OCD linked with eating disorder?

my friend has OCD, things like obsessions with numbers (e.g doing everything 4 times), and consequencial thoughts like "if i don't step on that specific stone i will get hit by a car." but recently she has been eating very very little at lunch at school. this has worsened as she used to get a plate of salad things and a decent sized bowl of fruit but now she just has a few mouthfuls of lettuce. after weeks of me trying to help her, she finally opened up to me today about how her behaviors is to do with her OCD. she says she feels that when she eats the rest of her day is much worse, like bad events become more frequent. she says she knows that these thoughts are in her head but can't take the risk. she is persistent in saying that she eats a lot at home and that she is getting enough nutrition, however i have noticed in the past 6-12 months that she has lost weight and recently she felt very dizzy and ill when we were outside for pe. is it possible that she is right about these things being linked (and if so how can i help her?) or is she trying to hide an eating disorder like anorexia? any comments are appreciated

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4 Replies

  • If possible you need to encourage her to seek medical attention. As someone with OCD it does sound like the eating is an outcome of one her OCD type thoughts in the similar way to doing things 4 times. Does your friend know she has OCD - has it been diagnosed. Either way it's best for her to speak to a professional to determine if the eating is an extension of her OCD behaviours or whether there is something else going on as well. I am an overeating - generally overeating to change my mood and cope with anxiety which is what what my OCD behaviours do - they help me cope with things (although the OCD the becomes part of the problem). If your friend knows she has OCD it sounds like it could be developing into other areas.I know I'm repeating myself but your friend sounds like she needs to speak to a GP or other professional.

  • Hi I have had ocd for 25 years and it led me into obsessing about exercise I had to run for a certain amount of time or a certain route ant it just spiralled out of control and I lost so much weight that I was admitted into hospital for 6 months where I was diagnosed with anorexia but I always maintain my ocd led me into having a eating disorder and it sounds to me your friend is suffering the same sort of thing ...

  • My son has been admitted to hospital for eating disorder and his is with ocd (although he won't admit to it) and he is obsessed about research, learning languages, working hard, and he controlled what he ate, but it spiralled into hardly eating, then exercising to burn it off, and I think it has all started with anxiety from stress and his exams. We went to see him tonight in hospital and he is agitated again as they have given him paper and pens to work, but yesterday he seems calmer! It's so distressing and hoping he will get moved to a eating disorder unit and get the help he needs.

    I wonder if you just need to be firm with your friend and tell her to get help before it gets much worse like it has for my son, because she is weak and needs to eat, but after a while they can't see it. Good luck and well done for being such a caring friend.

  • I have ocd and it definitly contributes to my eating habits! I have lost about 30 pounds in a few months because of it. I don't think there is much you can truly do unless she is willing to change. She can get some professional help but it is extremely hard to ignore the ocd thoughts.

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