You may be struggling with an eating disorder at this very moment. Or if you are not, it is possible that a friend or a family member who you love is silently struggling and maybe no one has a clue. It is hard to ever really know what any given person is dealing with in their day-to-day life because a lot of times there is shame, guilt, and depression attached to issues such as eating disorders. Many people walk around day after day putting on a front that will be pleasing and “appropriate” to others and for this reason, sometimes the most unlikely person you would ever think could be the one who is depressed, or who is thinking about suicide, or who has an eating disorder. Don’t let cliché stereotypes stand in the way of recognizing red flags and being able to support a loved one who needs you. If you have suspicions that your friend, sister, brother, cousin, etc. may have an eating disorder, it is completely okay to just voice your concerns and ask the person straight out if they think they might have an eating disorder. It can be a very awkward and tense conversation to start out, but your loved one who has likely been suffering all alone will be so relieved and feel like a ton of bricks has been lifted just by having someone acknowledge that something is wrong while also being supportive and nonjudgmental.
If this is a conversation that you think you may want to have with someone in the near future and you would like some helpful tips and guidance on how to go about that, please give the YouthLine a call at 1-877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 66746. A teen on the YouthLine would be glad to help you out. If you are someone who is struggling with an eating disorder and you feel like you are all alone, please know that you are not alone and there is at least one person out there who cares very much about your safety, health, and well-being. You are strong, beautiful, and have a purpose. Your weight does not determine your worth! Below are a few helpful links about the road to recovery and success stories from others who have overcome eating disorders. Please contact the YouthLine if you have no one to talk to and need a safe person who listens and cares.