According to all my research, I do not have an eating disorder. I do not even own a scale, I have no desire to change the way I look and my weight is not something I even think about. However, food is running my life. I have an increasing issue with what I put into my mouth.
Basically I think that everything is bad for you. Toxic to the body on a healthy scale. I will only eat fruits or vegetables that are organic, washed and free of bruises and look for produce that is in season. I will not eat beef, pork, or chicken. Basically no mammals because of the way they are processed in all those chemicals and then sit on the shelf harboring all sorts of bacteria and diseases. I do not eat bread or pasta. I read the ingredients on everything I buy. I do not eat cheese or drink milk because of the casein and lactose and I read there is blood and puss in dairy. I have a book shelf full of foodie books. I try to be as close to a raw vegan as possible. I never eat out unless I know everything about the restaurant. I take multiple supplements in place of an actual meal because I’m afraid I might be putting toxins into my body. I would rather die of starvation than eat unhealthy food. And because of it…I’m very unhealthy. I am severely underweight and have little energy despite all the organic fruits and vegetables. I do not have an eating disorder according to psychology but my life is in disorder because of food.
What is wrong with me and what can I do to regain some control over my life? I have 2 children who are also suffering because of the stringent way I select food. They are both underweight and I’m constantly worrying about what vitamin deficiencies they may have. (age 30, from US)
A: You are right that there is not an actual diagnosis in the DSM-V (the book we use to diagnose psychological disorders) for what you are describing, but there is a condition being discussed that sounds similar to what you are suffering from. Orthorexia has been described as an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy food. It is very similar to other eating disorders and also has elements of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and can be quite dangerous. See the link below for more information:
I would suggest that you seek treatment from someone who specializes in eating disorders and also begin working with a nutritionalist or dietician. This is especially important because you can recognize that your obsession with food is not only affecting your health, but also the health of your children.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts