National Eating Disorders Association

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willhope1212
Who knows about your eating disorder?

I'm dealing with binge eating disorder... I live with my boyfriend and he is very encouraging and helps me deal with it. He's the only one who knows though (besides my cat).

I don't have any friends I trust enough to tell and I haven't told my parents. I'm just wondering if anyone else has told their family or how they feel about the idea of telling them.

michael26
Hello!!

Hi! Thank you so much for your post!!!

From my own experience, I know how hard it is to tell others about the ED. Eating disorders are not understood well by some people and that definitely places a communication barrier. However, with education people truly become supportive of you when they understand how the ED impacts your life.

Would there be a way to first start seeing a therapist before you told more of your family? A therapist would be a great source of support and help both during and after you inform your family members. If you are not sure where to find a therapist that knows ED's, the NEDA Helpline will help! All you need to do is call 1-800-931-2237 and a representative will help you find resources in your area!!

I hope this is a great place to start our conversation!! Stay strong!!!

BumbleBee
I have been struggling with

I have been struggling with an eating disorder for almost 10 years, since the time I was 12. My mom knows is used to be an issue but I believe she thinks it was a phase, as she only knew I was purging when I was 15.
My boyfriend knows and is very encouraging and my best friend who I met through treatment is also great and she is fully recovered so i feel comfterble sharing with her without worrying about triggering her. Apart from that a few friends know I have struggled with it in the past but no body knows it's still an issue and that I am considering treatment again.
I don't feel comfterble sharing with friends or family, I feel like I would be watched every time I eat or go to the bathroom or take a shower. It's something that I have always handled on my own, on my own terms, everything I've done has been voluntarily. I do wonder if it would be different then how I imagine it if I did share, I have many friends who have full support from their family and claim they never would have recovered on their own.

sly1996
I have been struggling with

I have been struggling with my ED for 14 years. The only one who knows is my boyfriend, and I didn't tell him, he just found out on my own. He is very encouraging but still gets very angry and upset because he doesn't understand why I don't "just stop and eat normally". I don't have friends and the family I do have I fear will talk down on me rather than try to be understanding and supportive. I feel stuck between knowing I need to talk about and being unwilling to share because I don't want to admit it is a problem.

sly1996
I have been struggling with

I have been struggling with my ED for 14 years. The only one who knows is my boyfriend, and I didn't tell him, he just found out on my own. He is very encouraging but still gets very angry and upset because he doesn't understand why I don't "just stop and eat normally". I don't have friends and the family I do have I fear will talk down on me rather than try to be understanding and supportive. I feel stuck between knowing I need to talk about and being unwilling to share because I don't want to admit it is a problem.

nanzhu
Hi willhope1212 and sly1996,

Hi willhope1212 and sly1996,

First, you've both taken a great first step in reaching out for advice here on the forums! Opening up about an eating disorder is scary and difficult for anyone, so you're definitely NOT alone! It can be really hard for someone to understand what you're going through when you have an ED, but that doesn't mean that they can't be there to support you through a healthy recovery.

I agree with Michael's advice about seeking out a therapist, or any other medical professional - even your regular primary care doctor could be a good starting place. Opening up to someone with experience and training can help you not only start a plan to get better, but also help you learn more about how to share it with your loved ones. It may help to bring your boyfriend with you to the appointment if that would make you feel more at ease. In my personal experience, it took time before I was ready to open up as well because it's normal to feel unsure and worried about what people might think/react, but I can say with confidence that seeing my psychiatrist and therapist have helped me make way more strides in achieving (and maintaining) my recovery. What helped me was writing a short list/keeping a journal of things I wanted to discuss before my appointments, questions I had, or triggers that I had noticed. Sometimes having something down in writing can help get the conversation going, especially when meeting a new medical provider.

The NEDA Helpline is a great place to call that is confidential and free: 1-800-931-2237, M-R 9-9, F 9-5 EST. The NEDA Navigators program is another resource where you can talk to someone who has been affected by an ED who can give you advice or just offer a listening ear: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators.

Here are some other links that might be helpful:
Sharing with ease: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/sharing-eeease
Seeking and securing treatment: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/seeking-and-securing-treatment
Treatment basics: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/treatment
Recovery: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/recovery
Stories of hope: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/stories-of-hope

I hope this helps - wishing you both all the best!
Nan