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Do i have an eating disorder?



New member
May 14, 2010
I know this may seem like a silly question but i joined this site to get some insight into what the hell i am doing to myself...Do i have an eating disorder or do i have some mental health issues???

I am obssessed with food,how many calories are in everything...I will only eat one meal a day and hate myself for doing it...I rarely eat any carbs,no dairy ..only drink cherry or mint tea and i take laxatives EVERY day...I saved how many i took in a month and filled a tesco bag up.....

I dont binge and i dont make myself sick but i HAVE to get rid of the food somehow and thats how i do it...

I have done this for wait for it............. 27 years..I can remember the trigger that started it all off...

27 years ago i had a baby and when she was only 6 weeks old i bent over to pop her in her crib and caught my then husband and his friend making a Wide backside gesture!! I know should have laughed it off but it was like a switch in my head and by the time my daughter was 12 weeks i was down to an size 8...

Over the years this fear of getting fat,obsessive dieting has come and gone depending on whats going on in my life But but never goes away..

I gave myself a HERNIA in the groin a some years ago and the doctor was puzzeled as to how i managed to get one. He asked me if i had had persistant Diarrhoea and i lied and said no... I think i had caused it with laxative abuse...

I have spent a lifetime worrying about every single mouthful i eat...Im 53 now and im still doing it...In fact im worse because i dont have to hide my behavouir from family because i live alone now... I think i am addicted to laxatives because if i dont have any i panic..

I shy away from relationships because no one else would understand and its hard keeping secrets ... I have just finished a temp job where i worked mon to fri so i would take laxatives all weekend....Now i am not working i find i work my life around taking them....

What the hell is wrong with me...I am going to Australia to see my son who recently moved there later in the year and all i am worrying about is this!!!

I would go to the gp but im embarrassed surely im to old to have an eating disorder???


Well-known member
Nov 5, 2009
Hi there. I don't know much about Eating problems. However, I suggest, if you do feel this is concerning you, to contact a GP as soon as possible.

Take care


May 13, 2010
wales ish
Hi igglepiggle, I myself don't have an ED but I know a little about them, I feel that's it is possible that you do have an ED and that you really need to talk to your doctor.
Even if you aren't diagnosed with an eating disorder, you should seek help with your laxative abuse as a grown woman you know how dangerous it is,
It can kill you.
I feel that the obsessive nature that you have described is linked with an ED and you really should seek help as soon as your able, not just for your physical health but your mental well being also

Take care and let me know how it goes


Jun 11, 2010
Watford, Herts, UK
Hi there

Sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time. I must say that i was shocked to read that you've been struggling with this for 27yrs without any support.
To answer your question, an eating disorder is a mental health issue and, I'm no Dr but i would definitely say in my opinion that you do have an eating disorder. I say this with confidence as you show a number of symptoms, that i too have had in the past. The fact that you are addicted to laxatives alone is proof enough, then with the calorie counting and obsessive fear of gaining weight, well that compounds it.

I am 37 now and from the age of 15 until i was about 27 i too was addicted to laxatives. I would take hundreds every week, to the point where several chemists wouldn't serve me if i went into their store too frequently. I would spend an entire day eating my way around London and buying box after box of laxatives partly to take that evening and partly to stock up. I built up so much debt and i just didn't care. I was even stealing money, books and cassettes (as they were then) from friends and family to feed my habit and i'd return these items to shops for vouchers to spend on food and laxatives. I'm desperately ashamed of this now and wouldn't dream of stealing anything from anyone. I still struggle greatly but i don't take laxatives or diuretics anymore. My ED thoughts and behaviour are triggered by depression when my appetite goes and then i don't want it to return as i want to lose more and more weight. When i'm not depressed i gain weight and overeat......so it's a real battle and i'm permanently unhappy about my weight, but very thankful that i managed to stop taking laxatives although i am scared that i'll return to them if i feel too desperate. I have to keep laxatives in the flat still though, it's like my safety net...i'll panic if i don't have them here, i need them to be in the cupboard....just in case.

This is a serious problem and the fact that you had a hernia means that your insides are really suffering and i would urge you to go to your Dr...perhaps printing off the message you wrote on here and taking it with you would be an idea as sometimes it is easier to put how you feel into writing...you could even send him/her a letter with the message attached before your appointment so that they are prepared and will have given some thought to how they could help you.

You are not too old to have an eating disorder, the reason you still have one is because you didn't get any help at 26 when it started.

But you really do not have to continue on alone with all this. There is alot of help out there, and you are certainly not too old to access it.
Perhaps it would be worth thinking about what sort of help you would like with all this, as i would hate for you to get fobbed off with just medication from your GP, which can be useful but therapy could really help too.

I hope i haven't overwhelmed you with my thoughts.
There is hope and the fact that you wrote on this site shows that you do want to get some help with it, you are just understandably scared.

Please feel free to contact me directly...i think my email address will come up...i've only joined the site this evening so i'm unsure how it all works.
Good Luck and take care.


Jun 11, 2010
Watford, Herts, UK
Unfortunately mjecson, if it was as easy as watching what you eat and exercising regularly than nobody would be overweight, but emotions can become overwhelming and that is when a person overeats or undereats and anxieties about weight gain occur and using behaviours such as taking laxatives, diuretics, throwing up and over exercise come into play.
The eating disorder itself is just a symptom of something so much bigger, just like with alcohol or drugs.....the real problem is WHY a person uses a coping mechanism that is so unhealthy.


Active member
Aug 6, 2010

Thank god thank god THAAAAANNNNNNNKKKKKKKK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that you wrote that. For f£$&'s sake, I've only just come across your post via typing "Am i too old to have an eating disorder" into google...even though I've been on this site for a few months.

I'm 28. And I'm a guy.



Firstly i think u are very brave for putting your story on here, i know its hard if your used to going day to day hiding certain things from certain people. Secondly, I also dont know very much about eating disorders but I wanted to post as I think you deserve as much support as possible and maybe as many diff view points as poss.

In my (limited) knowledge of ED's they are more a mental illness than anything, so being "too old" to have an eating disorder whould be like saying someone is too old to develop depression, anxiety or a phobia for example... NO ONE IS! And as most of us on here will prob agree, mental illness most definately not discriminate when it comes to AGE, race, sex or background etc etc. So no, I do not think u are too old to have an eating disorder. I personally think (as i mentioned before in my LIMITED knowledge of this) that a lot of eating disorders develop as a way to regain control of their life in some way, in a similar way as OCD sufferers have particular ritual's and people like myself self harm... its to do with control over ur own environment/body because lets face it, if we dont have that, what do we have? And in harming yourself you are taking back the control, whether it be by starving your body of food or physically cutting yourself.

Do u mind me asking, you mentioned that the 'trigger' was after you had ur 1st child, were your family aware of your problems and if so, were they supportive?

I really wish u all the luck in tackling this, big hugs xxx


Well-known member
Sep 18, 2010
In Devon
What? Are you on about, it makes no sense to eat only three times a day, and I have not understood much of what you have posted Octaviojoe.

You will gain weight from any food if you eat it to excess....!


It was a spammer Maxitab- I think they just copy random bits of information, hence why it doesn't make sense. The link to a service or product in their signature gives them away. I've removed this one now, but if you spot them just click the triangle 'report post' button under their name and details.
Last edited:


Well-known member
Sep 27, 2010
From what you've written I would say that you do have an ED, but of course you would need to have that confirmed by a Doctor. It's funny how it started off with one rude gesture and that it's gone on for so long, perhaps that was a trigger for something that was already there?
Definitely see a Doctor please, and ask your friends if they think you look underweight, if you can, do try to avoid the laxatives because I don't think they are necessary in your case.
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