I may have an eating disorder and I don't know what to do
hi alex, i think i have an eating disorder and i don’t know what to do. i restrict food, count calories and i fast when i feel really bad. this leads to me binging and then i feel even worse. sometimes i can’t even look myself in the mirror without crying because i hate myself so much. it all started as a way to lose weight however i don’t think i have it under control anymore. i can’t tell my school councillor because they will inform my parents. i cant tell my parents because my mother ‘encouraged’ my dieting behaviours and my grandfather makes continuous comments about how much i eat, he has gone as far as to say i gained weight in front of my family when in fact i lost weight. i let one of my friends in and now they don’t really talk to me anymore. it happens a lot when i let people in. i cant lose any more friends. i’m at a loss for how to handle this. i don’t know how to recover.
Hello and welcome to Ask Alex,
Firstly, we would be concerned for you and the relationship you have with food. You have taken a very brave first step in reaching out by sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. We are glad that you have gotten in touch. You have the right to get help and support.
What you have described is very serious. We know that you are reluctant to speak with your school counsellor or your parents, but it is important that if you’re worried about your relationship with food to talk to a trusted adult. Oftentimes, the people close to us like our parents, grandparents, siblings, or friends may be unaware of the impact of their own behaviour and words. Once they become aware of how we are feeling or what we are struggling with this will allow them to better support us.
We need food both for our physical and mental well-being. You cannot run a car without fuel in the same way our bodies cannot run without food. In saying that, our relationship with food and any difficulties that we may be experiencing relating to it is very complex. It is possible that you may need the support of a professional like a doctor or a counsellor.
There are websites of organisations which can offer help and support to you that you can have a look at it. Here are some you might find helpful: www.bodywhys.ie/; www.yourmentalhealth.ie; www.spunout.ie.
You might also like to read some articles on the Childline website: https://www.childline.ie/what-is-anorexia-nervosa/.
If you feel that you cannot talk to anyone in your life just yet, the Childline Team are waiting for you to get in touch. You do not have to go through this alone. How would you feel about calling us at Childline for a chat? We really would love to listen to you.
You are welcome to talk to Childline by phone on 1800 66 66 66, by text to 50101, or through our web chat on www.childline.ie. Childline is here for you anytime – we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The services are free and confidential. We are non-judgemental, and we will not tell you want to do. We can help you explore what options may be available to you.
Thank you for reaching out to us. We are here to listen, and we are here for you whenever you would like to chat. Please get in touch with us soon.