Selective Eating Disorder: SED


*see additional and updated information.

Also known as perseverative feeding disorder, or picky/fussy eating, Selective Eating Disorder is expressed in an aversion to certain foods, leaving a narrow range of foods deemed acceptable (usually 10 foods or less), and an extreme refusal to try new foods. Some may not only limit what they'll eat to certain foods or textures but also to certain brands. Nutritional health is a concern.
It is common with, but not limited to, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and children with anxiety disorders. Though typically outgrown as the child matures, it may persist well into adulthood.

"Typically a child or adolescent with selective eating will be within the normal range for both weight and height, and show no abnormality on physical examination. Sometimes selective eating can come on after a period of normal eating, but for many there may be a history of early feeding difficulties or problem with weaning. Eating a highly restricted range of foods is a common feature of toddlers – up to 20 per cent of children below the age of five years are faddy and the problem persists to the age of eight years in about a third of these. However for some young people the problem persists into middle childhood, adolescence and even adulthood. So whilst most children will grow out of it, a small number do need help to change their eating behavior."
SED presenting in adolecence and/or adulthood can put a strain on relationships and social interactions, and be accompanied by anxiety.


"For 28 years Vicki has refused to eat anything except cheddar cheese sandwiches, and cheese and tomato pizza. Her restrictive, bizarre diet is now having a major effect on family life. The Zukiewiczs, who live in Swindon with their three-year-old daughter Ella, cannot go to restaurants or dinner parties. Their social life is non-existent. At her wedding reception, five years ago,Vicki, who runs a successful business selling herbal supplements in Swindon, managed a baked potato… with cheese."

"Jamie Davison, a retail manager from Sheffield, has a diet limited to crisps, Mars Bars and HP brown sauce. When he went snowboarding in Finland last year, he packed 40 packets of Monster Munch (pickled onion flavour) in his suitcase. 'It drives me crazy,' admits Jamie, 27. "I know it's not right."

"Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and lecturer in eating disorders, says: 'Selective Eating Disorder can be equally as restrictive as having a full blown eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia. Psychological symptoms include worry, depression and quite significant social impairment, since sufferers can't go out and eat. SED aligns itself more with the obsessive end of eating disorders, showing similarities with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There tends to be a huge fear of eating things rather than fear of weight gain itself." "Unlike those with other eating disorders, people with SED don't tend to loathe their bodies. 'The disorder develops when they are too young for 'fat and thin' to be important issues,' says Mr Economakis."



SED Resources and Support:
Picky Eating Adult Support
Fussyeaters.com
Adult Picky Eaters UK


 For additional and updated information: SED: Selective Eating Disorder Revisited

*See sidebar for more ED info, resources, and recovery.

Sources:http://www.ich.ucl.ac.uk/factsheets/families/F050241/index.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/4537701/Food-phobias-are-ruining-our-relationships.html picture:publicdomainpictures.net

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was one and still is one but i have had treatment with my doctor and she says i'm getting better, This all happen because i choked on a piece of spagetti and i been scared every since. But during that time all i ate was grilled cheese sandwiches, and chicken fingers with strawberry milk or bread with butter, I Was SO scared i had to go to the hospital becuase i had a panic attack they fed me through a tude one time too but now im 15 and much better and i eat all new types of food but some i don't eat and starve or be very careful with.

AW

MrsMenopausal said...

Anonymous #1,
It's great to hear that you have recovered. Thank you so much for commenting and letting others know it's possible.

Anonymous #2,
It's wonderful to hear that you are getting treatment and are improving. Keep up the good work. Best wishes to you for a full recovery and thank you for taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

I am still struggling with SED and also food neophobia. I found myself a good therapist and I am sure I can beat it.

spiritus

MrsMenopausal said...

Anonymous #3, I'm happy to hear you've found a good therapist. That's wonderful. I love your conviction about recovery. You can do it!
Thanks so much for commenting.

Ricky Fries said...

I am a 17 male and I have been struggling with this since about the age of 2. I have not found any help for myself but I have made some small strides on my own. I blame this disorder for pretty much everything that I think is wrong with me. It greatly affects my personal life because I can't go out and eat with my friends, and it also affects my self esteem because I think it is the cause of why I'm so thin and have acne (even though it may just be genetics). And in turn, makes me feel very depressed. I can feel the toll that it's taking on my body but every time I go to try something new I stop in fear of vomiting. I don't eat anything but pizza and french fries, and my dad's spaghetti with certain brands. If I had 1 wish it would be to be able to eat any food someone put in front of me. If anyone has any ideas on how to help me I would be very greatful

MrsMenopausal said...

{{{{{Ricky}}}}} I'm sorry to be replying so late. Please check out the resources in the sidebar for help. There are hotlines, websites, and organizations listed there that you can contact for help with your ED. Here's a direct link: http://weighingthefacts.blogspot.com/2008/03/eating-disorder-help-hotlines.html
Also check out We Bite Back http://www.webiteback.com/forum/ and join their forum. There is a great deal of support to be found there.
Let me know if there's more I may be able to do for you.

C's Mom said...

Hi Ricky

My Son who is seven eats the same things as you. He does not eat the fries but baked chips and crackers instead. He will eat honey nut cheerios with fat free milk but not drink the milk. He started eating peanut butter a year ago, but only on a spoon and it can not be on bread, he eats his bread plan and on it's own. He did vomit the first time he tried peanut butter when he was four, so we waited until he was six to try it again. It started at the age of two for him as well he will be eight in April. When he was two he would only intake pediasure. It is hard to eat out, it has to be pizza and we have to take off the chesses, he will not eat any chesses. But this morning is the first time he has lied to us about his food. He did not eat one bit of his cereal or a sip of juice but told me he did eat. I could tell that nothing had been touched. So I talked to him about this and his father sat with us and talked. He ended up telling us that he does not want to be fat. But I think it is that he does not like his brand of cereal, he is onto his eighth different brand type of honey nut cheerios cereal and he knows there are no others to try. We have been to all the stores by us trying to accommodate his needs. I think he is afraid to tells us because of a blow-out at his grandma’s two week ago, she got the brand he was eating and he sat down to eat it and accused all of us for not getting the right brand we told him it was the right one and got the bag down so he could see it. He said it taste different and that he did not like it and could not eat it and started crying. I think he is afraid of this happening again because as he was lying to me he kept staring at the cereal bag( adifferent brand then grandma's) in the kitchen. I believe him to be a supertaster as well. I am looking it to get help for him I will let you know what I come up with.
As for myself I had food aversions too. As a child I could not eat chesses, milk, soda pop any type of meat, eggs and mushrooms. Now I can eat mushrooms, chesses and milk sometimes, eggs not to much and no meat at all or soda pop. I loved tea as a child and I still love it today.

Anonymous said...

stop being babys and just eat!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm 22 years old and I believe I am facing this. All people keep saying to me is "It's in your head, its in your head", but deep down I know it is something else. I can't so for sure this is what I have, but I guess you would know better then me what it is. Every since I was born I was picky. My mom said I switched formulas over and over again. I at least ate some vegatbles and meat when I was younger and now I don't even eat half of those things. My diet basically consumes of: Ramen noodle soup, Pizza with no cheese, I will eat tacos but only if I can put hot sauce or salsa on it, hot dogs, hamburgers from mcdonalds only, mac n cheese, but only craft and chips and hot sauce. I love hot sauce, I basically put it on everything. I eat more things, but those are the basics. My main concern is it is effecting my health. I am 22 years old, I have high blood pressure, high cholestrol, my triolocides are unheard of, I have already experienced signs of heart attack and I can't keep living this way. I excercise, but that doesn't keep me healthy. What can I do? I want to try new food and sometimes I will try a really small bite, but I pour hot sauce all over it so I can stand the taste. I think food looks good, but can't pull myself to actually try it. I vomit everytime I don't like something. Everytime I talk to someone they think I am crazy. What do I do before its to late?

MrsMenopausal said...

:::hugs::: I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this. Have you talked to a therapist about what you're going through? If not, I suggest that you do. If you click on the resources menu in the sidebar there are a lot of ED hotlines, websites, and organizations that you can contact. They will have information and can guide you through the steps you need to take. Recovery from SED is possible. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

My son is 3 1/2 and began experiencing SED around 6 months. He began eating solids and puree well, then with no warning just stopped. He fell way off the growth charts and finally caught up on the lowest end at age 3. We have been to a number of evaluations, and recently ended feeding therapy due to no insurance coverage for him. Besides, the feeding therapy didn't seem to help much. He is a happy kid, and I can cater to his breakfast and lunch prefereces alright, but dinner is so hard. He is anemic due to this diet too. My doctor keeps telling me he'll grow out of it, but after over 2 years, we are still struggling. It's hard to think this will last into adulthood. I want to get him help, but don't now where to turn next.

MrsMenopausal said...

It's difficult to find resources for children with Selective Eating Disorder. Duke in NC treats children with SED. I don't know where you are located but I'd like to suggest that you contact the adult resources listed in this post (also check out the eating disorders resources; hotlines, websites, and orgs listed in the sidebar menu) and ask them if they can guide you to resources for children. Ask too if there are support groups for parents. Getting together with other parents is often a great source of not only support but suggestions, information, and resources.
Does your child refuse to eat certain textures? If so, you may want to look into sensory processing disorders. SED is common also in children with ADHD. There may be other, underlying conditions that could be behind your child's selective eating. I wish I had more resources to offer you. I'm sorry.

MrsMenopausal said...

ps. Contacting Duke U would probably be a good idea. If they are not in your area they may have suggestions for treatment/support closer to where you live.

Anonymous said...

I have been dealing with the same issues since my son was a year old, he just turned 9. His doctor said that he will grow out of it and as long as he is gaining weight, he is fine. His diet consists of chicken nuggets, fries or hashbrowns, 3-4 different cereals, an occassional banana, yogurt, loves milk and a few other things. Recently he started eating kraft mac and cheese and ONLY that brand. I have talked to counselors and friends about his symptoms and no one has an answer. What hurts the most for me is that he is embarrassed about it. He wants to try different foods but when it comes down to putting it in his mouth, he CAN'T...he will throw up. He is an out-going child, makes friends easy, smart and confident. No one would know he has an issue except us who live with it. He does has a fear of being in an area with closed doors, he has to keep them open a crack or he gets anxious. Not sure if that has anything to do with his problem but some think OCD is what it is all about. He just had a physical and his height/weight are great, motor skills...everything in check. Docs are sending him to a speech therapist to see if he has swallowing issues. Might be a fear of eating certain textures, but he can eat chips without choking. IDEAS ANYONE??

MrsMenopausal said...

I wish I had more resources for children and parents of children with SED. If anyone knows of any please let me know: mrsmenopausal@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Give this forum a try: http://www.fussy-eaters.com/viewforum.php?f=5&sid=431bdf3af3dd253e4276a5561f47b41d
This is for parents of children with SED. I hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

I am a senior in high school and 17 years old. My main diet consists of pizza, macaroni and cheese, pb&j, grilled cheese, and noodles and butter, and I will only eat certain name brands of each food. Although I hate to see other people dealing with this problem, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one. In the last 6 months I have started seeing a therapist and have made very slow progress. I hate how much this holds me back and how people don't understand how difficult it is for me, I just can't try new foods. I stopped seeing my therapist because I've lost faith.

Anonymous said...

We have a friend of ours with this problem. She is in her 70's. She is now in the hospital initially due to colon blockage. This led to a perforated colon and a bag. She went into a convalescent hospital but would not eat their food.Her daughter brought her food at night. She went downhill and ended back in the hospital where she developed a blood clot in her leg. Next Monday starts her 6th week in a hospital due to this disorder!

MrsMenopausal said...

Anonymous (senior in high school) I wish you the best as you work to overcome this. It takes time and patience.
Anonymous (with friend) I hope your friend is doing better, heals quickly, is home soon, and finds the help she needs to recover.

Thank you both for taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

what a lot of people dont understand is that it is terrifying for us with this disorder....we dont want to be different, and have this food problem, but we cant bring ourselves to try new foods. also, it is terrifying to think how much this could be hurting our bodies and me, someone who is terrified of pain and death, i am scared i willl be sick later in life because of this issue.

it has nothing to do with my parents or exposure because i have a twin brother, so obviously exposed to the same things, who will eat anything put in front of him, nothing he doesnt like.

this is such a confusing disorder....everyone's case is differnet, but we all want help that is seemingly not available!!!

MrsMenopausal said...

::::hugs:::: I wish you all the best with finding answers and recovery, anonymous.
Thank you for commenting.

julie said...

this disorder really describes my teenage son. he started gradually eliminating foods from his diet around the age of 2. i didn't even know this disorder existed until recently, i just thought he was a very picky eater. the most difficult part is that he won't even TRY foods, just says he doesn't like it. it's a relief to know that this is actually a disorder, that he just can't help it. i wish i had known a long time ago. my question is.... do i talk to him about it?? he's healthy, a little overweight. the past few years he has actually added some new foods to his diet. there have been times when he has said that he really wished he could just like to eat everything like others do. so do you think it would help for him to know that this is an actual disorder??

Anonymous said...

SO there is a name for my life. :) People make fun of my inability to eat certain foods, certain brands, certain textures. And I ALWAYS know when companies change their formulas. I can tell you tell you the year when Snickers changed their nut supplier. More aftertaste and peanut residue.

I don't eat blended foods, noodles, rice, most breads (although I do like some saltines), butter, yeast, things that are gooey, limp or waxy on the tongue.

I hate seasoning except for salt and maybe pepper.

I can't stand the smell of alcohol. It has an undercurrent of vegetable oil smell in it. I do not know why.

I'm not as severe as some. I can eat in resturants most of the time. I pre-scan the menu, I pick the thing least likely to be done incorrectly and I order it plain, no-seasoning, no-toppings.

Although sometimes I get the meal and cannot eat it at all due to something they've done to it such as rubbing it in garlic butter or the potato has been under a heat lamp. I can tell. Heating lamps leave a taste.

I know I'm nuts. I hate dinner parties. Most of my long term friends invite me with the understanding that I will not eat and it has nothing to do with them. I ask them never to change a menu to accomodate me because I'm impossible.

Work dinners are the worst because I can't pick the resturant. Often they will pick some fancy resturant or one with no options for me. I usually order something I can fake eat and just sit and starve. The sales convention each year, I pack food in my suitcase. I usually lose 10 to 15 pounds that week because they cater all the meals breakfast, lunch and dinner. I literally starve with food everywhere.

:(

But I adapt. I do try now to take a few things pocket size that I can eat in my hotel room.

MrsMenopausal said...

Julie and Anonymous, thank you for sharing your stories. I'm sure many others can relate. I'm sorry you are both dealing with this disorder.
Julie, I can't advise you, I'm sorry. Can you talk to your son's doctor about it and see what they think is appropriate? There are also a few links in the post above that should be helpful. I wish I had more to offer you.
Best to both of you!

Person:D said...

Im not sure if i have this or not. I am 15 years old and can remember being a "Picky" eater for a long time. I have now discovered that its the texture more than the taste. Are there any texture disorders?
Thanks

MrsMenopausal said...

Person :D,
From what I have read text aversion can be a part of SED, ADD/ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other disorders. I'd like to suggest that you click on the links above and ask there, where they know most about it. There are also forums (google picky eater forum, fussy eater forum, etc) where you can ask questions of those who have first hand experience. I wish I could be of more help. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Ok I'm 17 yr old male and I have this prob. I've had it as long as I can remember. I don't have it to the extreme extent that some people do, but I just can't stand any vegetable, most fruits, and other foods like beans, rye, etc. Most people don't believe that I have this problem because physically I'm huge in that I'm rlly tall and a little bit over weight with a good amount of muscle. Every day I sit down and try to bring myself to eat something new that I hate, but for I just can't. I don't even know how to explain why. Its just the taste is like... its just horrible.. its an experience you would have to have to understand. I used to be this way about meat too, but one day when I was out riding my bike, I smacked my head really hard on the ground and I started to crave it from then on. Anyways I really really want to start eating healthy because I've come to realize no matter how hard I work out I'm just not gonna have that model quality physic without eating healthier. I rlly do want this but I just can't do it. Idk where to turn to for help! My prnts say I'm doing it as a power trip kind of thing, and I don't have any access to any kind of counselor or therapist or anybody who might be trained with dealing with something like this. I've tried just forcing it down my own throat, but the more I do that the worst it seems to get. So does anybody know any way to fix this?? Is there any self treatment or like free online therapy out there that might help??? If there is I could rlly use the help

MrsMenopausal said...

I'm sorry that you're dealing with this, Anonymous. There are online support groups. I suggest that you check out somethingfishy.org and webiteback.com to start. Both are wonderful resources and great sources of support and may lead you to even more help. Please check out the eating disorders resources listed here in the side bar drop down menu on the right. There you will find hotlines, organizations and websites that will be helpful.
I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I have found closure from this website, for years I've been a picky eater but thought I was just didn't like certain foods.

I have refused to drink milk (even touch milk - it freaks me out) ever since I was given sour milk at Primary School many years ago. I try to avoid 'raw' milk e.g. I always eat cereal dry. Certain foods cannot mix e.g. butter on bread with other fillings (but I can eat butter on toast). I have an extreme dislike for mayo, it's discusting and I always order plain burgers from fast food places.
Up until recently I scraped toppings off pizzas & I never eat a pizza that it's main topping is cheese. I just cannot bring myself to try new foods, it has caused arguments and people think I'm weird when I pick the peas out of Pot Noodles. I can't eat prepacked sandwiches because I fear they have sneaked mayo in it. I never eat breakfast if I haven't prepared the toast or seen the preparation, it doesn't seem to taste the same! I'm glad I know I'm not alone!

Stormy said...

Thank you so much for posting this article. After reading it I realize that I'm not alone in this weird eating disorder. I've battled with this my entire life, ever since I was a baby. My diet consists of potatoes, cheese crackers, and pancakes or waffles. I always thought that I was the only one, that I was just a freak. But now that I've become more informed, I've recently gone to a therapist and set up my first appointment. I hope it helps, and once again I thank you for posting this so that others can become more informed about SED :)

Anonymous said...

For anyone interested, I have a facebook page dedicated to Living with SED. Feel free to stop by. =]

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Living-with-SED-Selective-Eating-Disorder/159789447413964

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you for sharing!

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you, Stormy. I'm so happy to hear that you've chosen to see a therapist. All the best!
MrsM

mbh said...

It really is a comfort to read about others with this disorder. When I first heard about it, several months ago, my main response was relief. Like several other posters, here, I can function, and insist that no one make special meals or accomodations for my problem, but reading (on many other sites) the hurtful comments from people who don't understand is very difficult. I've finally realized that the best way to explain it to those who have no clue is to say "I'd rather put my hand on a hot stove than eat a bite of a food I don't like." This was not the only casue, but SED was a significant factor in the ending of my 24 year marriage. My husband--a very adventurous eater--just got tired of my lack of adventure.

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you for commenting mbh. I'm sorry to hear about the affect of SED on your marriage. I'm glad you found comfort here, though.

Bee Tin said...

Finally I found the answer to my son's problem. He is 11 years old. He started develop this problem when he was 3 years. We are so lucky that the food that he eat are a still quite balance although he only took selective food. Our problem and frustration is more on his act of refusal to try new food. All these while we thought he is too picky and we always scold him for not willing to try. Sometimes our relationship is so tense just because of food argument and struggling. Thank you for letting us know that we are not alone and we hope more parents can share their experience with child with SED in this forum.

MrsMenopausal said...

Bee Tin, thank you for commenting. I too hope that others will share their experiences with SED. I wish your family well as you all deal with this.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 50-year-old woman, a mother of one son, and I've been a insulin-dependent diabetic for 34 years, so food and eating have ALWAYS been an issue with me. Over the years I have been overweight, underweight, and a "normal" weight, but never happy with my body and always terrified of gaining weight. For the past 25 years I have eaten exactly the same thing for breakfast everyday: 2 bran cookies, fat-free sugar-free fruit yoghurt (cherry, strawberry, and sometimes peach, but never blueberry or banana) and black coffee. I try to avoid lunch, but will eat a muffin (with extreme guilt) if need be. Dinner is the weirdest! For the past three years I have eaten 3 specific brands of crackers in a specific order on a specific plate, and plain fat-free yoghurt mixed with a specific spoonful of Willie's Zucchini Relish (in a specific bowl of course)and sugar-free flavoured water. I look forward to this ritual everyday, sometimes all day if I'm particularly stressed-out. It soothes me and gives me comfort. I don't go out much in the evenings any more, it's too stressful to disrupt this ritual. I will eat nibbles of 'real' food occasionally, it's not that I don't like it, it's just that I'm terrified of gaining weight. If I eat the same thing in the same portions everyday, I feel in control - and I desparately need to feel in control. I think that's what this is all about. This scares me because I know how unhealthy my eating is physically and socially. I feel like I am living a lie, appearing to be a normal person, but knowing that I'm not. I just want to feel like I deserve normal food like everyone else. I'm reassured to know that I'm not the only one with this painful affliction.

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you for commenting, Anonymous. I hope that you're getting help to see you through this. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Iam coming to the conclusion that this may well be the disorder my son has. I don't know whether I'm relieved that I've found others with the same issues or more worried that there doesn't seem to be an answer/solution! My son is now 7 and has been a picky eater...forever! He eats dry cereal, bread & butter or toast & butter, crackers/breadsticks, biscuits and crisps, chicken dippers, ketchup, waffles and chips, yoghurts & ice cream, sweets and chocolate! Meal times can be an absolute nightmare as well as it being difficult to go out to eat or round the friends houses. He will say he is frightened of eating new things. He doesn't like getting messy hands whether it's food, sand, paint etc. I feel such a failure as a Mum but I desparately want to help him increase the range of foods he enjoys but just don't know where to go for help.

MrsMenopausal said...

{{{{{{hugs to you}}}}}} Please don't feel like a failure. It's a difficult disorder to deal with. Please check out the links in the post. I'm sure that you will find support, information, and guidance that will help you. Please consider taking him to a specialist who deals with SED, too.
You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I started to get this disorder when I was about 6 and it got progressively worse and peaked when I was 16. I slowly cut everything out until all I would eat was plain pasta with cheese, toast with cheese, cheese pizza, hot chips and plain chicken breast fillets but I cut it into such small peices leaving out anything slightly discoloured that I barely ate that at all. It got so bad that if I was forced to try something new I would cry or vomit and was actually terrfied as if it was going to kill me. Eating at friends houses or restaurants was embarrassing so I began to hide food in napkins so no one would realise. I'm sure I drove my parents insane because they were worried for my health and nothing really helped me. I am now 21 and with encouragement from my parents and boyfriend I have started cooking, at first with only the food groups I like and then slowly getting more adventurous and it has made the biggest change in my life. The anxiety of trying new food isn't gone but its managable. For parents or friends who have someone with this disorder I would suggest getting them to try new things while giving them something positive for their mind to focus on like a favourite movie or a conversation with a friend. My boyfriend sitting with me while I cried my way through eating my first chicken burger, talking about something silly like a shopping trip got me through that first experience (though it was tough at the time) and made me realise the world didnt end!

MrsMenopausal said...

What wonderful, loving, and supportive people you have in your life! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a 16 year old girl and I am sure that I have this disorder. I have not eaten a fruit or veggie since I was 3 or 4 years old. My diet is very limited, I basically only eat chicken strips. At restaurants I almost always only order chicken and fries. I also eat 2 brands of maceroni, and I'll eat pasta with no sauce. I don't like any sauces, and the only dip I like is regular mustard. The only ham I eat is black forest sliced thin. I eat grilled cheese, and cheese pizza or ham and cheese but it depends where the pizza is from. I am not over or under weight. I am concerned on how this will effect my future health and relationships. I started seeing a therapist a little while ago and I feel like I have made no progress. I do not want to be like this forever, ad I hate that my family has to deal with my picky eating.

MrsMenopausal said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with this but I'm so glad that you're seeing a therapist. Are you seeing someone who specializes in EDs? I wish you the best.

Sally said...

Im so relieved to have found that there are people like me and so many of them that did/ stil do. I suffered from this from the age of 2 until i was 16 (6 months ago). I always presumed that i would just grow out of it but it never happened, i was worried about my health and how it was going to impact my future. Nobody, not even my parents, understood how i felt or how i viewed food so it was such a relief to read about somebody who had experienced something similar in the newspaper. He had been 'cured' using NLP after 8 years of surviving off milkshakes. He had then been trained in NLP and was qualified to help other people, i emailed him and within a week he was helping me with my problems. immediately i felt like it was changing my life and 6 months on, even though i still am not a 'normal' eater, i feel like ive improved so much and that im comfortable with what im eating :) i feel healthy, more confident and like there's hope :) i cant reccomend NLP enough, im now training in it myself and hope to make it my profession so i can help others with SED. I would urge anybody with SED to look into NLP and not wait expecting to change naturally. This blog is inspiring :)thankyou

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you, Sally. I'm not familiar with NLP (and so cannot given an opinion on it or endorse it) but I'm happy to hear you're finding help with your SED. That's wonderful. :)
Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 17 year old highschool senior and I've been a picky eater since I was young. Reading the article, I'm positive I have SED. My mom has told me that she used to feed me everything, and that as I grew older, I became more picky. Thankfully, some of the stuff she fed me I can still eat, like KFC popcorn chicken. It is the only chicken I can eat, although I prefer not to eat chicken at all. Some things i remember being able to eat before (that I can't now) are eggs and chorrizo. Those two foods have such a vile smell that I start to gag just by smelling them. In fact, when someone eats an egg sandwich, I have to stay away because of their breath. I mostly eat maruchan chicken flavored ramen, and I have to break up the noodles before cooking it or I can't eat it. Aside from ramen, I mostly eat spaghetti, soup (just the water and the rice), plain hamburgers, and A certain kind of meat (although I cut out a lot of it as I cannot eat the fat or weird looking pieces). Although I like meat, I can only order it from certain restaurants, and it has to be sirloin if ordered at a restaurant. Also, I cannot eat meat at other people's houses, which has led to some of my friends to think that I am vegetarian lol. Fortunately, my friends know I am super picky, and when I go over my best friend's house, he always has spaghetti to make for me as that is pretty much the only thing I Will eat at his house. Being SED has been hard because I cannot try anything new as I will adamantly refuse, and the lack of variety has led me to become sick recently. I most likely had some sort of stomach virus or something because I was feeling nautious and vomiting frequently. Fortunately, I don't feel sick like that anymore (which lasted a while), but now I'm constipated. Well I wish everyone the best of luck because I know what a drag having SED can be.

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you (and those who have SED) to deal with. All the best to you, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Someone in our extended family has this disorder. It's been hard to be sympathetic, as it's easy to perceive it as early indulgence run amok.

The reason I say that is because the foods people become dependent on seem to be largely junk, devoid of much nutritional value. Perhaps if parents focused on giving healthy foods to young children, they'd at least be getting some nutrients if they couldn't manage to eat anything else. Perhaps there are sufferers who can only eat apples and scrambled eggs and kale, but that doesn't seem to be prevalent from what I've learned.

MrsMenopausal said...

Unfortunately, not enough is know about SED to determine it's cause(s). There are theories but (from what I have been able to find) that's all they are right now. Theories include an aversion to textures, smells, and possible habits learned at the dinner table. Still, no one knows for certain.

Anonymous said...

I'm 20 years old and have been this way all my life. People think I'm just being a brat, but I'm not. I get really anxious and upset when people try to get me to eat things I don't want, or when they judge me for ordering off of the children's menu. I only discovered the possibility of what I have being an eating disorder last year. I guess it doesn't matter, but I don't want to try going around saying I have SED without it bring proven. Is there some way to just talk to someone and figure out if I have SED or not? I don't really want to work with a therapist to try and "cure" me or anything--I don't think I'm ready for that yet--but I just want to know if maybe there is something wrong with me or if I'm just self-diagnosing..

MrsMenopausal said...

The only way you'll know for sure is to be evaluated by a qualified professional. I can't think of any other way.
Duke University has a SED program. You may want to check into that, too.
You can find info on that here: http://www.dukehealth.org/services/eating_disorders/programs/picky_eating

Good luck to you!

BridgetW said...

My husband has this disorder. I try hard to be patient and understanding. But it is ripping us apart. I try not to be but i get resentful that we can't go out to dinner or to social occasions at all. And we can't travel. But it's not just that.... Eating is a daily thing so it's a daily issue. Why does it have to be such a pain? Sharing a meal is such a basic family function... Or in our case a dysfunction. I know that it is about control for him. And fear but he would never admit that. How did what someone else eats become such a huge problem for me?? It's not fair.

MrsMenopausal said...

I'm sorry that you're both dealing with this. I can imagine how difficult it is both for your husband and for yourself. I'd like to suggest that you reach out and seek professional help and support. If your husband refuses to go, go for yourself. Seek out someone who specializes in disordered eating. Having someone to speak to who will understand and be able to advise you can make things easier and less stressful.
I wish you both the best.

Celeste said...

I'm an 18 year old female and i have been looking at this for a while. my parents gave up on me a few years ago and let me eat whatever i want, which is mostly pasta cooked plain, and pizza with all my toppings off. I do like some other things like beans and peanut butter and a few fruits but no veggies and little meats. I'm heading to college soon and i'm trying everything possible to break this and learn to eat healthy and enjoy everything. I've started to claim to be vegitarian because i hate having to explain that i hate all meats, so that makes it easier. But my parents have always thought that I didn't want to try anything and i was just dramatic. but im still hoping to change, and i try to eat things even if i cant stand it

MrsMenopausal said...

Celeste, Thank you so much for commenting and share a bit of your struggle here. I want to suggest that you please consider seeing a therapist. They will be a big help in overcoming this.
Congratulations on starting college! I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I have been experiencing these issues since I was a child.
I am 19 now and eat no fruit or vegetables, apart from potato, and food on my plate cannot be touching each other. I mainly eat sausages (the ends must be cut off), home made cheese burgers and chicken nuggets. I am quite under-developed as a result of malnutrition from my eating habits, and as much as I want to change, the thought of eating fruit or vegetables makes me seize up in fear.
I am only 56 kilograms, and I suffer from heart palpitations, and I am quite worried about implications this will have on my health in the future.

MrsMenopausal said...

Please take care of yourself and see someone who specializes in disordered eating.

Chris said...

Hello, my name is Chris, i just found out about this disorder - which i believe i have. I've been to doctors, therapists, hypnotherapists the lot, and none of these could help me... I'm 22 now and had this since day one. My diet only consisted of bananas, (certain) biscuits, ( certain) yoghurts, and some sweets. for 22 years this is pretty much all i had, but now im taking supplements, such as complan and protein shakes, aswell as rice and hopefully some pasta and spaghetti too. None of my friends understood this to be a 'major' problem and old me 'its all in my head' but as time goes by it pretty much is - im going to the gym regulary so im hungry pretty much all the time which helps alot in trying new things, but my advice is start small then work your way up, its better to climb a pebble than to scale a mountain haha but one day i'll be able to sit down with my family and have a proper meal with everyone and make them proud :) including myself, so dont 'give up, giving up on trying new things!'

MrsMenopausal said...

Thank you so much for sharing what you're going through, and your positivity, Chris! I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates it. :)