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AndrewAndrew wrote on January 29, 2016 on 7:50 pm:
I am so glad to have found this site. I was researching picky eating and came across an ABC News article from 2010 and in the article was a link to this website. I have been a picky eater since I was about 3 or 4. From ages 1-4 I suffered epilepsy, which I attribute to my picky eating. I know that may sound crazy but I was on very strong medications for anyone, let alone a young child, that I think altered my brain enough to make me such a picky eater (my hypothesis on why I think I'm a picky eater). I only eat peanut butter sandwiches (Skippy is the only brand I'll eat) and cheese sandwiches (only american cheese) on white bread or kaiser rolls. I also sometimes eat grilled cheeses (again, white bread and american cheese) or chicken nuggets and fries (from only a few places). This diet has taken it's toll on me in the few short months I have been away at school, and has built up my anxiety. I am glad to see that I am not alone and hope everyone finds comfort in knowing they too are not alone.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Hang in there. Their is no reason you can't have a great life. Just in case you didn't know you probably have ARFID short for AvoidantRestrictive Food Intake Disorder. Added to the DSM in May of 2013. Many of us who are in our support group participated with Duke University Medical Center who did the study. I think you may be onto something about your brain being altered and you now have a skewed perception mechanizum. I lived with ARFID until I was in my 50s before I found out there are others with it. Lots of others all over the world rich and poor countries. At least you now know you are not crazy and there are many others who view different foods just as you do.
AlejandraAlejandra wrote on January 18, 2016 on 3:58 am:
I have been a picky eater since I was 4. My parents can pinpoint the moment I stopped eating most foods. I can't remember ever being anything other than picky. When I was growing up, most people thought I was anorexic because of how skinny I was, but I was too young to avoid foods for the sake of being skinny. I remember one time my dad tried to get me to eat broccoli. I sat with it in my mouth for over an hour, unable to swallow it down. My challenges with food only got worse with age. I only eat chicken breast, I cannot stand any vegetable, I like strawberries but dislike strawberry flavored foods... The list just goes on and on. My family has always teased me about my eating habits, which I hated. Most of my parents friends still believe I only eat chicken nuggets (white meat only) and fries. When people say they are picky eaters, my first reaction is to say "not as picky as me." Most of the time I'm right. I avoid any food related gathering. I remember a Christmas when everyone was enjoying the feast while I ate buttered toast. I would give anything to be able to enjoy food as much as other people do.
Admin Reply by: Bob
We have many people in our support groups that are just as picky and in some cases even picker. But I would say you seem to be on the extreme side of the disorder. By the way this is not your fault and as you know you never chose to be the way you are. This is a real disorder that has been recognized by the medical community.
JennyJenny from Fincastle wrote on January 17, 2016 on 11:08 pm:
I have felt alone in this food battle my entire life. It's still hard to believe I'm not alone. The anxiety and stress related to this problem is never ending. I wish I could not worry about what food is going to be served at social occasions. Why can't I try new foods? It is so extremely embarrassing to live like this constantly making up excuses as to why I won't eat. Knowing I'm not alone gives me hope that there will be help for us someday. I would love to just be able to understand the why?
WillWill from Andalusia wrote on January 15, 2016 on 2:36 pm:
Found this link on Facebook and it was awesome to see after so long there is a group that understands and supports people like me. While I may not have a severe form of this disorder, I can definitely relate. My biggest issue with food is texture. I can't seem to eat any raw vegetables and only a few cooked ones. I can only eat certain fruits. I love the smell of coffee, but the taste is just overwhelmingly bitter. I have often wondered if it has to do with my tongue geography. Everyone says my tongue has the weirdest look and texture anyone has ever seen. Great to know y'all are here.
RachaelRachael wrote on January 15, 2016 on 3:00 am:
My names rachael and I have never thought that there were other people that go through simular things. I've been a picky eater sense age 7. I don't eat meat, vegetables, and very little fruit. I get such anxiety even thinking about trying a new food. When I was little going to girl scout trips I always has to take my own food. It was so embarassing. I was never able to go on long trips for the fact that there would be no food I could eat. I am currently 23 years old and eat the same way. Breakfast I eat toast with peanut butter or children's cereal. For lunch I eat pretzles and usually a granola bar and unhealthy things from the vending machine at work. I normally get teased for.how I eat and it's so hard to explain the way I feel about food. I try and just laugh it off. For dinner I eat either grilled cheese, white cheddar Mac and cheese, chips, crackers, or popcorn. In 1st grade my teacher wanted my parents to take me to the doc because she was concerned about the lunches I brought to school..I was completely healthy. Being 23 now I am still decently healthy for the way I eat. I am slightly overweight, and suffer from low blood sugar a lot but other than that I'm healthy. I have tried trying new foods but I gag. The texture, smells, everything. I don't know if writing my story on here is going to help much. But I'm so glad there are others who go through this. I really hope one day my eating habits change.
Steve FeezorSteve Feezor from Valparaiso wrote on January 14, 2016 on 8:26 pm:
I am so thankful to find others like me. Up until 2 years ago I thought that I was the only person like this. 2 years ago I saw an episode on 20/20 and a woman that only ate fries and I cried to find out that I was not alone. I always hated to try to explain to people that I physically can not eat most food. They usually never believed me or just gave me a funny look. I always avoided family dinners, church, dinners, company dinners, etc... I feel like I have become anti-social but I am not. I am 60 years old but at least I have found others like me. Thank you. Embarrassing to say I am fighting back the tears. Thank you.
Admin Reply by: Bob
FYI I just sent a note to Amber about your finding out you are not alone during her appearance on 20/20. The only reason she did the show was so others could find out and stop suffering alone with our disorder.
Amber is also featured on the front page of this website doing a greeting to everyone.
PattyPatty from Fishers wrote on January 14, 2016 on 3:17 pm:
I am a very picky eater. Ever since I can remember. I always thought it was weird but there was nothing I could do about it. Like many of you. I get really nervous when faced with new foods. Don't get me wrong I think different foods smell wonderful and I always think if I didn't have what I have I would love to try them...but I just can't! People find it so weird and often times at social gatherings I really can never eat anything. Everyone will always ask, "would you like something to eat?", and I always reply that I am not hungry or not feeling well to avoid eating instead of explaining whatever it is I have. You would think by looking at me I would have no aversion to foods lol but I love bread and that is my downfall lol.
So, some of my eating habits...I don't eat yellow foods. Nothing mixes, everything is plain. Plain hamburger, plain, plain spaghetti, no sauces of any kinds, plain potatoes, I only drink water, only vanilla ice cream, plain chips. My shopping list is very limited.
I remember growing up that my mom had to make me a separate supper supper when it was made.
I now have 2 children. My daughter is perfectly fine with food, but my son is just like me. I don't want him to be because I don't want him to go through what I go through. I want him to experience all the world has to offer with food. I don't want him to be an outcast at social gatherings. I usually have to make two different meals at supper time. One for my daughter and boyfriend and one for me and my son. I get scared that he isn't getting the nutrition his body needs. I hope it is just a phase for him, but from the looks of it, I am afraid it is not.

People just do not understand what I go through. They always say you can just try foods! It's hard to explain that no I can't! I will immediately start gagging, vomitting, or have some other physical reaction.

It's nice to find a community where I am not weird.
Admin Reply by: Bob
We have heard of lots of people with our disorder that have children that eat normal and some that eat just like them. In your case it would appear one of your children has gotten it through the genes.
Bob K
MaddieMaddie wrote on January 12, 2016 on 4:30 am:
I've been trying to add new foods to the list of what I can comfortably eat. I seem to reject some foods based on sight or smell alone. For example, I enjoy some strawberry flavored things, but actual strawberries have such an overpowering scent that I can't really get close enough to try one. As far as what I have successfully tried goes, it's odd. I've tried pasta with marinara sauce multiple times, since I like pasta to begin with, but it never seems to grow on me. On the other hand, I tried fried calamari, which is far from my normal comfort zone, and it was fine. Why on earth would my mouth consistently reject things like peas and carrots (which I used to eat when I was a toddler), but then be totally okay with squid meat?!? I'm convinced that if I went to try eating a scorpion and a normal salad, the taste part of my brain would gag at the salad and happily accept the scorpion. If any of you want to expand your food horizons, maybe you should try something that normal people tend to view as unappetizing.
MeghanMeghan from Ann Arbor MI wrote on January 7, 2016 on 2:54 am:
I have to say, it is such a relief to know I'm not crazy! My parents and my boyfriend are the only ones who don't think I'm a complete nutcase. I've tried to try vegetables in the past, but I just gag on them. The smells, tastes, textures, and colors are just so unappealing. And it can be so embarrassing, especially when you meet new people. My closest friends are some of the most patient people. They put up with me wanting to just go get pizza-again. I don't like to try new things. I WANT to try them, but i am always disappointed. Because my boyfriend and I are in such a good place (and thinking about babies!), I'm worried about my selfish eating habits. What if eating this way during a pregnancy can cause serious issues for a child? I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. In the meantime, I'm glad I found this website. It's such a comfort!
Admin Reply by: Bob
We have heard from lots of women who have had very healthy children inspite of the way they eat. The baby will get what it needs. On caution is that we believe that what we have can be transmited through the genes. We have lots of examples of children eating normal with no problems and then we also have lots examples of children who appear to have it from birth just as their parent did. As Marla if you join our group. She has two children and one eats everything and the other is worse than she is. Hope this helps you. If your thinking of marrage your prospective spouse should have any ideas that he can change you.
SarahSarah from Kansas City wrote on January 5, 2016 on 8:19 pm:
It is a great relief to find that I am not alone. It was luck that I found this site that does not judge me for something I cannot control. A friend on Facebook happened to post a link about picky eating being a disorder, it seemed to be my calling. As I read it, I finally discovered the name of what has plagued me ever since I could remember: Selective Eating Disorder. It is disappointing to know that not much is known about it, yet there is still research going on. I have seen at least four different therapists who have tried to help me, but to no avail. Gatherings with friends or family create extreme anxiety due to food being a main source of social functions. I consistently go out to restaurants having checked the menu online to make sure they serve something for me. I have told a select few of my close friends about it (each resulting in tears for me) with a sort of judgmental response. I have always felt ashamed and embarrassed by my lack of variety. As a 20 year old, I love being in college in a different state meeting new people; however, next semester all of my friends are going abroad to Europe leaving me behind. I would be lying if I said that food was not the main reason I won't be going abroad. It is because of the unfamiliarity of cuisine. I hate feeling left out and feeling like a child who is too selfish and stubborn to just taste/try something. My diet is limited to some fruits, chicken, peanut butter, bread, french fries, waffles, cheese pizza (preferably without sauce), and a plain burger. I will admit to having tried a few things in the past few years including eggs and salads, but have not been consistently part of my eating habits yet. And trying those things was very stressful. Aversion of food is my main struggle in life that makes me feel guilty for maintaining. I wish I knew how to cook and prepare something. I wish I was able to expand my habits and see what I am missing out on. And I especially wish I did not avoid spending time with friends or family because of this phobia. I am happy to find a community that accepts me and can help me. Thank you very much.
ArielAriel wrote on January 5, 2016 on 6:24 pm:
I've struggled with picky eating my whole life. My doctor said I would grow out of it but I'm now 24 and I never grew out of it. I've had people be super rude to me and tell me that I should just get over it (if only it were that simple). I've also had people be very understanding and helpful. I've slowly but surely added certain things into my diet but it's still hard to deal with. I'm seeing a therapist to try and help me. I'm just glad to know I'm not alone and that there are other people out there just like me.
Julie DaraJulie Dara from Marlboro wrote on January 4, 2016 on 4:30 pm:
My friends and family think I am absolutely crazy. My sister is always convincing my parents to take us to fancy restaurants--places others only dream of going. I grew up in an upper middle-class family, and even though we have the funds to go to these type of places, I beg them to let me eat chipotle (the tofu of course) or get a slice of pizza and just keep them company during the meal. I am such a picky eater that it literally gives me anxiety when deciding what/when my next meal will be. I can live off pizza and bagels everyday if given the option. Dinner is my least favorite meal because most dinner foods I don't like. I literally get anxiety when thinking about what to eat because I eat the same things and often get sick of those things. Not only that, but I also know that I don't eat the healthiest diet but I can't do much about it. As I get older, I feel it gets worse and worse. As a child I used to eat red meat, but early in high school I cut it out of my diet because it would make me nauseous and gag. It is so frustrating but truly heart warming to know that I am not alone. It is sites like this that can help others to understand that I'm not that weird and crazy, and I'm not the only person in the world this way. I wish I ate everything, to be honest, it would make my life A LOT easier, but unfortunately it isn't a choice for me.
AnnaAnna wrote on January 4, 2016 on 4:35 am:
Hi there! Here to read more about this because my boyfriend unfortunately suffers from this. It makes me so sad that so many other people suffer from this. He hates food, he wishes he could just take a pill and be full. I've been scouring the Internet because I'd like to make dinner from him sometimes, but I'm afraid to surprise him with anything other than hamburgers (plain), cheesesteaks, and pizza. I've noticed that there's no one right answer, since everyone is different. I know he's worried about his health as he gets older, but I don't know how to help him without insulting or disgusting him. If anyone has advice please reach out. Positive note: we went to a Mexican restaurant recently (he insisted he wanted to go there ... Found out later only because he knew I loved that place) and he tried tacos (he doesn't like spicy things and basically got them plain) and after eating them he told me he was glad he tried it and that he enjoyed it! Progress? Again, I don't know how to approach these things without sounding like I want to "fix" him. I just want to help.
JordanJordan wrote on January 3, 2016 on 8:23 am:
I'll start off by saying I'm shocked I don't have feathers by how many chicken fingers I've ate. I'm 22 and work with only women in a spa. You can imagine the looks I get at lunch time when I'm eating dinner rolls and granola bars. I wish I could push this page in their face and say "SEE! I'm not the crazy person you think I am!" My worst stories include

1. in college when a girl found out and put an orange peel on my leg as a joke to see me have a complete 2 year old meltdown over it. I went into full hysterics as if someone put a severed finger in my lap.

2. Being told I wasn't invited to a friends wedding because she wouldn't have anything on the menu I would like to eat. As if that's a problem.

I'm like everyone else, I won't go to dinner gatherings with people, and am so thankful of the few family members who have FINALLY understood this isn't a choice, it's a curse, and no longer push foods into my plate (because let's face it, the second it touches another item, it's all contaminated). This page is the best blessing I've found.
Sydney RoseSydney Rose from Yuma AZ wrote on December 28, 2015 on 3:50 am:
When I was little my mother gave up cooking for me because I wouldn't eat anything unless it was exactly what I was craving. I was very tiny and so she took me to the Dr. who said to leave me alone and that I would eat when I was hungry. I'm 22 now and I never grew out of this. I'm 5'3 and weigh 95 pounds. People have often questioned if I am anorectic or bulimic but I knew it was something else. I typed in "picky eating adult" in google and found the term selective eating disorder and knew immediately I fit the bill. I've seen many clinicians over the years and wish someone would have told me this because now I know I'm not alone. It pains me because I can rarely eat socially and when I try to force myself to eat something I don't want I will gag and throw up. I have to take a multi vitamin because I don't eat enough. My loved ones around me don't understand. The hunger hurts and contributes to my mental and physical health conditions and I just wish I could be normal.
Mary BurnamMary Burnam from Snellville wrote on December 26, 2015 on 3:20 am:
My name is Mary and I am 17, soon to be 18. I have struggled with being a picky eater my entire life. From the time I was 2 or 3, I refused to eat anything that was not covered in cinnamon. For the next decade, I only ate chicken nuggets. I could only stomach certain brands and certain fast food places. During these years, my mom attempted to feed me any possible food she could. I would sit there refusing to eat until the food was cold. Eventually after an hour or two, my mom would give up and I would run upstairs. Trying new foods makes me gag. I hate the textures and smells of new foods. Once I turned 13, my next food obsession was grilled cheese. Now, I have slowly allowed cheese pizza into my diet, but unfortunately I can only eat it if it has no sauce. I am very frustrated not being able to eat correctly and people act as though I just have to try new foods. They don't understand that it is not that simple. This is a constant mental game I have been playing all my life. It is extremely frustrated because my diet consists of carbs, cheese, and sugars. I know my body can metabolize these foods now, but eventually these foods will destroy my weight. I am deathly allergic to all nuts and this too has affected my diet. I imagine that I have SED, as well as sensory processing disorder because my sense of smell, touch, and taste are heightened. I do not know what to do to fix this because the idea of trying new foods makes me gag.
NicoleNicole from Columbus wrote on December 23, 2015 on 10:31 pm:
What a wonderful feeling to find others who share this same affliction! I am here on behalf of my 14 year old son. He suffers from SED and it makes his life uncomfortable, to say the least! Friends parties, social gatherings, sleepovers, all a total anxiety filled nightmare! He would give anything to eat normally, he even asked me last year if it was possible to be hypnotized. It just broke my heart. We have tried therapy for him, but with no results. I can't tell you how many years my husband and I have anguished over him and this condition. Simple things people take for granted, like family vacations, Thanksgiving dinners, classroom parties, overnight camps, etc.... all not possible without serious anxiety attacks. I am hoping to connect with others to find maybe some ideas we can implement to make his life better for him. It's heartbreaking for me to think about his life in the future. I just can't imagine a wife that would want to make him macaroni and cheese every night for dinner.....
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Nicole
You describe the things we deal with as we go through life. I have had so much stress in my life because of my picky eating disorder. Sorry to hear people are still being born with it. You are welcome to join our Yahoo support group. We have lots of parents in the group who have joined us as a last resort. Please know that Hypnosis is not any real help. Your son can still have a great life even if he never learns to eat anything new. Actually he is lucky in the fact that he will not have to live his life thinking he is the only one. I did until I was about 58. That's why I started and continue to maintain this website. Hopefully someday our disorder well be better understood. Bob K
KristinaKristina from Burlington wrote on December 22, 2015 on 10:10 pm:
I just posted but then read other people's stories. It is comforting to know other people get it.
I found it ironic that the acronym for the site spells Peas. I thought, "Peas... the very food that lingered on my plate as a child while I sat at the dinner tabld long after everyone else had cleared there plates. Eventually my mom would either give in or my dad claimed I was being dramatic I gagged while washing them down with a glass of chocolate milk.
I enjoy going out and socializing, but hate coming up with reasons as to why I'm only ordering fries or skipping to dessert. I know it's become a game for others to giggle at; naming foods to see what Kristina likes. I want to be able to pop a grape in my mouth, take a swig of beer, enjoy a foreign dish. .. but I can't. It's good to know I am not alone .
KristinaKristina from Burlington wrote on December 22, 2015 on 9:53 pm:
I have always been a picky eater! My food palate is comparable to a child's. I have always wanted to travel out of the country, but my fear of what week I eat keeps me from fulfilling that dream. My friends are often accommodating; My boyfriend (along with those I've dated in the past) find it frustrating. I am an awesome person, just limited with my food choices.
CharlesCharles wrote on December 22, 2015 on 1:00 am:
Story 1: I took my then girlfriend for a pricey dinner one New Year's Eve. When we got there, it was a Prix Fixe menu. Not a single thing on the menu I could choke down if I wanted to. i did what any grown man would do under the circumstances. I burst into tears. Cut to: me in the kitchen with the chef saying, "Well, what DO you eat?"

Story 2: A friend was having a dinner party. I declined the invitation. She pressed it and I confessed my eating problems. She asked, "what would you be having for dinner by yourself?" I said, "a peanut butter and jelly sandwich." She insisted I come. When I got there, everyone is eating - on my plate were triangles of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches adorned with festive toothpicks.

Unfortunately, she made the sandwiches with strawberry jelly...

As you can imagine, there are many more stories.