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Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Do I have an eating disorder?


I have been extremely obsessive about my weight since I was about 12. I am now 17 and I am really tired of it but I am also confused. I have taken multiple online assessments about anorexia and they all say that I have it, but I'm not underweight. I am 5'6 and 110 lbs. Food controls my life and I have sporatic periods of time where I strictly limit my food intake (can last about a week) but then I have episodes where I eat normally and probably more than normal. It's like I'm constantly either starving or eating a lot (not to the point of a binge, but it involves junk food). I've tried purging but I've always failed. I've also self-harmed but not too bad. I am a perfectionistic, straight A student but never feel good enough. In fact, right now there's a voice in my head saying that this question is phrased like a 5 year old would write and that I need to improve it. I am afraid of eating in front of people. I just want food to be off my mind, but I also want to get thin. For the past 5 years I have been constantly trying to lose weight, but it never works. Do my questions are... how serious does this sound, do I need help and how do I get help?

Hi Ellie,

I am so glad you reached out to me. What you are describing is classified as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). This category is for people like you that have most but not all of the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.It is actually the most commonly diagnostic category of eating disorders.

Yes, you need help. Do you have a counselor you would be comfortable talking to about this? If not, please go to this website to find a counselor near you: If you are not comforting talking to someone, I can give you some self-help resources, but if you are able, I highly recommend seeking treatment from a qualified professional.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. Good luck!

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard


I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.


I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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