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could I be, or am I becoming, anorexic?

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I've never thought about myself as having an eating disorder and I'm not quite familiar with them, so I was wondering if someone could give me some insight.

I've always been underweight, and prided myself on it. However, after having panic attacks and not knowing what they were, I decided to gain some weight and went up to 94 lbs. Then one day I realized that I weighed that much, felt fat, and set out to lose 4 lbs. Then I got depressed and stopped paying attention and caring, and I lost more weight. Now after two years of depression, being housebound (due to agoraphobia), and eating little, I weighed 80 lbs in the summer... (I'm rambling, sorry).

Anyway, to the point... I'm 20 years old, 5'2, and now weigh 73 lbs, but when I look in the mirror, I don't see myself as skinny (but I know I'm not fat either), and I want to lose more weight (I want to be 70 lbs). I don't like to eat more than once/twice a day, and if I do, I feel guilty about it and then balance eating more by eating less for the following days. I eat all my meals in small portions, and my diet is rather limited. Due to anxiety, I feel lightheaded and freak out when I don't eat, so I have to eat at least one meal a day with a snack, even though I don't want to. I hate my body, I can't fix it, and I feel hideous, but starving myself makes me feel better.

Does this sound like an eating disorder? Or something else?

Thanks in advance for your help.

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This definitely sounds like disordered eating behavior.  The precise criteria for a diagnosis of anorexia are ridiculously exacting, and I'm not sure if you meet them (the demand for amenorrhea is one), but this pattern of restricting your eating is harming you. 

Eating disorders are almost universally tied with self-image problems.  In addition to your physiological need to eat more in order to be physically healthy, you need to identify and address whatever it is in your head which makes you feel hideous in whatever way.  I have never once in my life met a truly hideous person, and I've met people who have done some awful things.  Chances are low that you're the solitary exception. 

I'm not very good at giving people helpful advice in most areas, so I apologize for my blathering.  I just don't think you're pathetic, even if that's your chosen name.  I think you're right in suspecting you have an eating disorder.  Your behaviors closely match those associated with anorexia.  I think this is harming you on multiple levels, from the obvious physical harm of being underweight to the less obvious but very real interior harm of hating yourself.  I think you deserve better. 

I don't know how to help.  There might be eating disorder support groups in your area which could of use.  Some regions have access to crisis hotlines for things besides suicide threats.  A good therapist can be invaluable in figuring out what's going on and how you can save yourself from this mindshadow that wants you to starve.  And I can assure you that you're welcome to post here on CrazyBoards.  We might not have all the answers, but all of us in this forum struggle with one ED or another, and we'll listen.  We'll do whatever small things we can to help you help you. 

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You need to call your doctor or get medical attention ASAP!!

This abolutely sounds like an eating disorder to me. You say you started off  naturally thin but then when you started to try to control your weight it took on a life of its own.. I don't know if you are still agoraphobic as you mentioned or how hard it would be to leave your house, but the first thing you need is some medical attention. a primary doctor or even the ER- 73lbs is dangerously low and your electrolytes may well be out of wack and all this puts undo strain on your heart and other body systems. Chances are you feel light headed/dizzy too.

get thee to a doctor! do not pass go! ASAP!!

As soon as you are medically checked out , a therapist-and a nutritionist would be a great help.

Good luck- there IS help out there!! Let us know how you are doing. Its scary I know- but it was really great that you reached out for help here.

Take care of you,


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Heya hon,

(I can't, just can't call you "pathetic.")

You have some kind of self-image disorder.

Anorexia in itself means, not eating.  Which is what you're doing.

Anorexia nervosa is a specific dx, as lmnop said.  Doesn't matter one little bit whether you fit all the criteria or whatever.

Reread your post.  Without the mirror.  Talk to the girl who wrote the post like she's your friend.


You're too smart to ignore this.

You are critically ill.

Get some medical care.


Right now.

While you're thinking about it.

Get off the damn board and on the phone to your doctor.  Or crisis team.  Or crisis line.  Or emerg.  Someone who can arrange help.



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Table 1:

DSM-IV Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa

Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height (eg, weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected or failure to make expected weight gain during period of growth, leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected).

Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.

Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

In postmenarchal females, amenorrhea ie, the absence of at least three consecutive cycles. (A woman is considered to have amenorrhea if her periods occur only following hormone, eg, estrogen administration.)

Specify type:

Restricting Type: During the current episode of anorexia nervosa, the person has not regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (ie, self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).

Binge-Eating/Purging Type: During the current episode of anorexia nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (ie, self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).


(beariing in mind that most clinicians ignore the 'amenorrhea' criterion)

it sounds as if you are anorexic. you are also clinically emaciated.

you are severely fucking with your health. i was anorexic on and off (mostly 'on') for 15 years, and have myriad health problems as a result, even in recovery.

do you have someoe you can speak to about this? a GP, school/uni therapist, etc?

you need intensive treatment ASAP.

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  • 2 weeks later...


i am new here and i have an eating disorder too.  i was anorexic for 2 1/2 years and then it broke down into bulimia..    i had no idea that i was anorexic either the whole time that i was,  until it turned into bulimia and then i realized afterward. i thought that what i was doing was, not being weak    being able to persevere through pain : things i guess i looked for to replace other things that i lacked ,  like close friendships, etc .. anyway, i dont know if your case is at all similar..    but dont be afraid and think that you have to do everything right away,    i think it is just really awsome that you are realizing this! have you had times where you just fucking wish you were free. ...    sick of being terrified that you will gain weight always driven by fear and punishment  i dont know....    if there are reasons like this that make you truly hate this lifestyle ,      then let that be your start      even just think about this idea for a while, .. and when you are ready, bring it up to someone... eventually, i would suggest a therapist and some sort of program.... both these sounded awful and stupid to me at first,    but lately i have been glad in a way that i became bulimic, otherwise  i would never have had to dig so deeply into what caused all of this that i could have changed so much as i have through getting help to get over this...  this is my first year of treatment and though it is hell, it is also the best year of my life in so many ways. 

you dont have to feel this way anymore

let me know how things are going


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  • 2 months later...

Hi. A moment ago I was pouring my heart out on the CrazyBackup which seems to have disappeared so I'd better start again.

I'm Boz-pot (some of you may remember me), real name Row(ena) and I'm a 22 year old Music student at Birmingham University UK

I have been anorexic on and off for a few years and I feel like it's happening to me again now - bigtime. Most of the time I've only been drinking water, except for a couple of times when mad hunger has driven me to eat, then of course guilt causes me to make myself throw up. Lovely.

It feels like my body is rebelling against my mind, which has the urge to starve.

I'm a perfectly normal weight right now and everybody keeps telling me how well I look, but I just feel fat. I put on weight over Easter as I felt happier. At times I was a bit hypomanic and ate too much. I hate myself for my lack of self control and have virtually stopped eating as a result. Coupled with that I'm so depressed right now that I can't work and feel like a failure and a fraud because everybody tells me how clever and talented I am, but if they knew the truth, they'd think differently.

Part of me wishes I could be well and not have such bad mood swings and that I could eat as much as I needed without guilt. The other part of me, which is increasingly taking over, wants to get thin again (I was never hospitalised but I got quite underweight twice) and get further than ever before.

I also feel like a fraud because at a normal weight I don't look like I have a problem. I feel ashamed of my perfectly healthy size.


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