Bryan Dijkhuizen

I Have an Eating Disorder

One of the most important things to stay healthy is to eat good food.

Let that be just one of the things that don’t work so well for me. Eating has always been a struggle. Ever since I was four years old, I have had trouble swallowing certain foods, and after 18 years, that still seeps into my daily life.

Little did I know that a couple of years, I discovered it probably has something to do with my being autistic.

In this article, I’m telling you all about it.

10 Years of Ignorance

I have been writing about my autism for a while now and find that I am beginning to understand it better and better.

Where 10 years ago I knew nothing about my autism, I can now elaborate on how my brain works and what is different about it than the brain of neurotypical people.

You might just think “Just swallow the damn food.”

If it only were that simple I wouldn’t be writing this article in the first place.

I cannot apply that knowledge mainly because I know what’s good for my body.

Autism isn’t just being overstimulated because of sounds and light. Or being unable to communicate with strangers — it’s more than that, it’s so complicated.

It’s swallowing complicated pieces of food as well.

The Connection Between Autism & My Eating Disorder

Most professional documents and articles have figured out that autistic people have some eating disorders, just not in the way I have it.

It’s basically about stress.

People tend to not eat when they’re stressed, or eat a lot. That’s not my problem; yes I have stress, but what’s holding me back from eating what I can eat?

It’s the swallowing of complicated structures that makes me want to puke.

Or chewing on the food for a very long time makes it psychologically impossible to swallow it in the end — and the taste of the food went by then.

And it takes like a minute for me to eat this tiny piece of watermelon that others just chew away for fun — it’s a real task for me.

It’s so annoying. Because it’s not the taste of the food that’s the problem.

Lots of people don’t eat stuff because they don’t like the taste and then call it an eating disorder. However, I experience literal gagging when consuming something as simple as an apple.

Life is Very Uncomfortable When You Can’t Swallow Anything

Imagine going to a fancy restaurant with your girlfriend’s family and being unable to order anything because it’s all so complicated food.

That’s just embarrassing.

Or in a situation where the restaurant has something simple that I can eat, it’s called “For Children” and they literally repeat that when I’m ordering my food.

Why would you do that?

But there’s a bigger problem, I can’t swallow medication. It’s that bad. The moment I see pills my throat just blocks and closes.

Luckily, I’ve never had any issues that resulted in me needing to take any medication — but when that moment happens to occur in the future, that will be a serious problem.

Final Thoughts on My Eating Disorder

I hope that by reading this article, you have learned something new about autism and eating disorders.

Maybe you can relate to some of my experiences, or maybe you know someone who does. Either way, I want you to know that you are not alone.

There are many people who face similar challenges, and there are ways to cope with and overcome them.

If you have an eating disorder or suspect that you might have one, please seek professional help as soon as possible. Don’t let your condition control your life. You deserve to be healthy and happy.

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