National Eating Disorders Association

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new and needing help!

I'm a 20 year old college student and unfortunately spend most of my time thinking about my weight and food. I have not received an official diagnosis for an eating disorder, mostly because I'm still too ashamed to say it to anyone and just struggling with actually saying it out loud. It really hurts because I don't understand why it is that I can't even tell my family and friends about such a huge struggle that has been tearing me apart for years. I'm in my third year of college and some of the more minor signs began my freshman year, it has since gotten worse and worse. It's a vicious cycle of poor body image and binge sessions, worsening my situation every day that I don't address it. I know it's just the internet but this is the first step I have made beyond myself to reach out with this problem I'm coming to terms with. I'm at the point where I want to live a normal, exciting college life like the rest of my friends, instead of constantly missing out on memories because I'm self-conscious and hiding in my house rather than going out and experiencing college. Whenever I pass up an invite to go out I always regret it and end up binging to try and make up for how upset I am which, of course, only makes things worse. Looking on this website, I've found more and more symptoms of eating disorders that I've done and frequently do myself. For instance, eating in private, eating when I'm not hungry, eating until I'm painfully full, eating at a very fast pace when binging, just eating, eating, eating! Ugh, I hate it because I both love and hate food. I don't know what else to do but to reach out here, it's the first place I've felt comfortable in voicing my problems. I need help :(

You've come to the right place

Hi MSUspartan!

I hope you are proud of yourself for making this first step of talking about it! Admitting out loud that you may have an eating disorder is not easy but it puts you on the path to happiness and freedom. As you acknowledged, an eating disorder can rob us of truly living and enjoying life. These forums are a safe place for us to talk about this.

Since you have the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, it may be time to get some professional help involved. A therapist or a primary care doctor can give you a diagnosis and get you started on the road to recovery. You can find help here:

Now that you have admitted it to us, do you feel a bit more comfortable talking with someone you know, like a friend, parent or trusted professor? I know it can be very hard to admit what you are going through, but you have nothing to be ashamed of.

We are here to support you and help you! You deserve to be enjoying life with your friends!

Thank you for your

Thank you for your encouraging words and links to find treatment!

I feel like since I've made the step to share on this forum I'm closer than I was to opening up to someone I know about it. I think that it would be easiest for me to speak to a friend about it once I feel comfortable. For some reason I'm having trouble bringing it up to my mom even though she has shared with me that she suffered from Bulimia when she was my age and has always told me that no matter what she wants us to feel that we have a positive body image and are happy with ourselves. I think it is this fact that makes it hard for me to bring it up to her because it's hard to admit to her how unhappy I've been with myself.

I'm looking at the treatment information now and I think I've found a facility that will work for me! I'll look into it and hopefully I can make it work :) Thanks again for the encouragement!

Way to go!

I am SO proud of you! You have taken a very important first step. You are strong, you are worthy and you are an inspiration.

I'm also glad to hear you are considering talking with a friend. I remember quite well how scared I was to tell my friends what I was going through. What I wasn't prepared for was the amount of support I would receive in return. You may be surprised how good it feels to talk about it with someone who loves you. As for you mother, I'm sorry to hear that she once suffered as well. Although I'm sure it's never easy for any parent to find out a child is suffering, she may be able to relate and understand more than anyone. I am not sure if she ever got treatment for her bulimia, but she may know better than many that you need support and love right now. It's important to remember that you didn't chose this - and your mom probably realizes this, as she didn't chose hers either.

Here is some information you can pass along to your friends and family once you have decided to share what you are going through:

Again, I am so happy for you that you are choosing life! You are an example of strength for others contemplating the same thing. Keep us updated on how you are doing!

Thanks so much :) it's

Thanks so much :) it's encouraging to hear reinforcement in the small steps that I've taken thus far. I've been home for spring break so I've been thinking less about what I'm eating but am still struggling with my self image, especially after some of the heartier meals I've had here. I'm hoping that in my return to school I can avoid falling back into that rut of staying inside and sheltered while my friends go out and enjoy themselves. Also, the facility I was looking into is by my school so while I'm becoming more anxious about the possibility of going, I'm also eager to see if this treatment will be something I feel comfortable with.

I'll try and update as I explore these new options!

Sending good vibes your way!

I am sending positive vibes your way that the facility will be most helpful for you and that you can find the courage to enjoy yourself at college like you would like. You are quite a strong person and I believe in you! Please do keep us updated as this new chapter begins!

One month later...

Well, it's been nearly a month since posting and here I am, still haven't gone to seek any professional help (sigh). With how busy classes, exams and work keep me, I haven't had much of an opportunity to go but I think I definitely could have made time. I think I'm just anxious about it and keep finding reasons to postpone a visit. For a week or so I thought I was getting things under control. Eating right, enjoying exercise, not constantly thinking about eating. But then of course. It had to happen. Again, I find myself making excuses as to why I can't go out to parties and events because "I don't feel well" or "I'm tired from work" when really I can't find an outfit that doesn't make me look in the mirror and cringe. So, as per usual, I stay at home, stuff myself with whatever I can find and lay around like a zombie the rest of the night regretting it.

Why is this so hard?!!!

The most frustrating part is that at times I feel so optimistic and ready to face this and the next I'm right back to where I started :( getting tired of this routine...

Constant struggle

I understand how hard it is to make that first step toward recovery. Often times that can be the hardest step to take. When you feel optimistic, that is YOU knowing you shouldn't have to live this way and knowing that you can get rid of your ED. When you feel reluctant to get help that is your ED taking control. Your ED is like an abusive boyfriend - when he feels he may be losing you, he holds on tighter and tells you that you can't live without him.

Having an ED is a struggle is so many ways, and that's why it is so hard. Think of what your ED is stealing from you. And what is it giving you in return? Pure negativity. I urge you to really try to find the time to talk to someone. And I'm proud of you for realizing that you could have made time if you really wanted to - that alone is a big step.

Such a confidence booster!

Honestly, after my last post I didn't think there was much that could be said in terms of positivity towards the struggle I've been having with getting help. I'm glad to say that you proved otherwise! What you said was really encouraging and definitely put things into perspective. It's absolutely true that my ED is taking away so much from me and I'm getting nothing in return, so why am I being so reluctant to receive help and stop allowing it to have control over my life?!

Given all of the things I've read on the internet and other websites thus far I feel that that idea alone has spoken to me more than any other. Just have a big exam tomorrow and then the rest of my week is free, no excuses this time! Making a promise to myself that the next time I post in this forum it will include details of help that I've sought :) thanks so much for the encouraging words!

So PROUD of you!!!

Your post is such an inspiration to all those struggling with that big first step! With every thought of positivity and motivation to get well, remember - that is what a life free of ED is like! And when the doubt creeps in, that is your abusive partner trying to control you. I can't wait to read that you have made that appointment. Hold on to the feeling you had when you wrote the above and you CAN DO THIS. I'm so excited for your future!

So PROUD of you!!!

Your post is such an inspiration to all those struggling with that big first step! With every thought of positivity and motivation to get well, remember - that is what a life free of ED is like! And when the doubt creeps in, that is your abusive partner trying to control you. I can't wait to read that you have made that appointment. Hold on to the feeling you had when you wrote the above and you CAN DO THIS. I'm so excited for your future!

Went to see a Counselor...

Well, I decided to give my university's counseling center a try. I know it's not a therapist but it's free and I figured baby steps, plus it couldn't hurt, right?

So after talking (and mostly crying) my way through a counseling session, I realized a few things:

1. I didn't realize how much this ED upset me until I really started saying and admitting things out loud.
2. While I'm scared to tell my mom about this, she did go through a similar situation and probably will understand more than I originally thought. Also, whenever I do finally muster up the courage to tell her, I'm sure that she'll find it hard to know how much turmoil I was dealing with and afraid to share with her.
3. I need to see a therapist. Despite it being emotionally taxing, I guess I can say that overall it was a much needed experience. Talking about everything that was happening with me in a way felt relieving since I'd been keeping so much to myself for a long time.

Doing this is going to be a BIG step for me. If I thought scheduling an appointment with the counseling center was hard, this is going to be even harder!!! With finals coming up, who knows how long it'll be before I get this plan into action. Aghhhh :/

Great Job!

Hi, MSUspartan,

Great job on pushing past the uncomfortableness and deciding to go see the counseling center! Do you have any resources on getting in contact with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders? You can always call NEDA's Helpline and they should be able to help connect you with resources to help guide you to a professional.

The number is: 1-800-931-2237.

I want to celebrate again your decision to acknowledge your ED. This is a HUGE step, one that should not be taken lightly. It's ok to cry about things. The ED is great on bottling up those emotions and turning them into behaviors...

I would certainly recommend telling your mom. She will probably be very understanding and supportive! I understand that you need to do this, when you are ready, but when that time comes, you can also direct her to the Parents Family Friends Network on NEDA:

This could be a valuable tool for you and your mother.

How else can I be a support to you? I know I might be a guy, but I am a college student who has successfully recovered, so I might be able to provide a very empathetic ear. Just let me know...

Stay Strong!


I just wanted to add on to the wonderful things Michael26 wrote to you. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. That was a HUGE first step and you did it. You have already accomplished something very important. The things you realized through that chat are the first steps towards the rest of your life. As for your mom, you're right - she probably will understand due to what she went through. She can't help you when you suffer in silence. Let her help you. And she can come straight to NEDA if she needs support or resources herself. We are here for ALL of you.

I know scheduling an appointment with a therapist is another big step, but think of it this way: you will develop a trusting relationship with someone you can talk to about everything. There's no need for secrets with a therapist because they aren't personally affected and they don't judge. I know you have finals and you should focus on them as well. But maybe you can make the appointment now and just schedule it for after finals. That way, it's done, you have no excuses and you can truly put more focus on your studies without the nagging feeling that you have to make that appointment.

GREAT JOB! You are an inspiration!!! You are strong!! Keep up the good work.

Thanks guys :)

Thanks to both of you for all the encouragement! I appreciate the support in my steps so far :) I feel like you guys think I'm doing better than I feel like I'm doing if that makes sense...

Michael26, thanks for the resources you suggested I'm definitely looking forward to exploring those options once I get the courage to do so! Also, thanks for commenting it's definitely good to get a perspective from someone who's in college and understands the kinds of struggles I've been dealing with. I'll also make sure to give my mom the information once I discuss everything with her.

Eghall, your support has been great throughout all of this :) every time I read one of your posts I gain more confidence and hope that I can take the steps necessary to conquer this thing. I do like your idea about making an appointment now to go see a therapist that way after finals it's all set-up and taken care of! I am kinda looking forward to having someone that I can confide in and knows all that I'm going through even though it's a big step. I'll definitely try to make this happen this week so that next week I can focus on school.

The support I've gained from this forum has been amazing. I appreciate it so much and I don't think I'd be getting as far as I am now without it! Thank you sooo so much!

Be proud

I know what you mean about us thinking you are doing better than you feel you are actually doing. I think it's that we believe in you more than you believe in yourself. We know what you deserve, whereas you aren't convinced yet of what you deserve. We see more goodness in you than you can see in yourself. But once you get into recovery, you will see all the good things in your self that we can see. And that is a moment that I cannot wait for you to experience.

We are here to support you, lift you up and get you to that next step any time you need it. Any step you take, whether large or small, is HUGE. I am so proud of you. :)

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