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I have many physical symptoms of an eating disorder but the mentality that I have one is not there. How can I tell if I have an eating disorder or not?

10 Answers
Last Updated: 07/27/2020 at 7:37pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Lisa Groesz, PhD


With evidenced based therapies, we find the root of the problem together to implement solutions. We all face crises, transitions, or disorders at some time.

Top Rated Answers
April 10th, 2015 8:27am
What you say by mentality is a little unclear. Many people with eating disorders deny that they have one, this can be due to a number of reasons but a common one is the view that they cannot be "thin enough" to have an eating disorder due in part to the disproportionate level of attention purely restrictive eating disorders are given in the media. However if you feel you are sure you have an accurate view of your body this may just mean you do not have the body dysmorphia features that are present in some but not all people suffering from eating disorders. There may also be underlying reasons for some behaviours that may look at first sight like an eating disorder eg. Rumination syndrome is often misdiagnosed as bulimia, but it is worth speaking to a doctor to find out whether you have an eating disorder.
April 10th, 2015 3:19pm
Many people with eating disorders experience denial or feeling like things aren't "bad enough" to actually suffer from an eating disorder. With my eating disorder, I always thought that I didn't have a "real eating disorder" despite how much I physically and emotionally suffered. It was helpful for me to discuss with a therapist my feelings surrounding my eating disorder.
April 25th, 2015 2:18am
One of the best things you can do is get a professional, unbiased opinion. I highly recommend seeing a nutritionist. Either way, it's a great idea to keep a journal of what you eat and drink throughout the day to observe patterns in your habits.
August 3rd, 2015 4:11am
That is a difficult question to answer. Have you seen a dietitian about this? Having physical symptoms doesn't mean one has an ED, but without more details I really can't say whether what you're experiencing is an ED or not....
September 15th, 2015 12:43am
There are multiple categories that provide different types of symptoms related to eating disorders, it's important not to self diagnose if you have some of these symptoms, you said you have pyshical symptoms but your not sure about any medical symptoms so I suggest you talk to your doctor about it where you could be referred to a psychiatrist and the will do psychological tests to establish whether or not you have an eating disorder.
October 4th, 2015 7:56pm
Eating disorders are not physical illnesses. The physical manifestations of an eating disorder are simply that--physical manifestations of the actual problem, which is internal and entirely psychological. An eating disorder causes someone to starve themselves, purge, binge eat, etc., which in turn cause more physical problems such as rotting teeth, thinning hair, a dangerously high or low weight...and those physical aspects that are often associated with eating disorders aren't the disorders themselves. They're just symptoms of the actual disease, a disease that's entirely mental. If you're experiencing health issues similar to the health issues that someone with an eating disorder experiences without having the psychological part of an eating disorder you're likely physically ill, not mentally ill. For example, being severely underweight can be caused by many other medical problems and doesn't have the be the result of a person intentionally starving themselves. I think a good way to tell whether you're dealing with a physical or a mental illness might be to ask yourself whether the physical symptoms you're experiencing are being caused by something you're intentionally doing, such as purging your food or restricting your caloric intake, or if the physical symptoms are appearing without you being able to identify a cause.
January 5th, 2016 11:22pm
Ultimately, to be officially diagnosed with an eating disorder, you would have to see a doctor or a therapist. In terms of having a good sense of whether you have one, it typically involves both the physical symptoms and the mental/emotional ones. If you are experiencing only the physical symptoms, there may be something else going on that is worth talking to a doctor about because drastic weight loss or gain, restricting, binging, and purging are all very dangerous physical things, whether or not the initial cause is an eating disorder.
June 13th, 2016 8:30am
You can ask yourself this questions: how do you feel about eating? Do you think food is the enemy? Do you feel bad after eating? Do you feel you want to punish yourself after eating too many ? If the answers are mostly negative, it is likely that you have eating disorder.
March 5th, 2019 1:59pm
There are many different variations of eating disorders. You have to look at your relationship with food, and the behaviors that accompany them. However, your best way of finding out, will be going to see a person highly trained in eating disorders They will be able to asses your particular situation and provide you with the answer you need and how to handle your relationship with food. The worst thing to do would be to Google your symptoms. And please know that if you do have an eating disorder, that it can be managed with the proper treatment and support.
July 27th, 2020 7:37pm
I am currently recovering from an eating Disorder and the major thing about eating disorders are the emotional and mental impacts it has on you. the physical symptoms are often not present in individuals suffering from eds as each body and metabolism is different. thus, I would suggest the cause is more biological? an eating disorder however is of varying subtypes. and it is not uncommon for individuals to experience disturbances in eating due to a result of trauma or shock, ur even a change in lifestyle. however, if you are sure you hold no mentality and yet display symptoms of an ed maybe get it checked by a doctor? hope all goes well :)