Okay so I’m 14 years old and I’ve had an eating disorder since November of 2012. It started out as just forcing myself throwing up after eating but I didn’t binge. then I started starving myself. I would only eat like 600-800 calories a day and I would still make myself throw up. I was also feeling really overwhelmed and suicidal and I was self-harming. But six months ago I stopped all of it because how worrying it was to my boyfriend and I didn’t want him to be upset because of me. But lately I’ve been obsessing over calories again and not eating enough. I’m not exactly starving, but I feel very faint at times and I only eat around 1000 calories a day. I feel panicked when I do. I hate myself so much and I feel so fat. because of my age I can’t get help without my family knowing and they’re very cold and uncaring. If they knew it would make it so much worse. So I was wondering if it is possible to recover without professional help? And if so how could I do it?
A. Your behavior is very concerning. Eating disorders are dangerous, primarily because of the health consequences. You are starving your body of the nutrients it needs to function properly. The health consequences of eating disorders can include: tooth decay, muscle weakness, esophagus rupture, heart failure, osteoporosis, severe dehydration, and significant damage to your liver, among other things.
I would not recommend that you attempt to recover from an eating disorder on your own. Eating disorders are typically not a “phase.” They require professional treatment.
You don’t want to tell your parents about your problems because you fear their reaction, but I would encourage you to do so. You think that your family does not care about you but that is an assumption. They would likely care very much and want to help in any way they can. In some cases, eating disorders are a matter of life and death. I urge you to tell your parents. Give them the opportunity to help and support you.
Another concern is that you were recently suicidal. Suicidal persons often erroneously believe that suicide is a cure for their problems. Suicidal thinking should always be taken seriously and treated by a mental health professional.
If you do not want to tell your parents, then talk to the school guidance counselor. Inform him or her about your behavior and your suicidal thinking. The guidance counselor may be able to speak to your parents on your behalf, which might ease your anxiety about involving them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your behavior is insignificant or that professional help isn’t necessary. This is a serious situation. The sooner that you seek help, the greater the likelihood that you will overcome these problems. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Mar 2014
Randle, K. (2014). I Have an Eating Disorder But I Can’t Get Treatment & Want to Recover. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/30/i-have-an-eating-disorder-but-i-cant-get-treatment-want-to-recover/