National Eating Disorders Association

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Lost & scared

Today I finally found the courage to admit to myself and my family & friends that I have been suffering from an eating disorder. What started with an obsession with healthy eating & exercise progressed into anorexia and now has turned into terrible bulimia and I've been finding myself binging & purging several times a week followed by periods of starvation. It's killing me emotionally and physically. I am absolutely terrified to start treatment and don't even know where to begin. I'm not only embarrassed but I feel so helpless and scared. But I can't go one more day doing this to myself and to my body. The physical pain alone has become unbearable. This disorder has completely taken over my life & ruined most of my friendships/relationships. I'm finding myself with very few people to confide in and not a very strong support system. I hate feeling like I'm complaining or seeking attention, which is why it's taken me so long to come clean about this. But I'm done doing this to myself. I need help. Just looking for some advice from others who understand what I'm going through. I'm not sure what else to do.

Glad you found us!

Hi! First of all, I want to congratulate you on taking a huge first step!! Admitting you have an ED is hard, but you did it! And you came to the right place to find help. As you well know, eating disorders are painful both physically and emotionally. They take away our relationships and our ability to focus on anything but the disorder. It's no way to live.

Unfortunately, when it comes time to admit we have EDs, we often feel shameful, as if it is our fault. The truth is that you didn't ask for this disorder and you have nothing to feel ashamed of. The best next step for you is to speak with a doctor. NEDA can help you find one in your area. You can search here:

You can also call NEDA M-Th 9am-9pm EST and F 9am-5pm EST at 1-800-931-2237. They can help you find a therapist in your area that specializes in eating disorders.

You are a worthy person and deserve to live a life free of this suffering. As someone who has been recovered for a few years now, I can tell you that an ED-free life is amazing. It's a freedom like none other!!

You're on the right track!

Hi jen24,
Like eghall said, you've taken a HUGE first step by acknowleding that you have an eating disorder and seeking help! It's normal to feel scared and unsure of what to do, but you have the strength to overcome this! You deserve so much more and you deserve to put your life - in terms of both health and happiness - first and foremost. There is nothing selfish and wrong about that.

Here are some links that may be helpful when starting a treatment plan:
Treatment basics:
Seeking treatment:

Recovery can be a bumpy road, but you can do it through perserverence and professional help. When I was going through Female Athlete Triad in high school, it also distanced me from my close group of friends and left me feeling alone and scared. I didn't think there was going to be any way to reform any of those relationships, but this voice is the ED talking. You are a strong person and there are people out there to help! The NEDA Helpline is a great place to start, as eghall mentioned.

These Stories of Hope are quite inspirational too:

Hope this helps!

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.