Alex's Answer

I’ve relapsed and I’m reluctant to ask for help

Your Question

I’m relapsing with self harm and an eating disorder but I’m too scared to tell anyone cause they think I’m doing better


Hi there, and welcome to Ask Alex. 

Thanks so much for reaching out with your question. We know that it can be difficult to talk about things that scare you, so well done for getting in touch with us. 

You have said you feel you have relapsed with self-harming behaviours and an eating disorder, but you are afraid to tell someone about it because everyone thinks you are doing better. It sounds like you’re going through a really tough time at the moment, and we know that this can make it difficult to reach out for help.   

We want you to know that you’re not on your own and you don’t have to deal with this by yourself. Do you know that here at Childline, we firmly believe that talking makes us stronger, and it shouldn’t be seen as something to be scared about? With that in mind, is there an adult you trust that you could talk to about what you are experiencing at present? This could be someone in your family like a parent or an aunt/uncle or it could be a teacher, your GP or nurse. If you are feeling anxious about telling them, maybe you could practice what you would like to say beforehand or you could write it down and give that to the person you have chosen to speak to about your current difficulties. 

We believe it’s incredibly important for you to get the right support for your self-harm and eating disorder, and remember, you have a right to receive healthcare. There is nothing be embarrassed about – we don’t believe there is any shame in asking for help and support. Remember, it’s okay to be not okay and no one expects you to be perfect. The people who care about you would prefer to be able to provide you with support rather than have you struggle and suffer alone. You may find this article informative:  

You might consider contacting Bodywhys ( an organisation that supports people with eating disorders or Pieta House ( which offers support to those who have thoughts of self-harm. You’ll find plenty of useful information on their websites and they may even be able to support you around confiding in a trusted adult so you can get whatever healthcare you may need and deserve. 

We want to say thanks for being so brave to reach out to us. If you would like to talk to us some more, you can contact us via our webchat at, by text 50101 or if you prefer, by phone on 1800 66 66 66. All our services are free, confidential, non-judgemental and available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Thanks again for reaching out and please take care. 


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