National Eating Disorders Association

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College recovery??

I just started college about 4 weeks ago which has been exciting, but also really hard on my eating disorder. Before I left I was in full family based treatment; I wasn't doing much of meal selection or planning myself and I was still supposed to be gaining weight. Since I've been at college I've started seeing a new therapist in the town which is good, but I have also been losing weight. I'm a 3 hour plane ride from home to give some perspective. I have been using Recovery Record as a way to stay accountable with my parents and therapist here, but the "demon" has gotten stronger. I feel really conflicted and helpless...I'm not sure what to do now. My therapist said that going to a program is definitely an option given where I am, but I'm afraid of doing so because 1. I don't want to be a semester behind in my academics, 2. If I came back in the spring would I still have the friends I've made thus far? and 3. I would miss out on so much here. If I were still in high school I think at this point I would decide to go to a program, but since I'm in college now it feels much more drastic and impactful. Does anyone have any suggestions or guidance for me? I'm so scared right now and worried that I won't be able to do this on my own...even though I'm not all alone.


I'm sorry you're going through what you're going through. If I can offer any bit of advice, I would tell you to prioritize your health first. I have gone through years of college, failing courses, to finally admit to myself now at age 25 that it was because of anorexia. It's been horribly embarrassing being asked why I'm not finished yet and no one in my life understands the impact anorexia can take on someone especially combined with over exercising. A semester behind is nothing and even a few years behind isn't either, look at it this way..your friends, the parties, etc will all still be there in the Spring and you'll feel much better going out with them and being around them when you're healthy.
I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose because I understand either way it is so difficult and many people don't have a clue how hard it is.


Hello, I am also in college right now, my second year. I had the same fears about missing school when treatment was recomended for me. School has been a big motivator for me. If I dont keep my weight up, my parents will pull me out. I went to treatment over the summer so I would not have to miss school. But I will say, If I would not be in the place I am in if I had not gone to treatment.
I would encourage you to speak to your closest friends about your struggles if they don't already know. That way maybe you could have a meal buddy, someone to eat with and make you accountable for that meal. I know I find it easier to eat with others. Also, see if your university has any dieticians that see students for free. I know some do.
And If treatment is the best option for you, I agree with rryp37, One semester is nothing compared to a life struggling with an ED. My treatment center allowed me to take a class, so they might allow you to kate one or two so you are not so far behind.
I am sorry you are struggling so much, keep hanging in there.