National Eating Disorders Association

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sometimes I wish I could just disappear

This is my first time posting, I just created an account a few minutes ago. I'm 17 and food, dieting, gaining or losing weight, being fat, and planning my eating schedule consume just about every thought I think. I'm not anorexic, I am too fat to be anorexic. (not in the denial way, I am actually at a "normal" weight, which I hate). I am not bulimic, because I rarely purge. I don't know what I am, and despite the fact that every day I feel disgusting, anxious, and sad, not knowing what I am might be the hardest part of all of this. I say that because I know that restricting myself daily is far from healthy and I am hurting my body and ruining that control by binging once a week isn't healthy either, but because I know I won't be diagnosed with a "real" eating disorder, aka I've not emaciated, I feel like people will think I'm just trying to get attention or won't believe me. Its so hard for me to put into words what goes on in my head every day. I feel like no one else understands. Its so hard. I just want to disappear and watch the world around me without actually having to be a part in it. But...

All of that depressing, personal stuff aside, I wanted to write this post because I'm sure there are others out there that share many of my daily terrors, so I would love to talk to anyone who either wants to vent or wants to listen. I just want to try to find someone who I can help and who understands me, too. I want to make someone's day better because I don't know how to make my own day better. So, if you want to vent, get support, ask questions (I'm actually pretty knowledgable-- I've done a lot of research, read books, and written papers and essays on eating disorders), anything, I'm here and can't wait to talk to you!


Hi there!

Before we chat I need to make sure that you are safe. You mentioned in your post that you are having thoughts, and I just needed to make sure that you are safe? If not, I strongly encourage you to call the suicide hotline (1-800-784-2433) or dial 911.

But if we are good, I would love to chat!


I am safe in the sense that I do not plan on committing suicide tonight, thank you for your concern! I, too, would like to chat.



I noticed that you are kind of unsure how to think about/regard your eating disorder. Do you know that NEDA has an online screening that might be of use to you? It can be found at this link:

I know it is sometimes hard to overcome the feeling that our eds are not "serious" enough. But, please consider this. If anything is inhibiting with your day to day life, it is something worthy of treatment and help. You are deserving of getting help for your ed! It is never a good idea to deal with it alone. Sometimes when I get scared that an action is not the right one, I ask myself "is it uncomfortable or dangerous?" Certainly in this case, I know how uncomfortable it is to talk about things. But, consider the opposite, it is certainly dangerous to let your ed have free reign!

Hey toomanythoughts, I have

Hey toomanythoughts, I have been having the same problem with the dieting and going back and forth with eating to little, then too much, and wanting to purge. Yet, I also do not fix anorexia or Bulimia. I was recently diagnosed with EDNOS. Things have been so chaotic lately, and I am just confused with what is going on with me mentally. I know what I am doing is wrong, but can't stop. Also if you would like to chat more about what you are going through I will be as much support as I can. I want to also chat with someone who actually understands what I am going through. I have this problem too, but try to believe in yourself that you will get better.

Thanks so much for responding

Thanks so much for responding, its so nice to know there is someone else out there who thinks at least somewhat like me. How did you end up getting diagnose, like did you go in or did a friend confront you? I'm just kind of scared of every alternative. I feel so out of control sometimes, like I'm a logical person but I feel like theres a constant battle inside me that makes every day feel empty and grey. How long have you had an ed? Stay strong to you as well, you're definitely taking good steps to recovery and you should be proud.

I feel the same way. Like I

I feel the same way. Like I feel I am logical usually, but this has taken over my life. And for just reaching out on here, you seem like a strong person who does want to recover. I have only been battling these thoughts and actions since November, but I am already tired of the fight. It is draining. And I actually recently last week got diagnosed when I started going to a counselor and dietitian, because I knew what I was doing was wrong; so I myself seeked help, with guidance of some family and friends. My symtoms aren't severe, but they are continuing to get worse, and I am tired to constantly think about food. And I don't know if this is the same for you, but for me, I want to get better, but I want to hold onto my e.d. So I knew in order for me to get better I needed to seek help. I know what eating disorders can do to a body and I do not want to lose all hope in recovering.

reply to michael26!

Hey michael26, yes I took the screening and it said I have many symptoms of an eating disorder and encouraged I seek further help. I want to...I just can't yet. I just don't even know how I would. It's so scary to think about because then I wouldn't be relying on myself anymore. I would have to effect other peoples lives. I don't want people to look at my differently. I don't want sympathy from anyone or anything, I just wish people could understand so it would be easier to overcome, but its impossible to explain this type of feeling to people

I know it's scary! But it's ok!

I am really glad you took the screening. It is true that knowing and acknowledging your ed is extremely challenging. I understand your hesitation to seek help. But, I feel compelled to tell you some of my story. I had trouble coming forward about my eating disorder too. Unfortunately, I ended up seriously ill in the hospital. There are serious risks to even the slightest behaviors don over a stretch of time. I ended up with a heart attack at age 16. Please don't underestimate the danger of your eating disorder... They are serious and can never be handled by yourself.


If you don't mind me asking, what eating disorder did you suffer from? Did your heart attack happen because you were emaciated and your heart chambers shrank or just from prolonged abuse or what? That is so scary, and you are so strong for getting through it. I'm so sorry that happened to you. I'm scared of those things every day, because I know what I'm doing is unhealthy and dangerous, but the alternative is just as scary sometimes.

Can I ask how long you have

Can I ask how long you have had your eating disorder toomanythoughts?

I've had body image problems

I've had body image problems since I was 8...maybe before that, but that's when I really remember it starting. I started trying to purge or exercise after meals when I was about 12, but I wouldn't say I was ever actually bulimic. Then I started gaining weight and overeating when purging and exercise didn't work because I was just so sad, that continued until I was 15, though I never actually became overweight. Then about two years about I hit some sort of trigger and I started restricting more and more, over exercising, and falling into depression when I lost control and binged. I am currently still restricting as much as possible, until I binge. So, its hard to say exactly when it all started for me. I guess I'd say 2 years ago is when it started getting much worse.

Ok. Hang in there. Are you

Ok. Hang in there. Are you thinking about seeking help to get through it? I know it is scary; I feel my symtoms are very similar to yours and I just started seeking help and I am hoping for the best, but definately right now it is a long struggle, as you know. For me I want to get rid of my eating issues, but then again I want to hold on; if that makes sense

It makes complete sense, I

It makes complete sense, I think about recovery every day, because I know what I'm doing is unhealthy and I do truly want to get help, but I just can't yet. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is stopping me, I'm scared, I don't want to disappoint my parents, I don't want people to look at me differently, and I honestly feel like I have to lose more weight, but at the same time I know one day I'll have to recover because I can't take much more. You should be really proud of yourself for seeking help, you're really strong and I hope one day I can be that strong too. I'm sure it will go great. If you don't mind sharing, how long have you been struggling with an ed?

I know how you feel, and it

I know how you feel, and it must be really hard to keep it a secret. If you ever need to chat and want my email, just let me know. And have you been able to tell a friend? And I honestly haven't had mine that long. I have had on and off body image issues for 4 years, but nothing severe, until November of last year. and 4 months later I knew what I was doing wasn't healthy. I was an athelte my whole life; and nutrition was huge, especially when I played a year in college, so I knew I needed to get back on track. And honestly getting help I am glad I started, but sometimes I regret it and quite frankly, yes it sparks a lot of emotions and I have gotten worse lately, but after I go through therapy a little more, hopefully things will get better. I am optimistic, but I am holding onto my e.d with all I have in order to become skinnier.

Yeah, I am at athlete as well

Yeah, I am at athlete as well, and I am committed to play D1 soccer next year at colgate, so I know I need to to get help if I have any chance of being successful there, and I know what I'm doing is destroying my body and is unhealthy. I get completely what you mean when you say you want to recover because you know the dangers but its so hard to let go of something that feels like its the one thing you have control over and is the one thing that can make me skinny and happy, even though in the back on my head I know it never will. Thanks so much for sharing and being here to talk to.

Ya, I want to hold on as long

Ya, I want to hold on as long as I can, but ultimately I want recovery. And yes, I know it is hard to tak the step to tell your parents, but if soccer is anything like basketball was to me, playing at the collegiate level has probably been a lifelong dream and something that you are looking forward to more than anything else. I would say for the sake of being able to be a strong contributor to the team, it'd be best to be able to go in in top physical, mental, and healthy state as it is a different game at the college level. I know you know all that, but I know the pressures of sports like you do, and wanting to have that control and be perfect and the best is always there. But if you could find and dig deep with that part of you that wants to recovery, do you think you can tell someone. Maybe start with a friend, or a coach, or a teacher; before telling your parents?