Q: This is my second episode of having an eating disorder. I got help about 2 years ago and mostly recovered from it, but relapsed about 2 months ago. When my mom found out the first time, she had no idea what to do and it destroyed our relationship. Her mother had an eating disorder and she cannot handle that I suffer from the same thing. If I tell her that I relapsed, our relationship may never be the same again, and I cannot live with that.

The disorder is much worse this time, and I recently began cutting. No one knows except for my best friend, who keeps telling me to tell my mom. I don’t think that there are any other adults that I could tell and I don’t know what to do. Is there a way that I can get help without telling a parent? What should I do?

A: I think the best thing you can do is to tell your mom because parents are supposed to take care of you. Even though she might be upset she will be able to help you get the help you need. If you just aren’t ready to do this, maybe you could ask her if you could see your prior therapist again without telling her specifically why. You could just say that you have a lot on your mind and want to talk to someone again.

You might also check with your school or church to see if they have counselors who could talk to you or groups you could attend that would not require using your parents’ health insurance. Some counties have mental health centers or health clinics that offer free or reduced services. In my state a teen can attend several sessions without having parental consent so you might want to look online or in the phone book so see what agencies are in your area.

Whatever you do I think it is imperative to get help. You have stated that your eating disorder is worse this time and you are now cutting. These are both serious issues that you do not want to ignore or just hope they will go away. There must be some pain inside that you need to find healthy ways to deal with. Please get help as soon as you can. Good luck.