National Eating Disorders Association

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Hello, I am new to this website and thought I'd share some of my recent struggles.
So I've had an eating disorder since the eighth grade to this day. I am now in my second year at college and still struggling with anorexia and bulimia.
But it's strange because I had made up in my mind that once I went back home for the holidays, I would eat with my family and be "normal" so that no one would suspect that I relapsed. If I could I would reach out for help, but because of cultural differences, I do not get the same support from my parents as most others do. My parents grew up in South Korea and were never exposed to some of the psychological disorders that are growing in numbers and are openly talked about in America. Slowly, Korea is also talking about and reaching out to people with eating disorders and such...but because of our cultural differences, I just don't have any hope in asking my parents for help. The last time I talked to them about my problem was in high school. They simply told me that I had to eat no matter what and basically made sure I didn't throw out or hid any of my meals. They could not understand the psychological aspect. They're loving parents but it's just their denial in accepting disorders such as depression. Of course this made me very frustrated and angry at times, but I began to understand.
But anyways, at the moment I have been staying at my parents house for winter break from school and have been eating with them. However it's the first time I haven't purged and kept the "purge-free" time span for this long. I am able to do this because I know that once I go back to school I will do whatever I "need to do". Although it feels kinda good to know that I can control and be "normal" whenever I'd feel like, it scares me. I feel like I am two different people. I know that once I return back to school, I will give into my eating disorder and restrict/binge-purge... It's like someone in my head is making sure that I go back to restricting. Even while I'm at home, I do everything I can to eat as little as possible without making it too obvious around my parents but still eating more than what I'm comfortable with.
It's just so difficult being two different people. It's so frightening and I want help but the only way I could afford to pay for some therapy sessions is to find a side job while studying (which is highly unlikely due to my schedule).
Attending an art school requires alot of time to think and plan and make art. But last semester, I lost complete motivation for making art and instead gave into bulimia.
I guess I'm wondering if anyone has gone through something similar? And if you would kindly share how you overcame these voices.
I am able to eat for the sake of showing others that I am normal, but then I will restrict when I am not around them and when I know for sure that I will be alone for an extended period of time, my bulimia hits me hard and the cycle just never seems to end. As much as I want to hold onto this nasty eating disorder, I'm craving to know what it feels like to change my mental state. I forget what what it feels like to eat normal and be a "normal" person.
If anyone is currently recovering, or has recovered from anorexia/bulimia, please leave me some helpful advice in how to change the mental part of this horrific disorder. Thank you for taking your time to read this!

Hi SkimmyKimmy,

Hi SkimmyKimmy,

Thank you for sharing your concerns and story on this forum. I am sure that other people here can relate to your situation. I completely understand where you're coming from when you talk about the cultural difference that makes it hard for your parents to understand your illness. I am of Indian background, and have encountered similar attitudes about psychiatric illness from family members. However, as time has gone by, they are slowly starting to change their attitude. Stay strong!

It's wonderful to hear that you have been "purge-free" for so long, and that you have the desire to change your mental state. I realize that the money situation must be difficult, but I encourage you to seek medical care to achieve this. There's the possibility that your university might be able to help. You can also make use of the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

With encouragement and hope,
-sj728, NEDA Volunteer

thank you so much for reading

thank you so much for reading my post! I'm so glad I found this forum so much love here!
My university actually has free therapy sessions but when I went for a few sessions, they all recommended me to go seek treatment and take a break from school. And I would like to but then again, my parents wouldn't understand this. It's just too difficult for me to even try and comprehend the possibility of them accepting my problem. It's almost as though they're in denial. And I remember when I tried explaining to them with sincerity, they thought I was insane and their reaction actually made my eating disorder a lot worse because I lost all hope.
I just don't want to have to go through that again. And don't really have another option other than to wait until I can seek help myself with my own money...But I think I will go to my school's therapist to be able to talk about my anxiety, depression and everything else. It's easier to type than actually tell a stranger so maybe that will help me overcome in some way!

Thank you for your reply! I truly appreciate your encouragement!




I'm glad I could be of some help to you. Never lose hope! I realize that your parents might not be willing to accept your illness, but here are some websites for family support, should you decide to bring up the discussion again.

In regards to seeking medical treatment, this site helps people find medical providers and gives information on what kind of insurance they accept:

and:, which gives you more information on insurance resources.

I understand how much you care about the opinion of your parents, but I hope you are able to find support elsewhere with friends. Remember that in the end, your health matters the most. If I can be of any more help, please let me know!

-sj728, NEDA Volunteer

Thank you so so much! I will

Thank you so so much! I will definitely try to work on myself. I noticed that I had been severely depressed for years and possibly even bipolar as well, so I think the best option for me right now is to attend some group meetings that require no cost. I've found some around Chicago through this website.

Thank you again,


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