Hi, I’m eighteen years old and I used to have anorexia. Lately I have been weighing myself more and I have started to feel less and less confident with my body again. Does this mean my anorexia is coming back?
- 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 is entirely possible that your Anorexia is again reasserting itself, at least in my opinion. You have all the ingredients for Anorexia: 1. A recent history of this disorder, 2. Weighing yourself, 3. Ruminating about your body and, probably, looking at yourself in the mirror, 4. You are eighteen years old and, most likely female although there are a small percent of men who are affected by this.
These eating disorders can be very difficult to put a permanent stop to without professional help. Now, having said that, I will state that there are some people who can get over this through their own efforts. The fact that you are so very aware that you had Anorexia and are worried that it is happening again, bodes well for your ability to permanently find a cure.
Anorexia has a couple of psychological ingredients that make contribute to its problematic nature. For example, Anorexia and Bulimia often happen to people who are not only highly intelligent but are also obsessive compulsive, worry constantly and repeatedly about their weight, restrict their food intake and are very perfectionist in their thinking and experience lots of anxiety. They worry about weight because they want to “look perfect,” as though there is such a thing.
So, some things you need to do are to: 1. Stop weighing yourself, 2. Stop looking in the mirror, 3. Eat three full meals such as, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Have some snacks in between.
Another part of the problem with self help for this is that those with eating disorders usually do not know what to eat, how much to eat and, even how to eat in terms of sitting at the table and having a full and relaxed meal.
If this persists I strongly recommend that you see a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders or sign up with many of the health centers that specialize in this.
Best of Luck