National Eating Disorders Association

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College and Recovery

After 12 long years I've finally made it to high school graduation! Now the summer is here, and in a few months I will be moving 3.5 hours away to college. (It's also worth noting that this is in a small town with next to no resources for mental health.) I'm excited... but terrified at the same time. Having suffered from an eating disorder for the past 5 years and being in and out of treatment, I have seen may people try to go to college only to end of having to leave due to ED. One semester at school, one semester in treatment, one more at college, then back to a treatment center, etc. I know that it is freshman year of college that many people first develop an eating disorder, so it makes me wonder what will happen to ME, someone who's already been struggling with one for so long?! I recently read a medical report that found a strikingly high percentage of college- aged students who have eating disorders. I'm scared that might actually be true (I'm in the denial stage still) and when I find it, I'll be triggered back into my habits from all the negative influence. I'm constantly hearing horror stories about the "Freshman 15," but I'm more scared of the "Negative Freshman 15." I don't want to go down that road. And since we all know what college can be like, what if I finally kick ED and cross to a new addiction like alcoholism or drug abuse? I'm already susceptible due to my colorful history of mental illnesses and disorders. Does anyone out there have any recovery tips for students working towards recovery while in college?


While I don't have the recovery/college connection, I want to say congratulations on graduation! You have worked hard for 12 years to get to this monumental stage in your life. Don't let Ed steal it from you. You are so much stronger than your Ed. Are there things you learned in treatment that you feel you can focus on to keep you from relapse?

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