National Eating Disorders Association

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Unsure, confused, lost.

It was difficult to find a forum category to write this in because I'm not even sure if I have an eating disorder since I haven't been properly diagnosed. I've been struggling with my body image and eating since my injury during cross country in the fall of 2011. I couldn't run for 6 months, and I was devastated. I became depressed. I stopped talking to everyone on my team. I stopped eating (and whenever I did eat I would restrict) and I started to worry about my body image more than necessary. About a year ago, in the spring of 2012, I went to my mom and told her everything that I have been struggling with. I told her how alone I felt through all of this and that I needed help. I was hoping for some support, but all she said was that I had issues, as if I didn't know I already and she ended the discussion right then and there. After that I've been too afraid to ask for help from anyone else. As of right now, I am running daily. It is my outlet and my passion, but lately its just been my reason to eat anything. If I don't hit a certain amount of miles for the day, or exercise in some way, I get so anxious and begin restricting again. If I have a rest day, I eat very little or nothing at all. I'm constantly torn between wanting to be the best runner that I can be, and to become that I obviously need to be eating, and to be comfortable in my own skin. To me, I don't feel like I look "sick" enough to even have a disorder, which is why it's difficult most days to even believe that I might have one. More and more bones are slowly becoming visible, but I don't know..A part of me feels like I don't deserve any kind of help or that I deserve to be this miserable and alone through all of this because so many people out there have it a lot worse than I do. Lately, everything has just been a mess. I've been breaking down almost everyday for the past few months, my anxiety is keeping me awake at night, and I feel more alone than ever before. I'm lost, confused, and unsure of everything. All I want is help and some support through all of this. I'm so tired of fighting.

You have support here

Dear Csmith94,

From what it sounds like, you have the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. I'm sorry to hear your mom's reaction wasn't supportive, although I'm not surprised as parents often don't know what to do in this situation. NEDA has some resources to educate her on what you are going through. An idea may be to go to this link, print off some of the information and give it to her so you can try to re-start this conversation, with actual facts in your hands:

It's not uncommon for eating disorders and behavioral issues (anxiety, depression, etc) to go hand-in-hand. I strongly suggest you speak with a professional about this. You do deserve help. You don't deserve to be miserable and alone. You did not chose this and it is NOT your fault. You can come on here for help and support at any time, but I really do hope you reach out for some professional help.

Click on this link to find professionals in your area:
or call the NEDA helpline and have them give you some treatment resources: 1-800-931-2237, M-F, 9am-5pm EST.

I can tell how badly you are struggling and trust me, I completely understand how you feel. You are not alone, you deserve help and you ARE a worthy person.

Please let us know what your next steps are. We are here for you :)

Thank you for responding!

Thank you for responding! Sometime next month I'm planning on getting a physical, and I want to bring up to the doctor how much I've been struggling and the possibility of me having an ED..but I'm not sure how to break it to them. I just turned 18 so this will be my first physical that isn't given by a pediatritian. Any advice? I'm very nervous about doing this. I know its silly but I'm scared the doctor will say Im not sick enough to get help.

What you are feeling is normal

These fears are completely normal! First of all, one doesn't need to look 'sick' to actually be sick. Eating disorders have as much to do with our heads as our bodies. Also, when people suffer from an eating disorder they can no longer see in the mirror what others can see - everything is distorted. These fears of not being seen as sick are completely normal.

I'm SO proud of you for taking this very important first step by talking to your doctor! If nothing else, he can give you a referral for more specialized help. I remember feeling exactly the same way you do now and I remember how scary that feeling is. There is nothing about it that is silly at all :)

You can try the same thing with the doctor that I suggested with your mother if you think it will help - print up a list of the symptoms and warning signs, and take that with you to the doctor to get the conversation started. I can tell you are a really brave person and I believe in you!!

Thank you so much for the

Thank you so much for the advice. I feel a little more at ease about talking to a doctor about this. Another thing I am afraid of is even if I find the help that I am looking for, I probably won't be able to afford it...I think that is one of the things that is holding me back. I'm leaving for college in a few months, and money will be tight. I doubt my mom would help me since she reacted badly..I really want to confront her again about all of this, and print out the information like you said so that she would have a better understanding..but I'm so scared to go through that again. Our relationship has been horrible lately and she has expressed numerous times how much she wants me out of house and gone..Its very upsetting when she says things like that to me. A part of me feels that I have to just take this on all alone but I know I can't anymore.

You are never alone

You are never alone in dealing with this - that is what these forums are for and what NEDA is all about! We are here to support you and talk with you whenever you need it. It sounds like your relationship with your mother is troubled, so I can understand your hesitation in wanting to try to talk with her again. Do you think she may take you more seriously after you have a conversation with your doctor? If so, maybe after your appointment you can talk to her about what you and your doctor discussed. Is there anyone else you can talk to - a friend or a parent of a friend that you trust?

Another area you are not alone in is the financial one. Unfortunately, affording treatment is a common issue. However, there are ways to help with that as well. I suggest you call the helpline and have them talk you through all your options. However, if you'd rather research online, check here: and (research studies can be a way to get free or affordable care).

I am so happy to hear that you feel more at ease - we are here to help!

She might take me more

She might take me more seriously once I have talked it over with a doctor..Maybe, but I'm not sure. I don't know if I could do it though, I'm sorry...And no, I don't really have anyone physically here who I could talk to about all of this...I did have a blog a few months ago, and it really helped for awhile. It was my place to vent and I got a lot of support, but I ended up deleting it because everything just started to fall apart again and for various other reasons...

No apologies!

You have no reason to apologize - we are always here for you to talk to if you feel you have no one else to turn to. I just want you to have as big a support system as possible.

As for your mother, we won't know until the time comes if she will take you more seriously. The most important thing is that YOU take yourself seriously. I'm glad you have found us to talk to and as a support system. I believe in you!!!


I am a long distance runner diagnosed with ED (Orthorexia and over exerciser) in recovery. Please, talk with your doctor, it's the place to start.

I will be talking with my

I will be talking with my doctor, hopefully in the next two weeks

So proud of you!!!

Way to go!!! Let us know how it goes. Stay strong!

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