ZocdocAnswersI keep feeling like I'm underweight though I know I'm not, why is that?

Question

I keep feeling like I'm underweight though I know I'm not, why is that?

I have been struggling with this for a while. I feel like I'm stick thin and underweight though I am 6'1" and 240 pounds. When I feel my arms or waist (I'm legally blind so I go off feel for everything) I feel like I'm tiny and brittle. On the one hand I know I don't need to gain weight, on the other hand I feel like I'm underweight, this conflict keeps cropping up and I know it cannot be healthy for me, mentally or physically. I want to know what's wrong with me, and if there is anything that can be done before this gets too far. I am trying to watch what I eat and how much but I just feel like I'm wasting away when I'm not. Please, any information or suggestions would be wonderful right now, I want to be able to control this while I still have a chance to fight back against it.

Answer

I would strongly suggest that you see a your psychiatrist to talk about these issues. It sounds from your description as though you do not actually have a underweight problem at all. This means that there is a disconnect between your actual weight and what your mind perceives your weight to be. This could be a reaction to your legal blindness, causing some insecurity with your surroundings and environment which is manifesting as feeling "frail" or physically brittle, even though you are not. Alternatively, this could be from a more serious psychiatric problem, such as an anxiety disorder or a body dysmorphic disorder. Your psychiatrist will be able to talk through these issues and help you decided what needs to be done. Sometimes medications may be helpful, for example in the case of a serious anxiety disorder. On the other hand, you may just need to spend some time with a counselor or therapist working through some of these issues. Your psychiatrist will be able to help you determine whether or not you need medication and, furthermore, should be able to recommend a therapist or counselor for you if you do not already have one. Please contact your doctor as soon as you can!

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