Do I Have An Eating Disorder?

Only you know the degree to which your preoccupation is interfering with your life. However, if you answer “yes” to any of the questions
below, whether or not you fit the DSM-V criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or any other clinically diagnosed disorder, food, weight and exercise may be a problem that needs to be addressed. Respond honestly:

  • Are you constantly thinking about food?
  • Is it difficult to concentrate on daily tasks, studying or work because food and weight thoughts interrupt you?
  • Do you worry about what your last meal is doing to your body?
  • Do you experience guilt or shame around eating?
  • Is it difficult for you to eat in public?
  • Do you count calories every time you eat or drink?
  • When others tell you that you are too thin, do you still feel fat?
  • If you see yourself as thin, do you still obsess about your stomach, hips, thighs, or buttocks being too big?
  • Do you weigh yourself several times daily?
  • Does the number on your scale determine your mood and outlook for the day?
  • When you are momentarily satisfied with your weight, do you resolve to be even more vigilant to maintain or lose more?
  • Do you punish yourself with more exercise or restrictions if you don’t like the number on the scale?
  • Do you exercise more than forty-five minutes, five times each week with the goal of burning calories?
  • Will you exercise to lose weight even if you are ill or injured?
  •  Do you label foods as “good” and “bad?”
  • If you eat a “bad” or forbidden food do you berate yourself and compensate by skipping your next meal, purging, or adding extra exercise?
  • Do you vomit after eating and/or use laxatives or diuretics to keep your weight down?
  • Do you severely limit your food intake?

A professional familiar with the treatment of eating disorders can give you honest feedback about the seriousness of your situation as well as advice about what you may want to do next. Sharing your thoughts, concerns, and feelings with someone who can listen compassionately while suspending judgment is helpful, comforting, and motivating. But the reality is, even if you’re not ready to change your behaviors, you still deserve help in maintaining your physical and medical safety. This is something an eating disorder specialist can do for you.