Hi wall. I’m currently having an issue. I think I have eating disorder.

It started in January when I was stressed out because of grad school applications. I ate twice as much ice cream as I usually eat per day and I would force myself to throw up due to guilt. Then in March, I could have a whole pint of ice cream. On a Monday two weeks ago I ate 12 wings, 6 scoops of ice cream, one large fries, one beef patties, one slice of pizza, 2 cookies for lunch and I threw up afterwards. I couldn’t stop eating even if my stomach hurts. Physically I do not desire food but mentally I do. I’m not gaining weight due to eating disorder as I do not digest the food. On the contrary, I lost 10 pounds in the past two weeks. Now I discovered that I could throw up simply by bending over. I’m extremely happy about my weight loss but at the same time guilty about throwing up and wasting food. I’m also scared of my intolerance of having any food in my stomach other than breakfast (usually just a pear/apricot). I couldn’t sleep in nights nor in the morning and I get tired easily. Even walking up stairs is energy-consuming for me. FYI, my grad school app went pretty well. I received an offer from a decent school in February, so my ED is probably not due to academic stress… Could you please convince me why I need to be concerned about my ED? I know that (1) it’s bad for my stomach, (2) it’s bad for the environment, (3) gluttony is one of the 7 deadly sins, (4) it’s bad for my gullet, (5) it might leads to anorexia, (6) I’m loosing sleep, (7) my friends and family would be concerned if they know, (8) I could die if I do not consume enough calories. but I could eat as much as I want and my body shape is getting ideal. I’m not sure what need to be done now. Also i’m not sure if I could write this on the wall… Seems like ED is a sensitive topic.ED

I’m not a doctor and can’t diagnose, but those sound to me like signs of an eating disorder. It sounds more like bulimia than anorexia. I hope you’ll consider getting some professional help with this. University Counseling Services is here for exactly this kind of thing. http://bit.ly/BC-counseling . The things you list are good reasons to be concerned. I’ll leave the larger questions of the environment and religion aside for the moment, and focus on you: you’re weak from lack of food, you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re doing damage to your gut and throat, you recognize that you could die. If it’s affecting your ability to live your life it’s worth checking in with a professional. You mention ideal body shape. One of the things that often comes with an ED is an inability to see one’s body accurately. A counselor can help you see more clearly.

Hi wall! This is a continuation of that recent ED post. Thanks, I’m also considering finding university counseling to deal with this issue… For now, I really would like to know how am i suppose to tell my family about it. As you might suspect, I’m an international student. I don’t want my family to worry about my health in a distant country, which they definitely will if i confess to them. (And to a high probability, they will be VERY, VERY concerned.) I’ll be back to my country in a month, so they would definitely discover my weight loss as soon as they see me. I’m also not confident that i could stop over-eating and throwing up by then…

Thank you for being so open with me. I love being a space people feel safe sharing these questions with. That said, I urge you to speak to a counselor as soon as you can. Counselors work through these situations with folks all the time and they will help you both address what is going on with you and how to communicate with your family. Please, please reach out to someone very soon: http://bit.ly/BC-counseling . And yes, your parents will worry, especially if they’re far away–that’s what parents do. This toolkit might help. It’s designed to give them some context and suggestions for ways to help: https://bit.ly/bc-ed-toolkit