Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Do I Have An Eating Disorder?


I am 19 years old and my height is 5 feet 2 inches. I have always been very happy with my weight and have never really tried to lose any. Six months ago I weighed 103.4 lbs. I then suddenly lost my appetite and lost 15.4 lbs in just one and a half months.I got my blood tests as well as ultra sound done but nothing came up. Since then, I do not like to eat much. Half a bag of chips a day and some iced tea is usually enough to satisfy me. The thought of food usually makes me feel sick and I now realize that I like the burning sensation I get from an empty stomach. Everyone I know thinks I’m trying to lose weight but I know I really don’t want or need to. I wish I could want to eat food but it just doesn’t happen. I have also been getting weird blackouts for the past two years but they occur more than ever now. Whenever I stand up or sit up, everything goes black and I feel like I’m about to fall, then everything comes back into focus. The Doctor said that I had a slightly low blood pressure. I was wondering if I am anorectic and if the blackouts have anything to do with it.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

It appears to me that it is very possible that you have Anorexia Nervosa. I am not sure whether or not your medical doctor has commented about your weight but the loss of fifteen pounds within about 6 weeks, and when you weighed only 103 pounds to begin with, means to me that you are starving. People with anorexia are notoriously unaware of their condition. Yes, the low blood pressure and blackouts are likely caused by the lack of nutrition and loss of weight. If you have not lost your menstrual cycle by now, it will soon happen, if you continue on this course.

I am not going to spare words with you. In my estimation, you are in serious condition. You must speak to your doctor or go to another doctor who will listen, and get yourself some very serious help. Anorexia is life threatening illness and I mean that in the truest sense of the words. At the very least, it could weaken your bone structure, cause premature osteoporosis and permanently harm your health. At worst it leads to death. You seem unaware of feeling hungry but your body is crying out for food.

You need a combination of psychiatric help, a nutritionist who specializes in eating disorders, your medical doctor to do weekly weigh-ins, group therapy with other anorectic young women, and family therapy for you and your parents. If you do not act now, you could end up in the hospital.

This is a plea: Go and speak to your doctor and get help NOW.

Good luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand