National Eating Disorders Association

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putting it to words

I want to be able to tell my parents about my eating disorder but I am not sure whether I can even put it to words. I want to be able to get help, but don't know if people will believe me if I can not even describe what is going on with me.


Hi swimgirl,

That's so great to hear that you are willing to receive help! Trust me, the hardest part in recovery is having the strength to get started.

I know how scary it is to tell others about our eating disorders. Certainly, if your parents have little background in eating disorders it may seem very confusing and frightening to them.

I have an idea though. Would it be possible for you to see a therapist? I say this because you can met with the therapist and describe to her about your eating disorder. Then, you could have some guidance with your parents. Better yet, you could take your parents with you to that therapist and that way your disclosure will happen in a neutral environment that also would have a specialist to help guide the conversation.

What do you think? Certainly if you have to disclose to your parents without a therapist present, it is possible but it might be helpful to not try this all alone.

Have you been able to see a physician to check your heart and electrolytes? From your previous post I remember being worried about your safety...

Hope this helps!

Help is available!

I'm glad to hear you want to get help - this is an important first step! It can be nervewracking to talk to parents and loved ones about such a complicated topic, but there are resources available to help get the conversation started. The NEDA Helpline can be a good place to start (1-800-931-2237, M-F, 9-5 EST) to find someone to connect with, and it is completely confidential.

There are also some referrals here: for support groups and professionals that you may be able to find in your area.

There's never an easy way to put into words what it's like living with an ED, so remember you are not alone. Even just sharing your feelings though can be a big help and there are people who will support you! You can do it!

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