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Ask Julie: I’m Anorexic and Want To Eat Dirt, Metal, Toilet Paper

QI have this uncontrollable urge to eat things! But then I want to stay skinny, my family has hidden all metal objects and all the things I want to eat such as toilet paper, dirt, t.v remotes, cats, cd’s. I was even tempted as I was writing this to eat the mouse, if this isn’t enough I am terrified to leave my house. My anorexia has been bad and I’ve developed a phobia to tomatoes the only things I eat are crackers and sometimes water, but I always want to eat more things that I shouldn’t. When I was in the mental institution I didn’t have access to any of those things but now, I’m feeling the urge more than ever to eat inedible items. Please help me.

A Thank you for writing in about your struggles. Your restrictive eating and the urges to eat dangerous items sound very serious and potentially life-threatening and needs immediate attention. Are you currently working with a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist since your discharge from the hospital? If not, please set up an appointment with a psychiatrist immediately. It sounds like you may be suffering from several mental disorders that need treatment. The uncontrollable urge to eat non-food items is a disorder called pica, and the fear of leaving your home may be part of agoraphobia or another anxiety disorder. Please get help immediately. If you act on your urges it could be life-threatening.

Take good care of yourself.

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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photo credit: Gabriela Camerotti

 

 

About Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW:
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.