Do i have an eating disorder?

I have anxiety/panic disorder, combined with emetophobia, which throughout my life has resulted in a little depression.

I've noticed my eating has dramatically changed since being diagnosed and i don't know why. I am very slim but i always have been, i am NOT concerned about being overweight, i don't watch my weight or feel the need to weigh myself (dont think i ever have) if anything i want to be bigger! But i get super panicked when i try and eat. I've noticed big meals i panic over, place a massive portion in front of me and i begin to panic, this is because for some reason i now take soooo long to eat anything and people have commented on this which makes me feel self concious. So if a big portion is in front of me i instantly think 'oh my gosh i'm going to be the last one eating and everyones going to have to wait hours for me' i then think 'people are going to comment on me eating slowly, not eating enough/being so skinny' thinking back i have had LOADS of negative comments about my weight, maybe this is a contributing factor?

One of my main panic attack symptoms is gagging, i retch and heave and i sometimes feel like this if i have too much to chew so i start panicking and have sometimes actually had to spit my food out in fear.

Roast dinners i just cant eat anymore! Even if i take a small portion, ive literally just tried to eat one and ive had a huge panic/feel sick/ want to cry. Why am i behaving this irrationally to food?!

Finding it so difficult to eat :( i just freak out.

Portions are now tiny, take forever to eat, get panic attacks eating, get upset about not being able to eat and definitely cant face going out for dinners for a date/with friends!

What is this? Do i have an eating disorder? I'm scared of eating/it coming back up!

6 Replies

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  • Hi, I basically have all the same problems: emetophobia, panic and anxiety disorder and depression. I completely understand where you're coming from. It terrifies me to eat in front of people, in case they comment. I eat very little in front of others and people also comment on it. I just want to escape. To me, it sounds more like emetophobia than an eating disorder but it's hard to distinguish between because it does affect eating a lot. I have a lot of control issues with food - i can only eat foods that I deem as safe.

    Get yourself to your GP and have a chat about it. Have you taken any meds or seen a therapist?

    Don't worry, you're not alone xx

  • I've seen many therapists, never been on any medication i was too scared to try them.

    I'm going back to my psychiatrist soon and will bring up this eating habit. It's so strange! Thinking about eating a roast dinner just makes me want to heave!

  • I'm the same about medication, I totally freak myself out about side effects. I've recently started propranolol and citalopram though and I've had no side effects at all. Yeah I just hate eating. I never have an appetite anymore. Do you have 'safe' foods?

  • I guess i do have safe foods, things i know wont make me ill like fruits and vegetables, and also breads/crisps , i feel ok to eat fish as long as its cooked by my family or a restaurant i can trust.

    If im feeling particularly sick i will usually eat drier foods like crackers, bread, toast as there is no strong flavour that would potentially make me feel even sicker!

  • I know how you feel. My Anxiet can be triggered so quickly by smells and then I panic thinking it means I'll be sick. It's almost like PTSD.

  • I stopped eating for months because i thought i was going to choke on anything i had it was horrible. Go to your doctors tell him about what you just said maybe it is a eating disorder

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