Posted by: BB | 2019/11/03


Hi I have severe depression/anxiety with panic attach now and then. Been seeing Psychologist. But for the last months I can not keep solids or certain beverages down. So when I do eat a force myself to vomit as I feel sick and nausea is terrible and feel better afterwards. Now I live on 2 shakes a day and aloe vera water. Can this be a eating disorder?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/11/04

Hi, It doesn't sound as though this is a primary eating disorder ( that is, an eating disorder that is the basis of all these troubles you have ), but a secondary eating disorder may be developing. with a group of unhelpful habits of thought and behaviour : which is why I have been recommending CBT, a form of psychotherapy / counselling with good quality scientific research showing how effective it can be, in contrast with psychoanalytical type therapies which do not have that advantage. It specifically focuses on identifying and evaluating a person's habits of thought and behaviour,  based on whether these are useful or not, and on revising them so the person can take charge of the way they tackle the challenges they face in life, and gain control of situations that feel alarmingly out of control.
Retching and vomiting may give the impression of providing temporary relief of some gastric symptoms, but is NEVER a good idea, and can cause other problems, especially chemically, because what you vomit or retch up is not identical to whatever you ate, and can produce chemical changes in your body, which can cause various kinds of problems and unpleasant symptoms ; eventually, it can become dangerous.
Obviously, it's also important to ensure that what you do eat is nutritious enough, and contains all the normal vitamins and nutrients  your body needs to avoid causing further problems.
A good psychiatrist, being also fully trained as a medical doctor, may be best able to take these different elements into account.

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