Do you have ED? An eating disorder? Maybe not. Some people have an ED that is diagnosed and on their medical record. Others have an ED but they have not been diagnosed with it - this was me for about five years of my life. I was losimg weight, restricting, and severly ill. But no doctors actually gave me the diagnosis 'anorexia' until I walked into the emergency room.
My point? There are many people with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating) that may go by unrecognized because they have not seen a doctor, or their doctor is unaware of the signs of ED.
Then there are people with EDNOS, which is harder to diagnose. Many doctors are not aware that EDNOS even exists, so patients might not be diagnosed.
Then there are people with disordered eating (DE). Many people fall into this category...and I am sorry to say that even YOU may fall here. DE is a term used to describe any eating that is not, well, ordered. This includes eating once a day, not eating full meals but always snacking (in such a way that your body does not get enough nutrition), eating only certain types of foods, restricting other types of foods for strange reasons, excessive dieting, etc. Some of us, at one point, have gone through a phase of DE. It is not a diagnosable thing, so I can see how many of us do not notice that we may be doing any of these things. But the point still holds that DE is common. And it should be changed ASAP, as this may lead to eating disorders or otherwise unhealthy lifestyles.
NOTE: I am NOT saying that snacking at mutliple times in the day in wrong, nor am I saying that any of these practices are bad. I am simply saying that if you do not give your body enough energy it needs, it might be time to look at that and fix it. If you snack all day but are eating enough and feel strong and healthy, you are PERFECTLY FINE!
Then, there are people with eating disorders, but they do not fit the categories perfectly. They may be restricting food all day, but they still have not lost enough weight to be considered 'anorexic'. They may be restricting so that they are eating the bare minimum. Or, they may binge. But they do not binge the amount that is 'needed' to be diagnosed with binge eating disorder. Or they may throw up, but not 'enough' to be bulimic. Does this mean they do not have an eating disorder?! NO! NO! NO!
This is one thing I am really passionate about because so many people think that because of these reasons, they are not 'sick enough' or do not deserve any help because perhaps it is 'in their head' or 'not that bad'. Let me make the message clear: IF YOU FEEL THAT THERE IS A PROBLEM, YOU DESERVE HELP. It does not matter if no one believes you. It does not matter if you do 'fit' the categories to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. Maybe you DO have ED. Or maybe you have DE. Whatever it is, there may be a problem. It is not in your head, it is not just you. You need help. And you deserve help.
I am posting this because I convinced myself for so long that nothing was wrong, that it was just me, and that I was not sick enough because I had not lose enough weight, I was still technically eating, etc. But doing this only kept me sick for longer and made my illness worse. ED does not 'go away' by itself; it will evolve into a worse situation.
Please, Please, Please: if there is an issue, seek help. From anyone. You deserve a good life, full of health and happiness. Do not let anyone - even yourself - tell you that you cannot have a problem because you do not look sick/thin, do not fit the diagnostic criteria, etc. You are worth every single treatment option available. So go get it. And do not stop or give up until you have found the help you need. It just might save your life.