Eating Disorder or Overreacting?Fri, Sep 20th 2013
I'm 22 years old and have been suffering from severe depression for about 15 months. I had episodes in the past but was able to get through them without treatment. I have made a lot of progress in the past 6 months and at the moment my depression is largely under control with the help of medication, Zoloft 100mg + Welbutrin 300 mg, and weekly therapy. But for the past few weeks I have been engaging in eating disordered behaviors pretty consistently, trying to restrict most days and purging a few times a week. I do want to lose weight, but not really for aesthetic reasons. It's more because I feel like I don't "deserve" to be well-nourished and it's "wrong," not necessarily unattractive, for me to weigh as much as I do at my healthy weight at 4\'11" and ~102 lbs.
When I eat normally I usually feel guilty and as though my body has somehow expanded, though I know it's impossible. I've had these thoughts on and off over the past year, but usually dealt with them by self-injuring, which I haven't been doing lately. I know that restricting really impacts my quality of life but I still feel compelled to do it. I feel that I need to be given "permission" to eat.
I don't want to let this unravel the strides I have made in improving my mental health, but I don't know what to do. I feel like I would benefit from some aspects of treatment for eating disorders, in addition to my normal therapy, like being accountable to a dietician for a meal plan but at the same time I don't want to be accused of overreacting when it hasn't been that long and I haven't lost much weight.
Do you think it would be appropriate for me to seek additional support?
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- 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.