I want to go to my doctor for help - will they take my problem seriously

Hi i'm new to this group! I wanted to know whether you guys think I have an actual eating disorder, I want to go to my GP for help but I don't know whether they'll take me seriously - i don't fit the normal description for someone who has anorexia or bulimia.

I started college this year and have really been struggling with my eating. Half of the time my eating is what you would call 'normal' and sometimes I even overeat - I especially binge on chocolate. However sometimes I starve myself for 2 or 3 weeks, often eating under 500cals a day.About 5 times I've tried - unsuccesfully - to make myself throw up when I've felt too full.

Even when not in one of these 'phases' I constantly think about what i'm eating, I weigh myself around 5 times a week and am always worried what people will think of me. In the last 12 months I have lost one and a half stone, but everytime I look in the mirror I feel like the scales have been lying, because I honestly can't see the difference. I look as horrible and fat as I always have - I just want to lose more weight.

In general I'm a massive perfectionist - im not happy with my college work unless I get 100%. I get my exam results this week and feel that anything below 100% on my maths and chemistry exams is a failure. I know this thinking is unhealthy and it drives me crazy but I really can't help it.

Anyways, this is getting to be a really long post so I think I'll wrap it up now! I just want to know whether you guys think it's worth me going to my doctors - will they actually do anything since technically i'm not under or overweight?

Thanks in advance for any response

ps ... i live in the UK, so if anyone has experience with getting treatment there that would be great!

Hey LBS,
Welcome to Support Groups. I too live in the UK and went to my GP because i knew i had bulimia. DSMV or not. I was bingeing and purging about 3 times a week on a bad week and restricting in between. My GP referred me to local services who then said i had to see a Community Psychiatric Nurse at my Doctors first. I did this and then i was eventually referred to a local eating disorders unit at a hospital closeby. I took about 4 months from the time i went to my GPs to the time i had the assessement at the hospital. The waiting list for 1 to 1 therapy was about a year long. But the key is to keep knocking on doors and bugging people till you think you are getting the help you need.

Never accept no. Never take the minimum. Always ask for more because all they can do is give you less. Whatever the diagnosis (i hate labels), the truth is, if you need help, you need help. No matter what classification they give you, make it clear to them that you need help. Forget weight. I went to the doctor at a normal weight and a year later after not getting as much help as i had hoped, i am badly underweight. Make sure you ask for all you need at whatever weight you are at. Any delay could lead to your situation getting worse. I was annoyed that i felt as though i only got taken seriously once i was diagnosed with anorexia. And i did mention this to them. They talked about resources being short, online CBT being good for those who are considered to have bulimia, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Basically, FIGHT for what you need. Who cares what your weight is or what they diagnose you as. Truth is, if weight is your Number 1 concern, then you may need help so that it is no longer your main concern.

Please keep writing and feel free to mail me here if you want more specifics about help in the UK.

Take care.

All the best and hold your head up high when you go to the doctors. It takes more courage to admit that you are struggling than to keep going as you are.

xx

I agree with srebotnik... it doesn't matter your weight. You're lucky you haven't gotten to an extremely low weight.

But I'm sure if you describe your situation to a doctor or counselor they'd be happy to help you. And if they're not, find someone who is. Your relationship with food is NOT healthy and the faster you catch this type of thing the easier it is to get rid of it.

Feel lucky you've caught yourself now and acknowledged what you're doing is wrong. College can be really stressful but eating is not away to control that.

We're here if you need us :)

LBS...welcome! You have been offered great advice here! I am glad you are reaching out for help, and that you know that you want a better life for yourself. I totally agree with what others have written, and mostly, NEVER give up fighting for what you need!! Please continue to write and help us support you...Jan ♥

Hi guys thanks for all the advice, I guess I always had the misconception that people would only really believe you had an eating disorder if you were underweight. I am trying to gather up the strength to go to my GP, I seem to decide that I am gonna go one mintue then totally back out the next! It's like part of my brain is screaming out for help and the other half is screaming back at it saying NO! I think my fear is partly that this is something I've always kept to myself, like my own private coping mechanism. And party because I fear what will happen if I do go - it's the unknown, the thought of change that I'm scared of.

Anyways, I get my AS level results tomorrow, hopefully that might calm down my current stress levels, and not make them worse!

Thanks for all the support

Hey LBS,

All the best with your AS Level results. I remember how scary those days were for me. I wish you the best for the A Level year as well. xx

I just wanted to encourage you as you try to gather up the strength to go to your GP. I went last year after having the ED for about 14 years on and off. I didn't want to go cos i was worried about the stigma and about other people finding out because it was my private and shameful thing and i didn't want anyone else to know what i was doing behind 'closed doors'. I was encouraged a lot by a personal friend about by everyone on here. I realised that i was dicing with death by having this ED in my life and hoping or thinking that i would overcome it privately.

I had had a period of abstinence from purging for about a year and a half and i was convinced i could abstain again. That said, my relationship with food had never normalised and i continued to chew and spit as well as restrict but since purging had been the main problem, i counted it success enough to be rid of that.

I eventually just made the appointment, then thought about it later on. When i went, i wanted to run out of the office or pretend that i had come for a different matter. When i went, the doctor was old and i thought: she will not understand. And maybe she didn't but she saw how upset i was and said she would help me and would refer me to appropriate services which she did.

I realised that every stage in this battle is not the end but the beginning of new challenges which we can overcome with the support of others. That is crucial. No-one has to go through life alone. No-one.

I also overcame the fear of telling my family and the stigma of it. I have had some unsympathetic professionals to deal with but for the most part, i have found a lot of acceptance and care. The worst part of any problem is the rumination part. We torture our minds by worrying about how bad it will be.

Sometimes, it is good to make a list of the worst case scenario/outcome and the best outcome. We learn sometimes that even if the worst happens, that is way better than staying where we were. So for me, the worst outcome was that i would lose my job if i went to the doctor and the worst outcome if i did not seek help was death.

When laid out like that, it was a lot easier to see that the worst case scenario for going to the doctor was not as bad as i thought.

If u have any friends that know, then maybe see if they can go with you.

I am so rooting for you. Whatever you decide, i hope you are able to overcome the ED.

Best Wishes.

xx

What great support! ♥ I agree with the others; weight does not dictate need. Speak for what you need. Anyone that knows about EDs will understand... :)

Love and Welcome!

Jen

Okay so I got my AS results and im pretty happy AAAAB, im quite suprised that not getting a 100% in Chemistry hasnt bothered me all that much, I thought i'd be much more diasppointed ... irrationally of course.

As for the GP, I still havent gone - I keep putting it off saying I'll do it tomorrow, or im busy today. What I think I will do is wait until I go back to college in September when everything has settled down a little bit more. Im in a fairly good phase atm, not too much restricting going on, which is good! Take each day as it comes right?

Just wanna say though that you guys are amazing, the support you have given has been so brilliant, thank you so much

xxx

It's great that you can be less focused on perfection with your grades....♥
Please don't put off seeing the doctor. If you wait until you go back to college, will you REALLY have more time? I doubt it! I know you are apprehensive about it, but please think about how important it is.
Yes, one day at a time...and focus on the here and now as much as possible....Have a good one....Jan ♥

Great results LBS. Well done.

I think there is no better time than the present to try to get help. I say that because in your words, you are in a pretty good phase at the moment. When college resumes, it is possible that there may be added stress and i think that there is no better time to kick the ed's butt than when you are already on top.

Please do not wait till things get worse. It is true that September is only a few weeks away but what will be different in a few weeks time.

It is not to pressure you that i say this, but because i think that one of the tricks ED played with me was thinking that i was fine because i was 'stable' when in reality, the door was not closed and it was easy for it to enter into my life again.

You have my support no matter what.

I hope you will celebrate your grades.

Take it easy.

xx