“You don’t look like you have an eating disorder,” a well-respected (supposed) expert once said to me.
He was the first doctor I sought help from — at 22 — when I realized I really did have a problem with food.
Since the age of 4, I had battled eating-disordered thoughts. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to push past the denial, stigma and shame I felt at the time — to walk into his office and say those five distressing, difficult words:
“I have an eating disorder.”
Getting to this point — having the insight that I needed professional help — had taken nearly 20 years to develop. Finding the courage to walk into his office had taken even longer.
Since I didn’t look sick enough to have an eating disorder (to him), I was dismissed. I felt confused. I started to wonder, “Do I really even have a problem? Do I deserve to get help?” I felt more ashamed than ever.
Today, I know there is no shame in having an eating disorder and that anyone who struggles deserves help. I also know this key point:
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