National Eating Disorders Association

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Covid-19 has been an excuse for not getting better

I do not know if anyone else will have similar experiences with these feelings, but here is what has been on my mind for quite some time now:
My ED seems to be using the Covid-19 Pandemic as an excuse for not recovering. It has made me want to "put off" getting healthy and gaining weight. A lot of my motivations for getting healthy again are irrelevant because of the pandemic. My brain thinks, "What is the point of getting to a healthy weight? You still won't be able to get tattoos or travel for who knows how long." I of course know that I would likely feel a lot better, be able to sleep, and be less stressed about food, but I have gotten so used to my typical routine of feeling like garbage and barely making it through the day, and without the opportunity to even do any of the things I had looked forward too before ED, it is so hard to find any motivation. I also have depression, which I have struggled with for years, so it just adds more hopelessness to my mindset. Another piece of this is that I kind of feel like my ED is invalidated because with shelter-in-place, no one has really seen how much weight I have lost. I know that I shouldn't have to "prove" my Anorexia and that EDs occur at any size, but still, in the back of my mind, I think I have to preserve this skinny body. Anyone else having difficulty pushing themselves to recover during Covid? Any tips for getting past this?

Hi, yoyokay! I have been

Hi, yoyokay! I have been recovered from my eating disorder for almost 3 years now and I used to feel a lot of the same things you are feeling. All the stress around Covid can definitely exacerbate things. I found my solution through 12-step but that was just my personal experience. Not everyone has the same path.


Hi. You mentioned feeling hopeless so for precaution, we wanted to provide you with these resources you can reach out to if you need additional support:

Please take care and stay safe.


I can definitely relate to your feelings of capitulating to the ED in this time of COVID. My sister calls it an apocalyptic shit-hole (pardon my language) and while I'm not sure I think it's that bad, I am definitely suffering some negative effects from the whole thing. However, I have also found a few silver linings to hold on to. One is that I'm learning how to meditate-- I'm absolutely terrible at it, but I keep trying to practice and am hoping that at some point it will become a new tool for me to use in the face of anxiety. I am also learning how important it is to take time to do a self nurturing activity. I have never really believed in that, but just taking 10 min to do something "frivolous" can be very positive. Perhaps you can find a few things like that which can help you lift that feeling of hopelessness just a little?

Thank you. I will try my best

Thank you. I will try my best. I am at a point where I am starting to feel more motivated to recover because my health has truly gotten bad. I still am very low mood-wise, but I think I can muster up enough energy to take steps towards getting better.

you are SO not alone

Hi Yoyokay,
You sent me a wonderful post of support the other day. Now it's my turn.

My current relapse gathered steam in April and because no doctors were seeing patients and I wasn't getting weight checks, it really snuck up on me. I couldn't have friends over, so I invited anorexia in without realizing it. My panic about COVID was (still is) off the charts and it is exacerbating my panic disorder, OCD, and depression. Food is a whole new kind of scary - it seems to have this aura of deadliness around it. Which, we now know, is pretty much a crock.

With my medical team checking in on me only by Zoom and only seeing my face, no one knew I was in trouble. I found out my looking objectively in the mirror and being scared by what I saw. And then not caring. So what. Who needed me around anyway.

When I realized how dangerous that thinking was, I messaged my doctor. She got me in for an in-person visit immediately. That visit was my wake-up call. She also scheduled a bone density since I have had three minor fractures this spring. I'm 71, it turns out I have osteoporosis, so can't afford to mess around with this. (I'm postponing bone-building treatments until I've dealt with my ED. One monster at a time.)

I MISS shopping, seeing friends, going out for dinner (even that); going to movies,the library; and more than anything GETTING HUGS. Dear God, I need those hugs.

You don't have to prove your anorexia in order for it to be real. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. You're proving it to yourself. Here's something a friend mentioned to me in passing: we need strong immune systems right now. Anorexia compromises that.

Don't know if it's ok to mention this here, but just this week I discovered another eating disorder support group. The Zoom meetings are worldwide and meet every day, several times a day. I love the program.

I wish you well. Remember there are a lot of us walking beside you, even if you can't see us.

So Much Appreciation for your Reply

Thank you so much for the kind words. I really do not want to give this ED the power to have a lasting negative impact on my health. I need to keep reminding myself that I can do so much more if I am healthy.

Hi Yoyookay,

As you mentioned, we do not want to have an irreversible bad negative impact on our health due to letting our ED take care of our lives. You are a precious soul and you deserve to be happy. I know COVID has added too much stress and uncertainty to our lives. However, as one of my mindfulness teachers said: "If you can not go outside, go inside".

Personally, I have used this time to focus on my recovery. It has been hard. I have also been seeing my team mainly via zoom. I do hate zoom! However, I have been doing my best to keep committed with the different challenges they have brought into my life.

If you feel there is no reason to "work hard" on your recovery due to the COVID situation, just think that YOURSELF, your health and your happiness are worth it. It does not matter no one notices if you are better or worse. As long as you know you are caring for yourself and you are doing things for yourself, you will be in the right path.

Trips and the "outside life" will eventually return and you may be willing to be ready to enjoy it as soon as it starts.

Fight for yourself. Remember that you matter and that there are a lot of people (in person and virtually) that cares about you.


Thank you, Annet

as always, I appreciate your thoughtful words of encouragement. <3

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.