National Eating Disorders Association

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The Urge to Purge

Good evening everone,
Im new to NEDA and new to recocery as well. I dont know anyone personally who is also going through this, and the people that I have told are concerned but just as lost as I am. Ive tried a few things to keep myself accountable, like setting goals for not binging and purging, and always having pre-portioned snacks on my person so I dont binge-snack, but Ive only been geting worse, especially now that Ive started a new job at a restaurant...and we have really really good food. Also, its 100% free to the servers, and its way too easy to stand around and snack in the kitchen while we wait on our food for our tables. Ive started to put on some weight and also injured my recently from overuse at the gym, so needless to say i have a few cuts on my knuckles and some burst blood vessels on my face. I need help...and lots. I have no insurance so i cant go to an outpatient facility , or a therapist. Suggestions?



I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling recently but reaching out for help and wanting to change is a huge accomplishment in itself since it can take many sufferers years to admit to or ask for help from their eating disorder. In addition to reaching out here, is there anyone in your personal life that you feel you could reach out to and talk to about what you are struggling with? Wether it's a friend, a parent, a significant other or family member being able to open up and let others know your struggles may be able to help you as having support can be very important. Take a look at this handout, it has some good ideas on how to open up to someone:

Recovery can be difficult without insurance, but not impossible, there are a bunch of options out there for you. Things like scholarships and research studies are out there and will sometimes cover the entire cost of treatment. There are also options for people without insurance to obtain very low cost insurance that will cover treatment. The NEDA helpline has a bunch of information on obtaining treatment when you don't have insurance and they may be able to help you find places in your area that could help you. Their hours are M-F 9-9 EST at 1-800-931-2237. You can also email them, but don't be afraid to contact them as someone is always there willing to help.

Stay strong! Does anyone else have any more advice for yellow daisies?


Thank you so so much!!! I cant tell you how much i appreciate this!

you've taken the first step!


I'm so glad you've reached out here! Talking about eating disorders like binging and purging is never easy but I'm proud of you for taking the first step by seeking help! It sounds like you have tried to take some action to prevent binging, like making pre-portioned snacks. I think this is a great idea, but it does sound to me like talking to someone else close to you or a professional will help, especially considering your symptoms of over-exercising.

I'm glad you've talked to some people already, and even if they are not familiar with eating disorders, just getting out your feelings and sharing some of your triggers for overeating can be of benefit. Even journaling when you are feeling down or bringing a water bottle with water or seltzer to work with you to prevent snacking may be things to try. I agree with BrianaM200 that the NEDA Helpline is a great place to call for more suggestions on which next steps to take. You can find someone to relate to who may have more tips on how to reach out.

In the meantime, here are some links that may be useful:
Support groups:
Recovery info:

Remember, fighting against an ED is often full of ups and downs, but keep going - you are on the right track!
Hope this helps,


Thank you so much for your suggestions! I did as BrianaM200 said and called the hotline and they sent a LONG list of possiblilies! Thankyou guys for all your support and help. It means the world to me, truly.

I'm glad to hear! Keep up the

I'm glad to hear! Keep up the good work!!

I'm so happy to hear you

I'm so happy to hear you called and have a list of options! Stay strong, you've already come so far in reaching out and you can always turn to us here for support.


I am new to this, but I am almost going to be twenty-one years old and I have been battling body image/eating disorder off and on since my freshman year of high school. First it was anorexia which then led to an ongoing battle with off and on again bulimia where there is no binge eating, just eating a meal and throwing it up. I sought for professional help but they always ask me why or when did it start....well, that is the most annoying question because if I knew I wouldn't have a six year battle with it. I feel in control after, I feel liberated. And, I hate that having an eating disorder gives me a good control. There is a trigger that I am unconsciously aware of. It is so difficult for me to find my happy place.

Hey there!!!

Hiya! Thanks so much for sharing your struggle! I can completely relate how you feel contradicted. Staying in our eating disorders can feel like we are in control. But are we really? Even though we may not know what is triggering us or how our ed's began, we can know something about our future! We can make the steps towards recovery and begin reclaiming what we have lost.

Have you ever written out a list of characteristics that define you? If not, it can be really helpful!! That list is what defines YOU! If you can, try to imagine your eating disorder stealing bits and pieces of all of those things that are YOU. We can get these pieces back!! With each step towards recovery, we are taking back what is ours.

How are you feeling? I sensed from your post that you are struggling a bit. Is there anything I can help you with?

glad you're here!

Hi hmuntzy,

Thanks for sharing your story here! I can definitely relate, as I'm 22 now and freshman year of high school is when my ED seemed to take off. I also still can't really identify one main thing that caused it to start, but that's okay. What matters now is how I react to those feelings when I feel them creep back into my life, even 7 years later. Sometimes when I make big transitions in life (starting at a new school, moving to a new state, etc), the stress fuels old ED thoughts. I don't know if this is what caused it all so long ago, but being aware of it now has helped me acknowledge those vulnerable times and do what I can (often with the help of others) to stay healthy and happy. Maybe something similar may work for you - perhaps keeping a journal or notes of when you feel the ED behaviors returning can help you identify some trigger situations.

The causes of ED are numerous and quite variable, and not always one specific thing, so recovery can be just as complex. Don't give up!! I know you have the strength and I'm glad to hear you've sought professional help. I'd encourage you to keep talking to a professional, and in the meantime, talking to someone on the NEDA Helpline (1-800-931-2237, M-R 9-9, M-5 9-5EST) is a great place to start!

Here are some more links that may be useful:
Body image:
Stories of hope:

All the best!

NEDA is here to support you during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. The health of our community, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus' serious complications, remains paramount. To access resources that can provide free and low-cost support, please click here.