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ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), anyone?

  • Thread starter River of Circle
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River of Circle

River of Circle

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Has anyone else here dealt with ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder)? Also known as "picky eater". I have been all my life, and was diagnosed as such. I eat hamburgers plain (just meat and bread), the only vegetable I'll eat is potatoes, the list goes on and on. There is a very small set of foods that I will eat. The thought of eating any other type of vegetable horrifies me, even the smell of them repulses me.

I was always skinny as a child, and frustrated my mother to no end. She took me to a doctor when I was about 6 or 7 because I was so thin, and the doctor basically just said "he'll eat when he gets hungry". My wife eats just about anything, so of course me being the opposite drives her crazy.

Being invited to someone's home for a meal terrifies me because of the unknown. Then I stress about what will be served, so generally just don't accept dinner invitations unless it's stated up front what the menu will be. I talked with my therapist about it and she feels it may be due to the physical abuse from my father (it was severe), and that eating just known foods was a way of clinging to some stability. Anyone else?
 
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TyFence

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Jul 21, 2020
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I love everything but that sounds like a cross to bear. What about fruits, do you like? Nothing wrong with a plain hamburger. Sometimes they get so big and annoying. Others meats you could eat at a friends house. Just say you have an eating disorder.
 
River of Circle

River of Circle

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Limited fruits - just apples and pineapple.
 
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EllieRose

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Aug 11, 2020
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California
Hi! I just joined and registered today because I wanted to reply to your post. I recently just got diagnosed with ARFID after so many years. I’m 21 now.

I think I’m pretty different than most people with ARFID, though. I’m not a picky eater because of the taste or texture or things in terms of senses. I’m a picky eater because I have anxiety and a fear that the food I’m going to eat will make me sick (like get super bloated, instantly uneasily full, nauseous, etc). I get very picky on how foods feel when they settle in my stomach. I don’t eat noodles, spicy things, sushi, hard meat like steak or beef or pork, and lots of other stuff I can’t think of right now. The only fruit I can handle right now is banana but I’ll only eat it if it’s there.

Honestly right now, I’m mainly eating french toast, uncrustables, ground meat, rice, and I’m drinking lots and lots of ensure for the calories.

I’ve also always been very skinny for my height. I just never ate as much as my family or other people. I’m a very slow eater and usually stop once I feel full (and I get full pretty quickly). That’s why I hate eating out or eating with other people because I’ll just end up watching them eat after I finish eating the first 20 minutes.

My gastro symptoms started in middle school, but my disorder probably started earlier than that. My therapist says I developed it most likely from my bad anxiety (since I was a kid) making me feel sick, so in turn every time I ate, I always felt sick from what I ate, then I got scared of that certain food and cut it off, then cut off more food the sicker I got. It turned into a cycle where whenever I ate, my body thought it was gonna get sick, so when I ate, I actually did get sick (nausea, lots of bloating, heartburn, etc.) I really hate nausea and throwing up so I always ate before nausea strikes.

2 weeks ago, the gastro symptoms got so bad, my only safe food was bread. So I only ate bread for a week before I was admitted to the emergency room. After I was discharged, they diagnosed me and gave me anti anxiety meds, and they actually helped. I can eat other foods now other than bread. I still feel sick, but not nauseous, so I can just drink or eat through my “sick” pains so I can gain weight (I lost 15 pounds the past 2 months).

Have you ever gone to an eating disorder clinic? I think that’s my next step to recovering from this disorder. I’d love to know how you’re handling yours. Are you trying new foods too?
 
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