I'm Miserable With my Eating and Myself, but I Don't Think I Have a Real Eating Disorder. Should I Bother an Expert?
William Anderson Says...
Don't get hung up on labels.
The names that clinicians come up with for conditions (diagnoses like Eating Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder) and made-up names they use to easily communicate the collection of symptoms that a patient has. It's not like a there is a disease that exists called "Bulimia Nervosa" where you "catch it" and then have that disorder, like when you catch the Bird Flu virus and then get Bird Flu. Behavioral or Mental Health Diagnoses are, for the majority of disorders, just ways to describe the type of unpleasant or unhealthy experience the patient has.
In fact, the main feature of any behavior that makes it a disorder is that it causes suffering. If everything were in order, everything would be fine and happy, there would be no suffering. The fact that you are unhappy is enough to talk to somebody about it. You are tormented by your eating behavior and thoughts and feelings about yourself and your body. That's enough to make it very important that you talk to an expert in these things and get some relief from your struggle and suffering. You've had too much already. You don't need an "Eating Disorder" label, though you'll get one, if only to get the insurance to pay for the counseling.
All of the problems you describe are the things that Eating Disorder experts help people with. Find one and get some help. You will be amazed at how much they will know about what you are going through and how much they can help. You do not need to suffer alone another day longer. If you are in a small town, you may have to look in a larger city, but look for counselors or psychotherapists who specialize in Eating Disorders. Call and make an appointment. You'll be feeling better before you know it.
Please do this now. I have lots of experience with these types of problems, and while the outcomes are great when people get help, things often get worse without it. Things never stay exactly as they are. So, take action, call and make an appointment to get some help. Do everything you can to make things change for the better rather than get worse, and have a very Happy New Year!
Page last updated Dec 31, 2011