Help! I’m so stressed that I haven’t been eating. Could this be a more serious problem?


Dear Friend,

Recently I have been eating less due to stress, and sometimes I don’t want to eat at all. Someone warned me I could have an eating disorder, and now I’m scared. Please tell me if I have a problem.

Signed, Stressed



Dear Stressed,

We’re so sorry you’re dealing with so much stress. Food plays an important role in our lives, and our relationship with food can change sometimes: you may eat less if you’re feeling stressed or reach for comfort food when you feel unhappy. Small, temporary changes in eating habits are normal.

However, if you haven’t been eating a regular, balanced diet for a long time, that can be cause for concern. It’s best to see a professional who can use their expertise to identify what’s happening. We can’t tell from a letter if you’re just stressed or if there is something more serious to worry about, but a doctor can give you more information.

Common early signs of an eating disorder include unexpected weight loss or gain, disruptions to usual eating patterns, obsessing over your body image or food, and emotional distress related to food or weight. It is also worth noting that eating disorders aren’t always about food; they can be about trying to handle other difficult things in life or gaining a sense of control.

If you haven’t been eating a balanced diet for a long time, then it’s best to see a professional who can help. Photo: Shutterstock

First things first, consult a doctor for a professional assessment. Worrying about something you don’t know could stress you out more.

After you make the appointment, identify the stressors in your life causing you to lose your appetite – it seems you may already have an idea about what they are. Check out some stress management techniques and make sure you’re getting enough sleep; you’d be surprised by how much a good night’s sleep can help you handle stress.

As you work on managing the roots of your tension, eating on a schedule may help your appetite return. Find foods that don’t make you nauseous, and focus on ensuring your body gets the nutrition it needs.

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This might mean eating blander food with a lot of nutrients so you don’t have to eat as much. But, again, speak to your doctor about this – they can give you more specific advice for your situation.

Remain calm, pay attention to your health, and seek support from trusted adults who specialise in the concerns you want to address – social workers, psychologists, and doctors. We hope things get better for you soon!

Sincerely, Friend of a Friend


Source: Young Post