National Eating Disorders Association

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how should i tell

I suffer from an ED. I only recently admitted that and that I need help. I have tried taking steps, but none have been successful, they really just made me feel like it was a waste of my time.

I think I need to tell my mom, but I don't know how. I really think I'm ready to start talking to someone, but in order to do that my mom needs to know because it will be through her insurance. How can I tell her? She doesn't listen to anyone else's problems, she refuses to admit that anyone else could be upset. I don't know how to bring it up without her turning it into something else and then blowing it off. She thinks therapy is a waste of money too, so how am I supposed to ask her to help?

Any advice would help, I'm really stuck.

Admitting to yourself that

Admitting to yourself that you have a problem and need help takes incredible strength. Recovery cannot begin without this step, because no one can completely recover without wanting to. Your perseverance in taking steps and strength in admittance and reaching out will help you to recover. Don't give up, recovery can be a long road but it is possible.

Reaching out to your mom sounds as though it will be an important step to seeking recovery. You can do it, but if you feel as tough she won't listen yet, maybe there are other people around you that you feel you could open up to and then might be willing to help you open up to her. Perhaps a close friend or other family member? If not, you could always take the time to learn more about what you are struggling with in order to better inform her and help her understand that eating disorders are very serious emotional and physical disorders that have even more serious health consequences. Take a look at this link and the tabs on the left to learn more: Also this link is incredibly important to read through before opening up to someone close to you and could give you ideas on how to do so:

She may not understand at first, but letting her know how important this is to you may help. Stay strong!

Educate your mother

Hi lynrose13!

I couldn't agree more with BrianaM200. And I know exactly how you feel, as my mother is just like yours. The one thing I regret is not educating my mother, no matter how unreceptive she was to my ED. Instead, I allowed her to ignore what was going on instead of fighting for myself. The difference here is that I didn't need her insurance. Since you do, help educate your mother with the links BrianaM200 provided above. I believe you will find them helpful. I know it can be scary to open up, but you can do this! It's a very important and brave step!!! I'm proud of you for choosing YOU.

Seeking Help

I was in this position last month. I had told my mom I had an ED. but first I told an adult I was really close to.! And she heloed me all ghe way through it. I am not recovered hut she made sure I got help when I needed it. Its soo much better to have a oarent know though. Because you can talk about the nads and the goods and I'm reallu getting help. I wrote a lettee explaining why I started and thaThat I had never intended on it getting this far.but it did. And it worked. And its hard but you will not regret telling gour parent (s).

That's a great idea!

I agree with chandler2001! During times when we are not sure how to approach a tough conversation, using progressive steps towards that discussion is definitely helpful. The idea to seek a trusted adult is a great idea, as well as the letter. I've had to approach my parents about some difficult subjects, and certainly having the support of others who understand will be of great benefit! Another idea might be to identify areas in your life that can be enhanced by getting help. Often times, when we encounter something we do not know, we act out of fear. If you were able to tell your mom that you have trouble concentrating, are feeling depressed, are feeling scared with changes in your life, etc that may help your mom understand that an eating disorder is much more than just food and that we need help with many things when we are struggling with our eating disorders.

Lynrose13, have you been able to find a way to tell your mom?

Not yet no. These ideas are

Not yet no. These ideas are all very encouraging, but I'm trying to figure out which to try and which would work. I don't really have any adults in my life, the closest is my brother. The problem with telling him first is that he won't know how to handle it. He sucks in situations that involve someone having a problem, so if I told him he would freak out and not help. He might even add stress.

The other thing about telling my mom is that she's already under a lot of stress right now, our whole family is, and I don't want to add to that. I know it sounds like an excus but it's the truth.

Now is as good a time as any

Since it doesn't sound like your brother will be very helpful in this situation, I would bypass him and go directly to your mother. As for the stress in your household, I know that makes it even harder to open up. However, there is never a 'right' time to open up about an ED. I know you are being truthful about the stress, but your ED will always find a reason not to open up. If you wait for a better time, it may never come. Now is as good a time as any!

you're on the right track!


First, I think it's so great that you are taking steps to overcome your ED - and what you are doing is definitely NOT a waste of time! It can be hard to change behaviors that become so engrained in your lifestyle, but your efforts are not a waste, even if you're not seeing huge steps in recovery yet. It often takes time and involves going through many ups and downs to recover from an ED, but with persistence and determination, you can do it!!

From hearing about your mother, my parents are the same way. They have good intentions but when I told them about my ED, which I also waited a long time to do, they didn't really know what to do and had a very "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" type of attitude. I agree with the other comments though and I think telling your mom is a good idea. Just being open and honest can lift a weight off of your shoulders. Providing background information can help ease the conversation, and framing it in a way that shows you want to take the next steps instead of letting this issue build up can possibly reduce the stress.

Here is also a Parent Toolkit link that may be helpful: If your mother is bogged down with a ton of other stuff right now, maybe just keep it in the back of your mind as something she can use if she feels she wants more information, rather than present her with a big document to read.

Requesting an NEDA Navigator may be a good idea too: They can help guide you in finding resources and support networks. Finally, the NEDA Helpline is a great tool (1-800-931-2237, M-R 9-9, F 9-5)!

Hope this helps and best of luck!



I just want you to know that, even though you feel scared and lost, you are still an inspiration without even trying. I am struggling with an eating disorder as well and feel as though I am on the brink between either getting consistent help or giving into it completely. Reading some of the emotions you have been having felt as though I was reading my own thoughts. Just seeing someone else put them into words makes me feel like I am less alone and crazy. Thank you for having the courage to speak what so many cannot- I know you also have the courage to continue to take care of yourself by finding help. I am a very rational and independent and prideful person and asking for help for something like this goes against every fiber of my being. I've had a lot of trouble talking to family members about it as well- even when they mean well, it is often hard for people to understand and know how to help. Please don't be discouraged and give up, use the aforementioned resources and keep pressing. (My college counselor was extremely unhelpful as well.....ce la vie)

Same to you, eahornsby!

Your words are so wonderful and supportive, eahornsby. I wish you could talk to yourself the way you talk to Lynrose13. You deserve that same encouragement! You too have the courage to getting help. I am glad you know you are not alone in your suffering or thoughts. Do you think any of the resources mentioned resources can help move the conversation along with you and your family?

First of all, eahornsby your

First of all, eahornsby your words are touching, thank you and I'm glad somehow I'm helping you. You seem like a strong person yourself and you can recover too!

Thank you everyone else for the wonderful ideas and resources! I don't know how to use them yet, but it'll come. I'm not sure I'm strong enough or motivated enough to tell her. I know I need to, but I'm too scared to try. I know she won't take it well, or worse just won't listen. I know there's never going to be a good time to tell her, but right now I'm wondering, is it worth it? Or should I just wait a year or two until I can do it on my own insurance and never have to tell. I know it's not the best idea, but it's what's going on right now.

I think I'll try to write for now, maybe something better will come to me.

You are strong too!

Hi again!!

I have complete respect for your concerns regarding your mother's reactions. However, like a lot of things in life, we sometimes need to express our needs. In this situation, I can understand your fear that you are under your mother's insurance. And, one to two years of your life are invaluable!! You are worthy and deserving to live a life free from this eating disorder! In life sometimes the hardest thing to do is try something. I know it will be uncomfortable to ask your mom, but is it dangerous? Sure, she may react poorly, but do we know that for sure? She may surprise you. Plus, isn't it a guarantee that we won't get help unless we first try to ask for it?

You are stronger than you know!! Plus, I hope you know that there are so many resources that do not require insurance! Have you checked out NEDA's resources for support groups?

I know how stressful it all can be. How are you feeling overall? Is there anything else I can support you with?

don't lose hope

I fully agree with michael26 - you are worthy and should not have to carry this burden for one or two more years! You ARE strong and I really think it will be good for you to talk to someone. It may be difficult, but at least you'll know you tried and it may even help you be more confident in sharing with someone else, like your primary care doctor or a counselor later on. Taking steps early can prevent things from worsening or piling up. You've already had the strength to share here and I'm so glad you did. That shows that you do have the determination you need to beat this!

Also, here's a link with some insurance information that may be helpful:

Don't lose hope. You CAN do this!

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