National Eating Disorders Association

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Recovery from relaspe

I've been suffering from an ED since March of this year. During the summer i lost a lot of weight due to constent starving exercising and purging. i was so unhealthy and started to lose my hair. After I had to cut almost all of my hair off i decided that was time to stop. After about a month I was able to eat a regular meal twice a day without purging and I was okay with my body image. About 2and a half months ago I noticed that I had gained weight and that put me right back to where I started. I went back to all of my old behaviors of starving and purging. this cycle is so hard on me physically and emotionally. Only one person knows that I have an ED and she thought that I stopped months ago I don't want to tell her and disappoint her. I guess this would be considered as a relapse but the erge to lose weight is stronger because i know its possible . I've even found myself saying I rather be bald and skinny than look like this and have hair. this ed has taken complete control of my life.

You CAN do it

Hi jamiechey,

I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling with returning to your old behaviors but you have taken an important and admirable step in reaching out here on the NEDA forums! We aim to keep the forums free of specific numbers regarding weight and free of detailed descriptions of certain ED behaviors, but I'm sure many people can relate to your story. You are not alone and there is help out there!

It's important that you realize that your ED is what has taken control of your life with so much influence over your thoughts and actions. No one chooses to have an ED, but the ED can become so powerful that it seems like a part of you. On the flip side, this also means that YOU have the potential and right to take back control of your own life. I'm glad to hear you've told one person about your ED. As hard as it may be, I could encourage you to talk to her again about your current struggles. In my personal experience, my support system (friends and my doctors/therapist) have been grateful and relieved when I've shared setbacks with them, and more disappointed when I try to keep secrets from them. Is there anyone else you feel comfortable talking to, such as a doctor or therapist? Speaking to a professional who is objective and whose job is to solely support people with EDs and other illnesses can be a great way to start the road to recovery, especially since you've had hair loss. Any sort of medical symptom like this deserves the attention of a trained provider.

The NEDA Helpline is a great place to start if you need help finding resources: 1-800-931-2237, M-R9-9, F9-5 EST.

Here are some other links that might be helpful as starting points - knowledge is power! There IS hope and you have the strength in you to beat this.

Health concerns:
Treatment basics:
Seeking treatment:
Positive body image:
Recovery and relapse prevention:

Remember, above all else, that you DESERVE to find peace. You have already acknowledged that this cycle has been tough on you both physically and emotionally. With the right support and commitment to recovery, you can live an ED-free life.

Wishing you all the best,
NEDA Moderators

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