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i am 19 years old and i have been struggling with anorexia for about 2 has gotten worse over the past year…my problem seems to be that when i am mad or upset i dont eat and when i have a problem..i just focus on that problem and nothing else until i have that problem solved..i have just now noticed how much weight i have lost and it scares me because now i am starting to have chest pains..i am going through a really rough time with my boyfriend right now and that isnt helping me..i want to get help..i just dont know where to start

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Actually, it is a good thing that you have noticed how much weight you have lost. One of the major problems connected with anorexia nervosa is that young women do not seem to see or realize the fact that they are losing weight. It becomes difficult to treat someone who insists that there is no problem. Therefore, I want to both congratulate you for your self awareness and assure you that help is available.

Judging from your E. Mail you stop eating when you are upset or worried about a problem. You then obsess about that problem, blocking out everything else in your life.

I want to recommend that you see a licensed clinical social worker or psychologist or psychiatrist who has expertise in treating anorexia and depression. My educated guess is that you are dealing with depression and anxiety resulting in loss of appetite and weight. A good recommendation would for you to be evaluated for depression and anorexia and a combination of medication and psychotherapy to help you learn healthier ways to cope with the problems that arise in your life.

If you are a college student on campus then you could start by going to the counseling or health center at the school and they could get you started on treatment. Many schools have counseling departments that include a full staff of mental health professionals including a psychiatrist and general medical doctor.

If you are not a college student then you could start by seeing your primary care provider (your family doctor) and have that person examine you and refer you for further help.

Another recommendation is that you do an Internet Search for eating disorder treatment centers in your community.

Please do not delay and start to get the help for your self that will allow you to move on with your life in a happier and more fulfilling way.

Good Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • Teresa

    Hello~ I'm glad that you are aware of your problem. Its a start on the road of recovery! I myself have had a eating disorder for over a decade and only last year did I realize that something was wrong mentally. I sought help and went through several months of extensive counseling. I now only need to see my doctor every month for a followup. Its hard, I know, to face the REAL problems that induce such behaviour, but its worth it! Please seek help and please stick through it. I'm sure it will be worth it. My life has changed a lot. I'm happier and more self-aware of my own condition. Remember, 1) find help that you're confortable with, 2) be honest with yourself and your emotions, and 3) don't give up! You can't make it through! Humans are tough! ^__^!

  • shannon

    well i'm 29 and i've had bullimia for almost 9 years, i never relised how bad and out of control it was until last year. i'm to the point where i throw up more than 15 times a day, i cry every time now, why can't i stop, i feel alone like no one understand what i'm going through, quite of few people that i told, just said i'm doing it for attention, i talked to my counsler, and doctor they just give me advice to drink a large glass of water before i eat it just come back up. i've devoloped acid refluck, i'm very afraid of dieing young and leaveing my kids without a mom. I need help and have no where to turn. where i'm from they don't have group therepy, support groups, doctors idea of dealing with it is throwing you in a mental ward. what can i do to stop being this way and live a normal life?


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