People with eating disorders will often ask themselves, “Am I sick enough to deserve treatment?” There is something dangerous buried in this question—something that implies eating disorder behaviors are not serious or that people with eating disorders are not deserving of care until a certain point. It suggests that you need to be sicker than you are in order to “truly” have an eating disorder. None of this is true.
Unfortunately, this type of thinking comes easily in a society that is obsessed with dieting, weight, and body shape and size. It is common in a culture like ours, which encourages people to restrict food and view other eating disorder behaviors as “ok” or “not a big deal.” Moreover, if you do have an eating disorder, you likely have a high level of judgment about what you should and should not be doing related to food and body. These thoughts, combined with the pressures of our social reality, can make it easy to wonder whether you have an eating disorder and delay your decision to seek help.
The truth is this: If you think you have an eating disorder, the odds are likely that you do. And if you do, there isn’t a line at which you are “sick enough.”