spiral into further misery and obsession, whilst another seems hellbent on getting thinner. Not very thin, just a little, but thinner nonetheless. Around friends I think about how they view my weight; I frown at every reflective surface I pass; for prolonged amounts of time I'll check myself in the mirror from every angle and worry I look chubby. For the last few days weighing myself has become much more common.

I think it's worth mentioning that I have a family member who does have anorexia, and badly, so I understand a lot of the psychology of the illness. I think that is what has prevented me from truly starving myself, or letting one train of thought take over, but it feels like a lingering compromise. I doubt I will ever become skeletal or require hospital care, but I worry that I'll always be on the edge of anorexia, feeling guilty about everything I eat and congratulating myself for missing a meal. And I truly can't see how I will ever be happy with my body, even if it is a healthy weight and considered attractive by some others. It just doesn't seem to fit the "me" on the inside, and since it is the most frequent part of myself visible to others, I can't help but feel it's important to deliver a "good" impression.

Of course, I know this is not a healthy mindset; I just don't know to what extent it is unhealthy. When comparing myself to those at six stone who do hours of exercise and can't for a moment think of eating even one meal, my situation seems so pathetic and unimportant.

Thoughts? Is this a serious problem or simply some manageable insecurities that I simply need to brush off? I have no idea.

3 Replies

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  • Gah- last stuff before I stop rambling: I'm nearly 17, in case that makes any difference, and kind of self-harm if I'm very upset, but only by pinching my the back of my hand and wrist really hard. I'm too scared to cut myself, and with pinching the marks fade in a day or so. Again, it feels to me like a half-baked illness. Only posting this cause I feel it may be relevant to my general behaviour.

  • Have you read anything about EDNOS? There are many kinds of ED other than clinical anorexia nervosa. EDs can occur at any weight and can be serious at any weight. Have you spoken to the professionals who are helping you with depression, anxiety and SH about your feelings surrounding food, weight and shape? That would be the next step I think.

    Take care.

  • Hi Anon231,

    I'm sorry to read about your struggles but please don't feel that your situation is pathetic and unimportant. From reading your post it does seem serious and it is important for you to seek help. At ABC we can support you in many ways and would be more than happy for you to give us a call to talk more about this. Our phone number is : 03000 11 12 13.

    Kind Regards,

    Emma

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