I Have Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder // ARFID

I Have Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder // ARFID

Okay, so I was just about to take a shower,
and I opened my bedroom door to see my dog sitting on my desk. I’m not sure what he’s doing there. I think he’s looking out the window? Hey buddy! How ya doin? I don’t think you should be up there. Please come down. So last night I got an anonymous message on tumblr about how me talking about my eating disorder helped this person realize that they had the same disorder, which I thought was really neat, that I was able to help someone like that, so I thought that today I would talk more in-depth about my disorder so I
could like, educate people if they haven’t heard of it, or if they have it, they might
find out that they have it. So I have Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake
Disorder, which is shortened to ARFID, and it’s an eating disorder but it differs from
other disorders like anorexia and bulimia in that it’s not linked to body image at all. Everyone who has ARFID experiences it differently; some people are really sensitive to textures and colors, some people don’t have an appetite, some people eat really slowly or in really small portions, etcetera. My disorder is linked to texture and flavor,
and it manifests as this really intense phobia of food, so basically if you put something in front of me that’s not really mild, like bread or cheese, I cannot eat it, like I don’t even register it as something edible. If I try to eat it, I will gag and it will
just be a really horrible and embarrassing experience for everyone. No one really knows what causes it. For me, it flipped on like a switch when I
was two years old. I ate a lot of foods like a normal baby, and
then one day I literally woke up hating everything, like my mom tried to–
Oop. Interrupt me, why don’t you, notifications. My mom tried to feed me mashed potatoes, which I’d eaten before, but that day I just completely refused them, and to this day I hate mashed potatoes, like I just stopped eating things. The sudden onset of it is apparently a common experience among people with ARFID, but absolutely no one knew what was wrong with me. Everyone just thought I was a freak or a picky eater. I only ate things like bread and peanut butter, and everything else I gagged on or just flat out wouldn’t even try. I was so desperate not to eat things that
I would sneak them into the trash, like one time before I liked grilled cheese sandwiches, my mom was trying to convince me to like grilled cheese sandwiches. One time I tried to throw them out by putting them in the trash can, but my mom figured it out, like she went through the trash and I got punished for it. So the next time she made me eat something, I waited until no one was around, I walked outside in the snow, into a neighbor’s yard,
and dropped my food in their trash can, outside, so that no one would know that I’d thrown
my food away, because I was just not gonna eat it. I think the point at which my mom gave up
on helping me herself was when– I forget what food this is, but she was trying to force me to eat it, and she was like, “You’re not gonna eat anything else until you finish this meal,” and I just looked at her, in the eyes, just little kid me, and I said, “I guess I’ll
just starve then,” and I was completely serious; I would 100% starve myself to death. So, she cried about that. I can imagine that would be pretty awful to
experience; I kinda feel bad. My disorder caused a lot of problems for me at school and at daycare. I would just completely avoid social functions where there was food; it was just a complete nightmare to explain to people why I wasn’t
eating things, and I would like, make up fake allergies so that people would stop asking me about it. At daycare, I would bring my own food, and
one time they told me that I wasn’t allowed to eat the sugar cookies I brought anymore
because someone there had a peanut allergy, and they said that because my cookies were made in the same factory as where there were like peanuts or something, I wasn’t allowed
to have them anymore, and I basically raised hell over that, because I wouldn’t eat anything else. When I went to sixth grade camp, I brought
a cooler of my own food, like I would bring toaster waffles for breakfast, and everyone
stared at me, and it was really horrible and everyone thought I was a freak, and I just
said it was because of my life-ending allergies so I wouldn’t have to explain why I was the
only person who brought their own food for a week at camp. My entire childhood was therapy. One of the first therapists I saw diagnosed
me with a feeding disorder, which is what ARFID was classified as before the DSM-5 came out. I haven’t been back to a therapist since it
was reclassified as ARFID, but I was diagnosed with a feeding disorder, which is the same
thing. My therapist linked my eating disorder to
my sensory integration disorder, which is basically when sensory input is really intense for you, like I used to not be able to wear most socks because they would bother me; I had to cut all of the tags off of my clothes because I just could not stand the stimulation of being touched by them. So my sensitivity to things was linked to
my sensitivity to different kinds of foods. Everything was broken down into tiny steps. I learned how to take medication because she would cut pills in half for me and help me learn how to swallow pills. I learned how to eat pizza because like every single session, we’d try a different part of pizza. Like I’m not even kidding; I used to hate
pizza, and I had to go to therapy to learn how to eat pizza. When I was in seventh grade, we found this
clinic that exclusively worked with people who had eating disorders, and they mainly
worked with people who had like anorexia and bulimia, binging and purging, etcetera. We decided it might be helpful for me to go
to a place like that, because they were still specialized in eating disorders, so, you know. I spent three weeks in outpatient there, which means I had to leave school for three weeks; they faxed my homework to me. And I would spend from morning to night just in the clinic, working on food and going to like, group therapy sessions and talking one-on-one with a therapist, and just doin all that mental illness institutional stuff. My diet was really, really strictly regimented, like it was written out for the entire week what I was allowed to eat, how many calories were in each of those foods– ‘cos what they were trying to do at this point, I was so
undernourished that my body was actually behind in development, like I was very small, I was
not getting my period, so they were focused on trying to beef me up a little bit, because
I was underweight. So they succeeded in doing that, but it was
really emotionally hard on me, because I– they made you eat literally every crumb of
what they gave you, like when I was allowed to eat waffles, they had me lick the syrup
off of my plate to make sure that I had all of the calories that they’d written on my
sheet. I was always the last person to finish my
food by like, a half an hour to two hours, like I would just sit there and stare at it,
and they would make me sit there and stare at it until something happened, and I would
just pray that they would let me throw out my food. One time they tried to make me drink soda,
and I sat there until it went flat because I refused to drink soda. I still don’t drink soda. I just don’t like it. I wasn’t allowed to use the internet for more than like, small chunks of time only once a day. I wasn’t allowed to draw in my notebook while people were talking, which was hard because I doodle when everyone is talking; that’s
just how I like, process stuff; I draw. That was a really horrible experience, and
it introduced some things into my diet, but it ultimately didn’t do that much for me because it was structured for people who… [sigh] There’s a very real difference between not
eating food because it’s linked to your image of yourself, and not eating food because you don’t see the food as something you like, literally can ingest. Everyone in the whole world could think this was the best food they’d ever eaten and I’d try it and I’d be like, “That was really gross. I never want that again.” My mom eventually had a barium swallow study done on me, which is a test where they try to find out if you have any physical difficulties with swallowing things or your stomach or whatever. They didn’t find anything physically wrong
with me, and that didn’t really help either because it gave people like, “proof” that
it was “all in my head” and I just needed to “get over it” and eat things like a normal
person instead of being too picky. Food is central to every part of life, almost,
and if you have a problem with food, you have a problem with everything. Eventually, we gave up on all of this because we were just raking in those medical bills, and we were just amassing a lot of medical
debt for treatments that weren’t actually working. In high school, my diet mainly consisted of
peanut butter sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, various crackers like
Cheez-Its and Triscuits… I could eat McDonald’s cheeseburgers as long as it didn’t have literally anything else on it except for the cheese and the meat and the bun. I liked McDonald’s food a lot because it didn’t like, taste like real food, kind of; like I wasn’t able to eat normal burgers because the flavor was like really there, but McDonald’s is like, way more muted. Everyone tries to scare me by saying like,
“ooh, McDonald’s isn’t real food,” and I’m like, “yeah I know, that’s why I eat it.” This is not a cheerful video. I’m sorry. I’m just trying to like– these are the factual
experiences that I’ve had in my life, and these are the kinds of difficulties that arise from having an eating disorder. I wish I had an inspirational recovery story,
but I don’t. I still avoid social events a lot if there’s
gonna be food. I’ll either bring my own food or I’ll ask
to leave to get different food, or I’ll just like hard-avoid it, like just dodge it completely. I’m terrified of going on trips or studying
abroad because if the food is something that I don’t eat, then I’ll just like starve all
the time, and I won’t make a big deal out of it because I don’t wanna cause a scene,
and I don’t want people to pity me, so I’ll just be like, “Oh, I’m not hungry,” and I’ll
just deal with it. And it sucks. This past year there have been two main developments with my eating disorder, the first being that school has really stressed me out–and not
just school, just like life events– the extreme stress combined with my eating disorder is just making me incredibly physically and mentally weak. So I’ve started seeking out sources of nutrition that would be easy first steps for me. I tried drinking orange juice. I’ve also started drinking smoothies with other fruits in them, because that way I get the nutrients that are in the fruits without having to like, deal with the texture of actually eating fruits. Eventually I hope that maybe I can move on
to vegetable smoothies, but I don’t know. Vegetables and I have never been friends. The second thing is um– this might not seem linked to me getting better, but I’ve actually started treating my disorder as a legitimate
disability, like previously I’d just been completely brushing it off as me just having my own personal problem, and “oh I don’t want anyone else to deal with my problem, I’ll
just quietly handle it over here by myself.” But sometimes I’ll be at a social function,
and I’ll feel brave enough to tell the person in charge of the food like, “Hey, I have this
eating restriction; I need these accommodations; I need some sort of mild food option.” And part of me struggles with that because
I feel like I’m enabling myself, but I also know that this is a very, very long journey
that I’m going to struggle with for my entire life, and to just constantly subject myself–
I’m not gonna get better just ‘cos my only option of things to eat at this function is
a salad, like it’s gonna take a long time of me trying different components of the salad separately by myself when I’m not in public, and so it makes sense for me to ask people for help because I’m not better yet, and I won’t be for a long time. A lot of people have tried to give me “tough
love” and that doesn’t work; that just makes me completely shut down, and sometimes I relapse, which is bad! I see much more success when I myself take the initiative to try something, and yeah that might take a long time, but like ultimately it works better if I’m setting my own schedule. I’m not a weak person for having this; it’s
an illness, and if you have this, then it’s not your fault. My advice would be that you know yourself
better than anyone else, and if someone’s telling you that you’re not getting better
fast enough, then they can go deal with their problems themselves. This is your problem, and you get to decide
how you wanna deal with it. I promise you’re not the only person who has this. One thing that was comforting to me–I kinda like, cried when I found out–but there is an ARFID tag on tumblr. There’s a community of people with relatable memes who all get how horrible Thanksgiving is. All right, so closing thoughts, there are a
lot of success stories out there; I’m not one of them yet. I honestly don’t know if I ever will be, ‘cos
I’m not one of those endless positivity people, like… I don’t know! But I’m trying, and I’ve lived with this my
whole life, and I’m sure that I can deal with it in the future. I’m not really sure what else to say about
it, but if you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments, and if you have
an experience with this eating disorder or you know anyone else with this eating disorder, you can let me know down below, and I’ll put some links to some ARFID blogs in the description as well. So uhhh, I guess I’ll see you guys tomorrow.


  1. Hey everyone! I'm so glad that this video has been able to help so many people! If you'd like to hear more about my experience with this disorder, I just posted a new video about what it's like to be dismissed by doctors and peers; it might be #relatable for many of you. https://youtu.be/bSa9LBDuC4k

  2. Thank you so much. I have never received treatment or diagnosis but I desperately needed validation with my "picky eating problem". I relate so much to everything you said.

  3. Okay, many people in the comments say this sounds like themselves, but honestly this sounds like my best friend…Shes been picky with eating her entire life, and i know its mostly texture that is the problem. She will not eat anything with herbs, "bits" (like fruit drinks that arent smooth) and anything small like that. She will not eat something if she sees herbs or something on it because she says she can feel them and she doesnt like it. Shes gotten better with trying new foods/drinks recently but shes still very picky…Is it possible she could have ARFID?

  4. I came across this video when I remembered what had happened to me when I was eight. I began researching and wow…I know now I have the fear of vomiting and ARFID. It started for as long as I could remember. It first started off at like 4, the first time I remember vomiting. It was a horrible experience, and I remember drinking Sunny D and having Icecream from Carvel that day. From then on, I refused to drink Sunny D and eat ice cream from Carvel because of that. Then it came with pizza. I had eaten Pizza from an Italian Pizza Place. That night, I had thrown up. I didn’t want to eat any Italian Pizza, I could only eat from chain pizzerias. It began escalating on Thanksgiving, when I had eaten a whole lot, and the thing I ate most was cheesecake. That night I had thrown up. So I refused to eat cheesecake and was now scared of throwing up at night. Every night I would be terrified to go to sleep, scared to vomit. I didn’t allow my parents to sleep with me ( I was 8) because the night I felt sick I was with my mom. I would tremble and shake violently when my parents told me it was time for bed. I would pray for ten minutes praying that I wouldn’t get sick. It got worse when I began to stop eating. I remember the day I went to the hospital. I woke up, and I couldn’t stand up. I didn’t have the energy. I tried to walk but I struggled. I gave up and called for my mom and dad.but they were still sleeping. I threw myself on the floor and began crawling to their room. I couldn’t move. They finally woke up. They had to change me, since I was so weak I couldn’t do it myself, and they picked me up and took me to the hospital. They gave me juice and j
    toast and sent me home later that day. After that was a blur, and I still had the fear, but it got better. I sometimes still stayed up at night, afraid to sleep, but I was able to eat and control myself. To this day I still get a little scared of the thought of throwing up and I make sure to have as much as I could handle, and to know when to stop eating before I get a stomach ache ( I had and still have a sensitive stomach which is prone to stomach aches and nausea, which made it ten times worse) I am happy to say I am 13 and it no longer controls my life like it used to! Thankyou for helping me realize what I had 🙂

  5. I'm happy I looked this up on youtube to find others talking about this. I'm 23 and have had this for as long as I can remember, but only recently realised (like… 3 weeks). I am trying to openly talk about it and see how much progress I've made since younger to now, but I know like you there's a long way to go.
    I've just opened up to talk to friends and family about it being an actual eating disorder… some are supportive without understanding, but a lot of the time I get "that's weird" or "you're just picky", and that's hard when I don't know how to express that it's just not that.
    But I'm also struggling with the fact my head tells me there's nothing wrong. There's nothing wrong with not liking those foods and you eat enough to survive so why go out of your way to try things you don't like… I'm just so unsure on how to help myself.

    I wish you all the best on your journey.

  6. I found out about ARFID a year or two ago, and I immediately went "this is me". It was just such a relief to find people who were like me, to know I wasn't alone. It also made my dad lighten up on me a bit, as he's always been kind of tough on me, trying to make me try new foods and trying to make sure I always had a vegetable with dinner (Not gonna happen, dude) My mom, on the other hand was always very accommodating. As long as I ate something with at least a little nutritional value, she was fine with it. (My parents divorced when I was a baby) Going out to eat was fine as long as the restaurant had chicken fingers or cheeseburgers, which I would get plain with just the cheese, burger, and bun. Though as I got older my mom tried taking me to fancier restaurants and i just couldnt eat anything. School was rough for me for numerous reasons, but ARFID made it worse. In kindergarten and elementary school I had a plain peanut butter sandwich every day for lunch. (I'm not totally against jelly, but I can't stand grape jelly which was all my school offered) It got worse in middle school, where the school didn't really offer much for me. If I ate at school, it was always a soft pretzel, lemonade and maybe a Snickers from the vending machine. But I had a lot of anxiety about school, which would kill my appetite so sometimes I just wouldn't eat lunch at all. (Which started a lovely rumour that I was anorexic, which, y'know was SO helpful for my anxiety) I went to sleep away theatre camp for five years starting when I turned twelve, and one of the deciding factors in choosing which camp to go to was the fact that one camp had a picky-eater line, which always had pancakes for breakfast and burgers for lunch and dinner (I'd have preferred chicken fingers, but the burgers were decent and always well-done, since I can't eat beef if there's any pink in it) Holidays with Mom's family were pretty good, as my mom made it clear to my grandfather that if he got on my case about food, we wouldn't come next year. Holidays with dad's family were tougher as someone was always pressuring me to try something new. But inevitably, I'd wind up having sweet potatoes and cornbread for Thanksgiving dinner, and sweet potatoes and a dry slice of ham or two for Christmas dinner. I would also often bring my own snacks for visiting family to make sure there was something I could eat between breakfast and dinner.

  7. Thank you so much for this, I literally found out about this disorder today and it's so nice to finally be understood! I'm 19 and I've been dealing with this since forever, no one took this seriously (me included), but now that I know that I'm not alone, I'm so relieved!

  8. YOUR NOT THE ONLY ONE! I THINK I HAVE SOMETHING SIMILAR. sometimes Its worse (mostly when I don't have time to find foods I like and or I have school) and sometimes its better it happened when i started eating solid food at a young age most likely when I was like 2 years old too.

  9. i barely know the term in my language, and im so happy that i found out your video. my actual friends don't know about it and it's so hard. when we go out together if maybe we go to mcdonald's its ok cause i eat something there, but if we go to a restaurant i just don't go, cause i would only eat pasta with some olive oil on it. and the fact that im italian and we are the country of great food it puts a little pressure on me lmao

  10. Thank you. I can not thank you enough. ARFID is often forgotten and not enough people know what it even is. Most people when you say “Eating Disorder” immediately jump to Anorexia and other well known eating disorders and everybody assumes that all eating disorders are linked to body image. They’re not. I’ve had ARFID for the majority of my life and I don’t have it quite as bad as I used to but watching videos like this is so comforting to see other people who know what it’s like. And like you said it’s not just as simple as “just eat it it’s all in your head.” Because it’s kind of not in a way. Your not imagining the food, it actually is right here In front of you but when it triggers for me there’s just a block in my mind and it’s impossible to get through. And not many people actually understand that it is a real issue for some people. So for everything, thank you.

  11. I found out about ARFID only today, and before I thought I was the only one in the entire world to not like most foods because of their taste/texture/smell.

    I'd get so scared at school events and when nutrition month comes rolling around I try and beg to not go but because of the school points I had to. (I didnt eat any vegetables and most of the fruit)

    Ive went to the doctors about this and they didnt even know its a thing (before I knew there's ARFID) and they just said that I should eat more?? I was so confused and I kept crying.
    My family (a.k.a me, my mom and dad) were very supportive and do everything in their power to make me eat what I actually want to eat.
    My dad's side of the family? not so much, Im not close with them..My mom's side of the family is okay, although my grandma always complains how I'm acting like a spoiled brat because I cant eat what they eat.

    Thank goodness I've found this (from Psych2Go then I looked it up)

  12. Thank you, just put words on something I never was able to. Finally knowing that I am not alone, this is one of the best things that happened to me in a long time.

    EDIT : Also, I made a translation of the video into french, because I think my family needs to see this video, so if you have any problem/question about the translation, just tell me.

  13. I just apologized to my mother. I blamed her for a long time for not “making” me eat vegetables when I was a toddler. Now I understand. She told me that as soon as I started on solid food I would only eat plain ham or a hamburger patty plain with no bun. Later I was able to add chocolate ice cream. I found out 25 years ago I am allergic to chocolate. I’m 48 and although my palate has expanded a bit my texture issue is dominating.

  14. I am questioning everything right now, because this is actually me. I'm serious. I also have ARFID, i brought my own cooler to overnight camp, and I lie about why I'm not eating with everyone else. I'm currently in residental therapy for my ARFID

  15. I have had this disorder since I was extremely young and I never knew it was an actual real disorder and I feel so much comfort seeing I'm not alone and that other people are going through the same thing. Thank you for sharing your story because I know how embarrassing and difficult it feels to have to explain it to strangers because my friends before they knew how serious it was would constantly make me tell new people my strange eating habits.

  16. Hello from Ukraine, Morgan.
    My name is Vladimir, I have ARFID as long as I remember myself (though when I was young it was simply called "your child is weird").
    I'm 41 now, and I still not quite ready to talk about it.
    So thank you for spreading the word about this condition, and, well, I don't know what else to say. :-/

  17. Literally everything you said I felt. I started hating food at two years old and it spiraled down. My parents would make me food and would say “eat this or you can’t go to bed” and I would fall asleep at the table. I always don’t talk about what I eat because I’m so scared what others would say. I always bring my own food to any and everything and would always get looks because no one understood why I wouldn’t eat the pizza provided at parties. It is so nice to know that others have experienced the same and I’m so glad that I was diagnosed finally. Every time I went to the doctor before I was told to just try foods and just keep trying. It took 18 years for someone to finally understand that I had an eating problem and I wasn’t just being stubborn. Thank you for making this video. It’s really cool to see that someone else has been through similar things.

  18. I'm crying while watching this and reading the comments. I hated myself so bad for my "picky eating habits" but seeing how many people go through this too….. I really thought I was alone but now I know I'm not. I'm sorry for your guys' struggles but I'm so glad I'm not alone

  19. I'm losing my mind while watching this
    I literally suffered almost EVERYTHING you mentioned since my childhood as faaaaaar as i can remember
    I've always been his way
    My eating habit has started to bother me a little NOW (I'm 18).
    People in college mention it too much and it's bothering me and i just.. Can't tolerate all that.
    Even now, I take hours to finish my food(improved a little but not much difference), don't take any carbonated drinks or stuff and a lot of things like rice, etc etc
    Have that sensitivity thing in common too.
    I've never gone to any doctor for this specific reason. Once I caught cold, and my mother mentioned to the doc "oh, she's never hungry" and he gave some extra "meds" that were supposed to "increase my diet" but i don't think they actually worked, but the other ones took the flu/cold away and never went for the food thing ever again.

    I just came to know there's something like this too. My friends just think I do this to maintain my body shape bla bla and my parents honestly don't care.
    I don't feel like eating. I know i should be hungry or maybe i really am, but.. I would just not eat it. I went without eating for 2 days last month.
    I'm a really really really really really really really really picky eater too. If i even try to eat the thing i don't like or even if it's really good.. It just makes me sad idk. I don't think that makes sense.

  20. I honestly relate to most of your issues. I know I haven't been diagnosed with Arfid officially recently discovered this disorder. I know I have it. I know at a few points I was better but then regressed back into it. I truly feel traumatized from food at times. I'm almost 33yo but spent my childhood feeling so similar. Being ashamed of not liking anything was so difficult. It's so difficult. Thankfully, I'm not underweight so people do not realize how much of toil this takes on my life. I love McDonald's too. Hate Chick fil a because the texture is too real. Thank you for speaking out for us. My family ridicules me through this whole thing. Hurting my mental health for my entire life. Exasperating my mental anxiety issues throughout my life.

  21. i almost started crying i’ve never heard of arfid until now and i think i have it. i’m not sure but my ENTIRE life everyone has called me a “picky eater” but it’s bad, like i will not eat anything and people try to put food in front of me but i already know i won’t like it because of the texture of it. i can’t eat normal things and i always get picked on because of it and i never really knew why it was so bad until now

  22. i’m so glad i found this video. before i found it, i just thought i was the pickiest eater ever. but now i know i’m not a freak. i have a real disorder and i’m not alone. shoutout to you, girl!

  23. I wish I had found this earlier. I had the exact same experience with a clinic (called Veritas, I think it's the same one). I might've gone a bit later than you because instead of having you sit down with the food, after mealtime was over you were given either one or two boosts based on how much you ate. This wasn't a problem at all for me because I'd been having them my whole life and I much preferred to drink those than eat. I was also very small and didn't have my period when I went in, only found a few foods which I dropped within a year of being let out, and it didn't do much other than weight restore since it was focused on other eating disorders.

  24. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story! I have 2 sons with ARFID – and newly diagnosed. I am so grateful to hear your thoughtful articulation and it helps me as a mom better understand what they are going through and not to do the "Sit there until you try it" or punishment approach. I do not want to continue having anxiety around mealtimes in my house. Any ideas other than consistently serving the one brand of mac and cheese? Thanks again!

  25. I recently found out I have this too. For me it came when I was around 6 or 7 (I'm 16 now) everyone thought there was something wrong with me (and they still do tbh) but now I at least know why I am like this. I'd say I have pretty much the same kind of thing as you, but a milder version. I'm really sensitive too temperature and consistency, but there are still quite a few foods that I like. I don't hate food, I just wanna eat whatever food I like, and eat it alone.

  26. So relatable, this video made me really feel like I'm not alone in this. Eating a salad is basically a nightmare for me. The gagging, as you said, is impossible for me to avoid. Fruits and vegetables, beans, anything weirdly textured or colored is definitely very difficult for me to eat and disgusts me.
    In January of last year, I started making green "smoothies," but I would blend them so much and add so much liquid that it was more like a juice. The ingredients I used cut the taste really well and I started to enjoy them and how they made me feel. I've realized that consistency is the main thing that helps us with this disorder. I had those green smoothies every single day for 50 days and it helped me in so many ways. If anyone wants my exact recipe let me know! It's pineapple, strawberries, spinach, apple juice, coconut water, water, and matcha/ginger powder but I'll give exact measurements if someone wants it.

  27. Gosh this made me cry. This made me feel so validated as having an actual illness. As an overweight person, it's hard to be taken seriously with any sort of eating disorder symptoms. If I don't look underweight people assume that I just overeat, but it's mostly the fact I can only really eat like bread and potatoes as the most filling foods I'm able to consume. Having my diet be really carb heavy just so I can feel full made me gain weight of course. I totally relate to most of what you said apart from the fact I haven't been able to get help and so still can't eat pizza. Every school trip I've been on I've starved because the only meal I can eat is breakfast. I'm so used to occupying my time with doing other things to distract from my hunger that it's upsetting that there's been times that my eating problems have elevated to the poiny where I've gone days without eating a full meal, maybe a piece of fruit and I don't eveb notice. And no one else ever does either because of my appearance. Being overweight sorta just means if I lose weight through starving, whether intentional or not, I get complimented on it. But anyway, the whole tough love thing is soo true, my parents used to use every trick in the book to get me to eat, it was a bit traumatic some of it ngl. Thank you so much for sharing, especially towards the end when you said how it's not the fault of the person. It's really easy to forget that when everyone keeps telling you to just try harder and stop being picky. I wish but if I so much as touch most food especially meat or sauces I start panicking and want to take my skin off😂

  28. This hit me really hard, i've never met anyone with this disorder and it is a little comforting to know other people out there, I always avoid anything that involves food and this REALLY hurts friendships

  29. "ooH mcdonalds isn't real food"
    "yeah I know that's why I eat it"
    ^^^ if this ain't relatable, i don't know what is

  30. People with anorexia who are malnourished get feeding tubes to make sure their bodies get what they need in order to survive and be healthy. Has anyone with ARFID had that? If you can swallow all the supplements you need I guess you won't need it, but otherwise it would be an option if you struggle very much?

  31. I have ARFID too. i was a normal kid until age 4. I got forced to eat a food that i hated and gagged. i know that that isn't much, but it traumatized me and now i eat a very small variety of food. My parents always just thought i was a picky eater and it would go away eventually, but it didn't. My parents took me to many "feeding clinics" (that is what they call them) i just recently got diagnosed. Thanks for sharing your story.

  32. I lived off peanut butter sandwiches, poptarts, biscuits, and cream potatoes(no lumps) till I was in like 4th grade. I still don’t eat much at all. I didn’t eat meat until 5th grade. One time I slept at the table bc I was told I couldn’t go to bed until I ate a green bean. I refused. I went to a food specialist too, all they could get me to do is kiss a piece of cheese. I’m 20 now and I’m better now but I still can’t eat around people who are eating things that trigger me

  33. Oh- and again- also- rn- i'm suffering from medicial health issues thanks the my ED AFRID-
    The doctors r saying I dont eat enough, nor do I eat a lot of nutrients or fibre orfibEr???–
    I'm probably gonna get my health worse :,)..
    I'm rlly young, and I can't eat normally, it sucks- badly-
    I wish my old self would be teached well or better –
    My stomach or abdomen idfk hurts bADLY. I get pain after eating the food I like.
    I've tried broccoli more, and I nearly threw up- I'm having bowel problems, and my depression and anxiety increaSeD–
    But thank u- I think i've spelt ARFID- wroNg- exusemyingorancE-

  34. I totally understand where u coming from its hard very hard..ppl always say just try it but that's the hardest part.I've learned to live around this but i get tired of eating the same foods i want to be able to eat anything

  35. Oh sweetheart, thank you so much for your candid video! This disorder needs more awareness for sure, and people like you will help to bring more awareness. Maybe when you get into college you can study psychology and become a researcher so you can find out how to help people like yourself with this disorder, because there is very little help out there!. 🙂 My grandson is 11, and he has had this since he was 2. I have been trying to figure out how to help him all of these years, to no avail. I have looked at places such as you have described attending, and I was fearful of just the kind of thing you described, which could be more harmful than helpful. Luckily, I did a lot of research and knew that it was an eating disorder, and that he wasn't just being picky. I passed that info on to his parents, so at least he didn't have to deal with people trying to force feed him. As you said, you will starve rather than eat certain foods, and I see my grandson doing this. My heart goes out to you. Hearing this from a young person like you helps me to see what my grandson is going through. I am currently looking into hypnosis as a possible treatment option, in fact, that is what brought me to your video. Please take a look at www.felixeconomakis.com. He has expertise in this area. PLease know that I am not affiliated in any way with this person. I am still in the "looking" stages myself. There just isn't much out there in the way of help and i'm very hopeful that this will work. If you do try it, please do a video of your outcome! I would love to know! You are super smart and brave and I wish you the very best of luck! <3

  36. I had ARFID from when I was around 2 years old to 14 years old and I absolutely experienced everything that you mentioned in this video. Having very hyper sensitivity to texture, avoiding social activities involving food, and just having much heightened emotions in general. It was a difficult transition even after I overcame my eating habits because then I found myself to be behind developmentally in the social aspect of things. I've had ARFID people ask me what helped me overcome it and I've always found that to be a very tricky question to answer because I am consciously aware of some of the things that helped me, but there are some things were a bit more ambiguous. I would definitely say it was a series of small little steps and having the support of people around me who were nonjudgmental, patient with my disorder, and still actively tried to gently guide me out of my comfort zone. The experience you described about going through "treatment" definitely breaks my heart. I absolutely do not believe that the way to overcome this through forced coercion like what you experienced. Anytime that people would force me to do or eat anything was never helpful. I hope you are able to find a group of patient, supporting people who will be able to help guide you through your process. I strongly believe that is the key to help overcoming this. Best wishes ahead for you 🙂

  37. How do you find treatment options for ARFID? I’ve been struggling with it for 21 years and I had no idea that other people had the same problem.

  38. i grew up with this and grew up having people asking and bullying me saying i was anorexic or bulimic & therapists saying the same and i continued for years telling them i just had no appetite so i’ve been misdiagnosed my whole life so it’s nice seeing this, seeing i’m not alone. i’m almost 25 now weighing 89 pounds & want nothing more than to recover!!!!! thank you

  39. Yo what's up kids, finally decided to actually go to my "local" eating disorder clinic and tomorrow I will get a treatment plan. Although, the first part of said treatment will actually be then trying to diagnose me better. So yeah, here I go.

  40. Found your channel through ash!
    I have had a very similar experience to what you described. I am a 14 year old Australian and I have been refused by every treatment programs. I have tried graded exposure but it has proven to be extremely difficult without professional help. I am currently being assessed for autism (high functioning) which might explain my sensory difficulties. I had lost all hope. This video has helped me to see that I am not alone in this situation.

  41. Thank you! I had no idea this was a thing!!! I thought I was just some weird freak who won't eat anything… People just didn't understand. I couldn't just shove it down my throat and swallow. I've been on trips where the only things I eat are the eggs in the morning. To make things worse I'm lactose intolerant! Woo! (That was sarcastic) I'm glad to see there are other people out there like me. I don't feel so alone anymore. Thank you so much.

  42. Thank you Morgan. I am 55 years old and I have been dealing with this disorder all my life. I thought nobody eats like me. I havent been diagnosed but I have cant digest anything green or textured. Its a struggle. I hate ordering food in front of people at a restaurant. I have to piece a menu together. I get anxiety when i have to explain. Thank you for your videos. I usually say Im allergic too.

  43. Hi everyone, we are a team of 8 French students in food process engineering working on eating disorders. In order to finalize our study, we are looking for people with a(/an) (bulimia/anorexia/ARFID) condition.

    Thus, if you are suffering or think you are suffering from this disorder, this survey is made for you ! (Please if you are not diagnosed answer to the first question as "none of them")


    If you need help to answer any of these questions don't hesitate to contact us !

    Have a good day!
    Lucille, Coline, Lucille, Victor, Maxence, Selma, Gaston and Clémence

  44. Dang now I’m crying. This hit me on a whole other level. I have SUCH a hard time trying new foods and I just don’t know why. I hate going to social events and dating sucks bc they just never understand. Hell sometimes my friends and family don’t understand and just push me too far. I’ve been trying to go to therapy for it but my parents just won’t call and I don’t understand why. I hope you get better and I wish you luck.

  45. My daughter suffers from ARFID. She will drink a Premier Protein drink that has 30 grams of protein and add various fruits and other small amounts of vegetables then blend it all up well. She has very little protein in her diet so this helps if she gets a shake in each day. Otherwise it’s grilled cheese sandwich’s, Kraft Mac and Cheese, McDonalds spicy chicken sandwich, peanut butter, a scrambled egg, milk, Pasta Roni Fettucini Alfredo and corn. That’s it.

  46. Hi there!
    Did you try hypnosis?
    I helped me and a lot of people.
    You can get to know my story https://youtu.be/mOB1MXtGPGs
    Bless you! I know how it is <3

  47. Out of all my years of being alive, today the first day that i found out the name for the disorder i have been dealing with all my life.

    And your video was my 1st "interaction" with someone like me and it feels so good to know that someone understands you.
    I will never forget what you've done for me today. Thank you! <3

  48. Omg I just found this through Kati Morton's video on ARFID and this is literally my life. I had no idea this was classified as an eating disorder. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  49. I just started crying when started you describing your experience 😭😭 this disorder has truly defined my life 😔 No one in my community understands or even wants to understand what I have been going through. Thank you for this ❤️

  50. i have this eating disorder too, it sucks that it’s not taken seriously :/ thanks for spreading awareness !!!!

  51. I always come back to this video when I have panic attacks due to food or thoughts of my issues with food. Thank you for making me feel less alone. I don’t know if I have arfid because I talked to my doctor and they weren’t familiar with the disorder but I do know that I have a lot of the same experiences you talked about. Just thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone in this

  52. Thank you for being willing to be so open about your history. I have ARFID, as well, and definitely appreciate seeing that I am not alone

  53. Hello! I am 25. I have always been an intensely picky eater my entire life and have always been made fun of for it. I am the only one in my family who is under 150(currently i weigh 108). Because of that I have always struggled with how small I am compared to others. And it doesn't help how people are always commenting on that aspect of me.
    All my life i just thought I was weird because i didn't like all of the foods that everyone else liked. When i was a child when my mom would make chicken or steak i would pretend to chew it when she would be in the room, but then hide it in a napkin that I had hidden under my leg when she would walk away. I have always had a very restrictive diet, and now i know why.
    Thank you for talking about this more in depth, because i haven't found much about this yet.

  54. Everyone told me I was just picky. Yeah…that worked out well.

    And then there was thanksgiving

  55. I just read an article where scientists have discovered that the lining of the stomach has taste buds. This makes ARFID worse. You can’t just “choke it down” and get past the taste.

  56. In some way I relate but in another I don't. I didn't really realize I had sensory processing issues or why I would feel sick from food or why I was always stressed, I just forced everything upon me. Now I'm breaking down and can't handle it any more. It seems like for arfid you learn how to eat new food. But I eat a variety of food, I just avoid food intake when I am stressed, which is actually a lot of the time, and need to wait for hours to calm down because my senses just can't handle it. So really trying new food won't really help. And what does it help me when I eat food which then causes me to gag or meltdown? I relate to your experience in that eating disorder clinic because having to eat food with a bad texure is just really stressing me out. For me I was able to handle my eating problems before I was diagnosed with a food intolerance. But then I wasn't supposed to eat what I usually ate when I was stressed, which were very specific sensory fine things, and that really made a lot of problems. Like, what do you do when you usually drink fruit and veggie juice instead of eating fruit and veggies in order to not have the texture, but then someone tells you that you should not do it because it is bad for your body and causes you symptoms? What do you do when you have one very specific brand of pralines you still enjoy eating when stressed and that calms you but then you are not supposed to eat that?

  57. I just graduated with my nursing license , so I have a tendency to try to self diagnose and I swear my loved ones think I'm crazy because of it . But for all of my guesses so far (chronic pain in four different areas), I've been confirmed as correct by my doctors (and that's NOT counting the mental disorders.. just physical) . My life has been MISERABLE because of my pain , and it has been made ten times worse ever since my appetite changed . Suddenly , I was losing weight and eating nothing. I thought it was because I had been living on my own for two years now, and I had just lost time to cook for myself , so I would eat tiny things on the go (but never more than half) until I realized how serious it was. Every single day that I realized I was so weak I couldn't work, I would say that it seems that I am anorexic even though I am perfectly fine with my body…. Like "just anorexia without the nervosa"…. I just found this tonight and on Google and I have to say I'm so relieved .. I've been thinking about working with a dietician .. I have a lot of other needs for my body such as a need for alkaline pH because I have interstitial cystitis so this eating disorder worsens that and makes everything else harder … Thank you for sharing your story you are amazing. This has changed me

  58. Oh my god i have this exact problem like exact and ppl never know what’s wrong w me or why i won’t eat most foods and am extremely picky

  59. My 22 yr old daughter 'suffers' from this and I mean that literally – it is a serious social issue. Nobody understands it and she gets constant pressure from 'well meaning' folk to try this, try that etc. She cried when she found your videos and came to me and said 'Mom, I'm not alone!'  Thank you so much for sharing and bringing this disorder out into the open. I am certainly learning a great deal and she is feeling so much more better knowing she is no longer alone.

  60. Thank you Morgan for posting this video. My daughter who is almost 11 has just recently been diagnosed with ARFID. However unlike you my daughter is not eating or drinking anything. She has ASD, ADHD and Anxiety as well as TSC. We believe her issues arose due to some loose teeth she had. Prior to this she ate just fine. She is now being fed via nasal gastric tube and we are awaiting outpatient therapy for her after spending 17 days in hospital. Hearing your point of view on this has been helpful as a parent. I wish you all the best and hope that you do overcome this one day.

  61. I’m glad to have seen your video. When I met my husband he explained to me how he doesn’t eat every food. He only eats like 3 things. Years later, my 3 kids from him have the same issue. I feel helpless!!

  62. Hearing the words I've said my entire life come out of someone else truly is strange. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. I just found out this is an actual disorder and I'm almost 25 and have had it since I was a toddler. Thanks for showing me and so many others we aren't alone.

  63. I have never been able to bring food to summer camps and I’ve been to like 5 that involved not being able to go home every day for food. I would literally sit there during meals making my food look as small as possible and then I would gather everyone else’s food scraps to put in the bin so it looked like I’d eaten and that the food belonged to the whole table, I would then go to my cabin and open up the stash of up’n’go that I had brought and had two or three for each meal. Sometimes I’d be able to eat meals like when they had build your own sandwiches, except that the lady giving everyone the ingredients yelled at me for not wanting to add anything other than cheese and made me put carrot on it which I took one bite of before throwing it out, I’d been late to lunch anyway so it got buried by everyone else’s trash. My parents convinced the last camp I went on to let me bring some of my own food and have that as meals but they like forgot or the counsellor didn’t know what to do with me during mealtimes so they treated the food I’d brought as snacks and made me get food anyway. Honestly I would probably have been mostly fine with my meals if I didn’t get publicly called out whenever I said I didn’t want anything other than the Doritos for nachos because it was the only thing that I liked or if other people didn’t see me throwing out whole plates of food or if my grandparents who refuse to buy most foods actually bought foods that I liked and didn’t try and diagnose me as anorexic because I survived on a piece of bread a day when I stayed with them for a whole month. I literally woke up at 6am and went to bed at 10pm and was busy doing activities all day everyday at the hospital so with that one sandwich I obviously didn’t feel too good all the time. Thing is though, I live in Australia and if you think a lot of things aren’t well known in the rest of the world? I doubt anybody knows what ARFID is here. I’ve literally explained my food problems to doctors and they had no idea, one of them did try with “food related OCD” but you know they don’t really treat that.

  64. I have arfid too, and I never tried fruit in my life. I don’t want to, all I eat is bread and chicken thats it. Food just doesn’t pull my interest but I’m not picky it’s really annoying when people say im so picky like, it’s an eating disorder.

  65. Hi Morgan and everyone who suffers from ARFID. I truly feel your pain, I don't want to be to negative but as a child growing up i was a very fussy eater and drove my parents mad who responded with punishment I got worse and worse until I couldn't eat hardly anything. I'm now just past 50 years old and only just found this name for my eating disorder. I can only rarely eat solid food so I live off Aymes nurishment milk shake drinks I buy off eBay and oddly I can sometimes eat a big mac without the greenery also. I don't see a way to get over how ill normal food makes me. I don't expect I will ever be cured of this non sleeping nightmare. But I live in hope. Love and luck to all from Welsh Louise.

  66. Food has always been a huge issue in my life, since the day I was born… I'm 100% sure I have ARFID as well… I got many food-based traumas. Dude, these disorders never stop once you start to analyze yourself. Your pizza story is similar to mine, When I was a little kid I only ate pizza's crust, for year my parents would come back from a night outside brought with them picess of pizza crust to me :D… I remember if it was stained with tomato sauce I would rather not eat it. it was when I was 9 or 10 that I first ate a whole slice of pizza, very, very reluctantly. It was at my friend's mom. And I fell in love with pizza since then. But with the exception of certain foods, eating was always mostly a chore for me, and I rarely got excited for the eating part at parties, family reunions and whatnot. Also I barely notice that I am hungry, people telling me I'm shaking sometimes, and I hardly even notice that.

  67. I've struggled with sensory issues and ARFID my whole life. After studying special education in college and learning more about autism, I realized that many of these symptoms align with autism. If you have these issues and also have other symptoms of autism such as social difficulties, stimming, or obsessive tendencies, I would seriously consider being assessed to see if you have autism. Many high-functioning people with autism, especially people born female, have gone undiagnosed due to a lack of understanding of autism.

    After coming to terms with the fact that I have autism, my general well-being has improved drastically. I've found that thinking about my sensory issues in this way has helped me better manage them.

  68. Thank you so much for making this! This is such an unknown disorder! I had never even heard of it! My therapist has recently said she suspects I may have ARFID. It came on all of a sudden after a horribly traumatic event and I had no longer had interest in eating anymore. I went three days with only drinking one Frappuccino before I realized I hadn’t actually consumed any food.

  69. Dogs can never have ARFID. They just wold down anything put in front of them. Cats on the other hand; well we all know how cats turn their nose up at so many things.

  70. Good move not drinking soda. Soft drinks are just burrows full of sugar which is the modern tobacco, a drug and a real health risk and with 1 litre of soft drink having 30 odd spoonfuls of sugar equivalence it is best to view those drinks as poison.

  71. This sounds like my 17 year old. He's already doing CBT for his depression, so I'll be bringing this up with his therapist.

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