How do I tell my doctor?

Hi, I've been struggling with a general eating disorder for around 3 years now, although I guess its been around for a lot longer now I look back at my eating habits growing up. I've realised I need to get help and I've finally decided to go to the doctor but I just don't know what to say. I'm terrified they're going to look at me (I'm a fairly normal weight, maybe a bit overweight) and say I don't look like I have a disorder or not believe me. I've been struggling to eat anything recently - my job has been very stressful and every time I do manage to eat something my stomach swells up and I feel really ill. I don't know if this is psychosomatic or something else is wrong. I'm just really worried I've messed up my body permanently this time. What do I do?

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6 Replies

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  • Hi jtennant, I definitely recommend going to the doctor and explaining your symptoms. B-eat online has a doctors leaflet you can download and a section where you can fill in your issues to share or help the gp. Try and be honest. I didn't have success when I went to gp but have been told to persevere and try a different Doctor so I pass on that advice to you. Both beat and ABC have helplines so you can ring and get tips on how to get the best response from the gp appointment. I've been referred to mental health team as my gp only saw the numbers on the scales and I'm not underweight and said she couldn't refer me to Ed specialist so I have no idea if that's going to be any help, but I'll let you know after tomorrow if you like if it helps you.

    I wish you all the best and hope you get the help and support you need x

  • Definitely go to your GP and tell it how it is - ask for a good examination - and tell him about the physical symptoms you are experiencing. Also tell him of your mental struggles and ask that you be referred to an ED specialist. ABC website might also give you useful pointers. Don't be fobbed off - and do be honest with your GP about how you've been feeling. Good luck

  • Thankyou Jots1234 and crazycrossstitcher, I've booked an appointment for Friday and think I'm going to sit down a write a list of everything so that I can be coherent and don't get too overanxious! Freaking out a bit but I've told my parents now that I'm going there and they've been so helpful. Think I can do this.

  • Well done. I got referred to local mental health team and had assessment today, she is going to contact my local Ed service to discuss referring me so it was worth the awkwardness of going to the gp. I agree it's a good idea to write down as much as you can, maybe bullet point so if you struggle to say you can hand over what you have written and it's clear and concise for the gp. You can do this, you are worth it so don't be fobbed off like crazycrossstitcher said. Good luck x

  • Hey! I just wanted to say, I had a similar problem. I did not think that the GP would take me seriously because I was at normal weight. Whilst I had lost a lot of weight rapidly, I thought they'd dismiss it because I was going from obese to normal weight and when you are obese, any weight loss is perceived as good even if it is through unhealthy means. Though fortunately, my GP got that it is not all about weight but how I am eating and how distressing food is. That being said, there are some GP's who will be a bit skeptical. If you encounter a GP like that, please do not be put off and book an appointment with another GP because some GP's lack experience in mental health and may get it wrong.

    I had two appointments with my GP. In my first, I told the GP I was struggling with food. I was eating too much and too little and that I'd lost a lot of weight. I tried to get it across that eating was a big deal for me without actually saying I think I have a problem. He did not get it, suggested that I was stressed and didn't even make any computer notes.

    I booked another appointment with a different GP. This time, I wrote down notes about what I wanted to say and I started off saying 'I think I have an eating disorder.' The explaining why and she referred me.

    So I guess you may need to explicitly state I think I have an ED.

    Hope this helps! :)

  • Hi! I've always been really scared to go to the doctor because yeah... it's hard to tell them what's actually going on and everything. And previously I don't think I was actually ready for change.. so I would avoid the doctor and lie about things. But recently I've been so fed up with this ed taking over my life I started going to a counselor and made a doctors appt. my counselor actually called my doctor and told them what was going on before I went in which made it a lot easier than me telling them when I got there...

    telling them over the phone is easier than when you get there.. & be honest about everything there's no reason to be shy with the people that are trying to help I've realized (which is hard) but it'll be the only way to get better.

    hope that helps. :)

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