Jennifer J. Thomas, Ph.D. 
Clinical Psychologist 
Feeding and Eating Disorders

If you are worried that you might have an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, here are some key questions to consider:
  • Are you underweight, or does your weight frequently shift due to repeated attempts to drop pounds?
  • Do you regularly restrict your food intake by amount or variety?
  • Do you eat large amounts of food while feeling out of control?
  • Do you try to "make up for" calories consumed (e.g., vomiting, laxatives, diuretics)?
  • Does negative body image interfere with living your life to the fullest?
Note that you don't need to experience all of these symptoms in order to truly struggle with disordered eating. Just one or two can diminish your self-esteem and quality of life. The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) is a free and confidential questionnaire that you can take online to get immediate feedback about your eating and weight concerns. 
Eating disorders are treatable illnesses, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Lesser-known feeding disorders such as avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) and rumination disorder can also impair physical health and quality of life. Individuals with ARFID have difficulty meeting nutritional or energy needs due to selective or "picky" eating, fear of aversive consequences of eating (e.g., vomiting, choking), or lack of interest in eating.  Those with rumination disorder find that food repeatedly comes back up into their mouths after eating. My colleagues and I have recent developed novel cognitive-behavioral treatments for both ARFID rumination disorder that we are evaluating in open trials at Massachusetts General Hospital. I also offer these treatments in my private practice, for patients who are ineligible to take part, or choose not to take part, in research studies. 
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