National Eating Disorders Association

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What do I do?

I have never been to a therapist. My family can't really afford one, so I've never gone. I feel guilty being in a place like this without an official diagnosis, and I'm still partially in denial that I have a problem. Spring semester of 2019, I was really bad off though. I was down to a very low weight, I was having urges to throw my food back up, I was over-exercising, restricting or skipping meals, and I was getting very thin. I didn't see that though. People would point out that I was getting thin, but I didn't see myself as too thin. When COVID hit, I was laid off from work, my classes were put off for a while, and the gym was closed. I do love food so I end up in these conflicts with myself cause I just want to eat, but then I feel so horrible for doing so. It'd take me ages to figure out what to make for a meal, cause in my head I'd be calculating all the nutrition and caloric info to see what would be the "healthiest." I gained back some weight over the quarantine, and I am a very small woman so it shows. Classes, work, and even the gym is back up and I can already feel myself starting to slide down that hole again. I eat and I feel sick, I end up binging cause I'm so hungry and I feel bad about it, but then I barely eat for a while cause I have no appetite. I look in the mirror and all I can seem to look at is where it's not perfect. All I see are flaws, and I feel like I need to punish myself for not doing better during quarantine, despite still exercising and eating fairly healthy. I want to feel beautiful. I am uncomfortable with the way I look, but I also don't want to end up down that rabbit hole again. I don't want to be dizzy, hungry, and obsessive. Those who have been through this and recovered, what did you do? How do you fight back those thoughts when you start gaining back weight? How do you ensure that you eat the right amount? Not too much not too little. I want comfort, to be told I'm going to be alright despite the world falling to pieces around me, and to be told I'm beautiful and believe it, which I know sounds stuck-up and silly. I also want to know what I can do to get better. I have a wonderful boyfriend, he doesn't know about what's going on since he lives in another country, but I want to take care of myself for him if not for myself. He means the world to me. I rambled a lot here, sorry about that, but please? I want to know what I can do...

Resources to Help

Hi BrokenBird14, welcome to the forums! We’re sorry that you have been struggling recently, especially for such a long time. We have some resources on affordable care for students on our website we think you may find helpful in finding the support you deserve. Here is the link: Hopefully this can be helpful to you, and again, welcome!  Additionally, because you mentioned feeling dizzy:  The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:

  • accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury
  • become suicidal
  • confused thinking and is not making any sense
  • delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)
  • disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are
  • vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
  • experiencing dizziness or fainting spells
  • too weak to walk or collapses
  • painful muscle spasms
  • experience pain in the lower legs
  • complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing
  • blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit
  • a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16
  • an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)
  • cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • experience dizziness, nausea, fever
  • wounds/cuts heal slowly
  • feel tingling in the hands or feet
  • blurred vision

If you experience anything above, we highly recommend seeking help from a medical professional as soon as possible. Seek medical help soon on an outpatient basis if you:

  • have significant heartburn and/or a burning sensation after eating
  • have other gastrointestinal concerns
  • have high blood pressure
  • struggle with significant joint or muscle pain
  • have difficulty sleeping (falling and/or remaining asleep)
  • struggle with fatigue, sudden weight gain, and/or hair loss
  • have frequent urination or unquenchable thirst
  • have gained and lost significant weight repeatedly
  • have gained significant weight in a short period of time
  • struggle with chronic diarrhea or constipation


Hi Broken Bird,

If you are still a student, I think your school's counselling center could be pretty useful to you. The first time I attempted recovery was at University and there I got the best counselor I have ever had. He helped me recover from anorexia and I was fine for several years. Then, I relapsed and started with binge eating and bulimia but that is another story.
Many years later, when I was studying a master's degree abroad, I approached the University counsellors and they helped me until I graduated.
I know schools may offer limited sessions but there are some that either make some exceptions or simply do not have a limit of sessions set.
I would strongly encourage you to get some professional help with them. It could make a big difference to you.
Coronavirus has changed everyone's lives for good and for bad... All of us who struggle with eating disorders got more impacted because we had more time to be with ourselves and to face the "eating disorder monster".
With regards to some of your questions, I still struggle with some ED thoughts. They are not there always, they do not torture me as in the past. So, the only thing I can say is that the more you challenge them and let them pass without action on them, the weaker they get. It is just a matter of time.

I still do not know if I eat the right amount or not. I see a dietician and she gives me baby steps to accomplish each session. I can not follow a set meal plan but for example, she tells me, from now to the next session, I need you to work on incorporating a snack. Or I need you to eat another piece of bread or a bigger snack... Things like that... Little by little I have been eating more and more. In that way, I have not felt overwhelmed or felt like vomiting.

I do not know you but just by reading your words I know you have a beautiful soul. So, every time you look yourself at the mirror, tell yourself loudly how beautiful you are and go over the parts of your body you love. Something that helps me is to think about the things they do for me instead of how they look like.

For example: I say: "I love my legs because they let me walk, move around this world and visit a lot of places on my own" (instead of thinking if they are toned or not or if I like them or not)


I just wanted to add that 98 percent of the time I do not obsess over or think about my body, hate my body or struggle to eat. After 30 years of ed, I am finally free. I fought as hard as I could for recovery and life. Over the past 4 years, I have been in and out of treatment, from inpatient to residential, php, iop and outpatient. I have worked and fought hard to be where I am. Somewhere along the way, I got myself back. Somewhere along the way, I stopped hating the person in the mirror. I faced my past traumas that were interfering with my day to day life. I have the support of my mom and husband. I have a beautiful fur baby that adores me. A short haired tiger tabby.
My advice is to seek professional help. If you are ready to face the ed monster and willing to work hard at recovery and go against Ed, you will succeed.
Please keep us posted.