National Eating Disorders Association

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feelings of worthlessness and suffering from COVID blues/depression/relapse

Hi and help!

I am a successful business woman who thought my ED was well in the rear view mirror! WOW covid is doing a number on me. I struggle with lower than lows, overexercising to compensate horrible feelings of guilt, depression and worthlessness. These are more expressed when the weather is gloomy. I am scared I am getting fat, I have no purpose and a million other crazy non productive thoughts. When I exercise they go away (for a bit at least)
Is anyone else in this bad space? My self worth is tied to my identity that is my work/professional persona. there is no out to this nightmare until COVID goes away but I am not sure I will be able to cope when the weather turns cold and dark in November on :(


Hi marygwen, welcome to the forums! We’re sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time and hope the forums are a supportive space for you. If you need help finding resources, the NEDA Information and Treatment Option Helpline phone number is 800-931-2237, or there is a chat function on this website to discuss support options. Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm ET, Friday 11am-5pm ET. Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm ET, Friday 9am-5pm ET. Here are additional resources that you can reach out to as you mentioned some concerning feelings:

We wish you the best, and please continue to post!

I'm so sorry.

Hey MaryGwen - I am so sorry you're struggling. I relate - my ED has popped up a little during COVID times, more than it has in many years. I hope you know that I truly believe your body is worthy at ANY size, and I hope you figure out a way to feel better. Times are really tough right now, so be extra gentle with yourself, and remember that eventually, this too shall pass. YOU are enough! Take care! <3, STP

We care about you

you matter simply because you exist. You don't need to do anything to be valued and valuable. You are beautiful for just being you.when it comes down to it, your weight is nothing but a number. It does not measure your kindness, care for others, or personality. It's always changing, but who you are deep down doesn't. This world is a better place because you are in it. I don't know you, but I admire your strength and perseverance for reaching out. You deserve all life has to offer. I've been where you are. It does get better, but it takes a lot if hard work.
Eclesiastes 3:11 says,
GOD has made everything beautiful in its time.

You are irreplaceable.

If you're suicidal or just need a listening ear, a good place to go is,, or tha national suicide hotline.
Please keep us posted. We are here to support you. You can get through this. I did after 30 years of suffering.

Hi Marygwen. I can relate 110

Hi Marygwen. I can relate 110% from the connection to identity all the way to feeling better when I exercise (momentarily). I have started affirmations, although I cry every time, they are forcing me to handle the nitty gritty of loving myself unconditionally not just when I am exercising or being productive or looking fine af bc I have been exercising. COVID has screwed me up and I am. working on changing the dialogue. Also feeling super stuck/trapped. Commenting to emphasize community and let you know you are more than your body. (Personally the gym is my safe space and them being closed makes me feel useless and incapable). Capitalism has forced us to believe our worth is based on our productivity and what we contribute to the world. You are more than that!

I'm standing in your shoes

Hi Marygwen, I'm so sorry that Covid has triggered your eating disorder. And it's so important — so very, very important — that the people around you understand the real challenge you are facing. It's so easy to slap all of the reasons we are stressed out on Covid. It is, in fact, a very scary time for this nation. Those of us with addictive disorders are especially vulnerable. I was talking to my therapist the other day, and I asked her if I was the only one who was in relapse. She said that forums like this, and mental health professionals, are being overwhelmed by a huge spike in ED relapses. That isn't happy news at all, but it was cold comfort. I relapsed too; it started back in March when we all went into lock down. I felt scared of the disease, scared to touch anything, scared to go out in public, absolutely couldn't handle places like grocery stores. Gloves, mask, sanitizer sanitizer sanitizer sanitizer, disinfectant on everything including my groceries. I desperately needed to control something. It's still pretty awful. I didn't realize until too late that my weight was the thing I grabbed control of. I started losing weight without knowing it. I can't blame this on anything but my disease, but not being able to see my doctor in person gave the relapse a convenient camouflage. I don't own a scale; that would be like an alcoholic having a nice stash of an alcoholic beverage behind the washing machine. No one noticed. I started realizing that my thoughts were getting more and more irrational, everything felt a little crazier than it felt to the people around me. My boyfriend told me time and time again that I was out of control. Finally I caught myself in the mirror (I try to avoid mirrors at all costs) and I said to my reflection "sweetheart, you look scary." It was a wake-up call. Now I am working hard to restore weight, and going in for regular weight checks. It's very, very hard. It has everything to do with the pandemic and nothing to do with the pandemic. Stress triggers relapses, plain and simple. This is not my first rodeo. I'm 71 years old, and I remember that when I first got sick it really was about body image. Many years later, I relapsed after my father died, I moved from the home where I had lived for decades, I broke up with a long-term boyfriend. I told my therapist at the time that I was relapsing and she told me that at my age that was impossible. I left her immediately. Your parents are who they are. Here, we believe you. If you have a therapist or caring friends, they will believe you. I have recently found another online support group. All of their meetings are on zoom. It is a beautiful fellowship. People really tell their truth. There's a huge age range. If you Google them, their site will come up and you can look at the meeting list which is extensive. To me, this group is a godsend. First of all, remember that you are still you. You are a human being, not a human doing. Your professional life does not define you. Your spirit does, your intelligence does, your integrity does, what lives in your heart does. I'm afraid of the colder weather too. Gloom and drizzle run a number on my depression. Add isolation to that, and I'm pretty much screwed. I'm glad this forum is here, and I'm glad meetings are out there. It's not the same as getting a hug from someone you love, but I bet there are people in your life who really miss hugging you.

Editing Note

Hi, we again want to remind you that we edited part of your post since you mentioned another organization. Per our community guidelines, we're not able to post about outside organizations. Please take a look here: Thanks in advance for understanding.