Eating DisordersspacerPhysical HealthspacerSubstance AbusespacerHelp and ResourcesspacerEmotional HealthspacerSexual IssuesspacerPressures

by Emily and Anika
 Ages 16 and 17

Our Health Our Futures Logo

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

spacer-Albert Camus

Photo of Emily
     Emily, Age 16
Photo of Anika
     Anika, Age 17
  Do I have an eating disorder?

spacerThere is a quiz from the most amazing and complete eating disorders web site I have encountered, entitled Mirror-Mirror. This quiz should help you determine whether you or a friend needs help.

What do I to help a friend with an eating disorder?

spacerIf you think your friend has an eating disorder, encourage her (or him) to get help, but remember that she may react with anger or deny that a problem exists. Just remind her that you'll always be there for her if she needs to talk. If your friend is severely underweight or bingeing and purging several times a day, you may need to speak to a doctor or tell an adult so that your friend can get immediate care. Remember that you can't force your friend to get help; it's ultimately her decision. You can, however, be there for her and be patient. You're not a therapist, but you need to help your friend: even if they hate you now, they will love you later. Visit this site for a more in-depth discussion of how to help who needs you; it goes over all the basics of what to do or not to do when approaching someone you love

What should I do if I have an eating disorder?
Choose Life
spacer -Trainspotting
spacerYou must choose life for yourself. It is difficult, but by no means impossible. You must choose to conquer the eating disorder before it conquers you. Fight for yourself and your right to live. After you have made that choice, there are many things you can do to aid your recovery:
  • Learn as much as you can about eating disorders.
  • Admit that you have an eating disorder and that you need help
  • Tell someone about your problem, and ask for help. This is incredibly hard to do but even more incredibly important that you do it. For advice on telling someone go to For advice on getting help, go to
  • Join a self-help group
  • Understand that asking for help is a sign of STRENGTH, not weakness
  • Try to recognize why you have the problem
  • Recognize the importance of good nutrition and moderate exercise. After eating so abnormally, eating normally can be confusing. For an extremely helpful guide about normalizing eating for anorexics and bulimics, go to
  • Try relaxation techniques
  • Seek professional help - Health Center, Counselor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Nutritionist (or anyone who specializes in eating disorders)
  • Be patient! Recovery takes time, but it is worth it!
    (taken from "Food for Thought," Randolph Macon Woman's College)

The Eater's Agreement (from True Nourishment)

"I hereby agree, from this day forward, to fully participate in life on earth. I agree to inhabit the appropriate vehicle for such participation - a body. As a requisite for the sustaining of that body, and of the life that dwells therein, I agree to be an eater. This agreement fully binds me for the duration of my stay on earth…"

"I choose life again and again and again…"

Relapse Information
On the road to recovery, relapses are common. Many people wake-up saying "Today I will eat like a normal person. Today I will not screw up" but it's harder then it sounds. To read more about preventing relapse before they start, go to However, if you may already be past that point it's important to recognize the warning signs of relapse so you can alert someone before the problem escalates. Some of the warning signs that a relapse is occurring are:

  • Increased obsessive thinking about food and weight
  • Feeling of being too fat even though you're not
  • Looking in the mirror a lot
  • Skipping meals
  • Believing you will be happy and successful if you are thin
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Excessive exercising
spacerFor more warning signs, go to:
If you recognize your behavior as a relapse, let your psychologist, doctor, or nutritionist know what you're going through. It is possible to prevent a relapse, and you may want to view the Relapse Prevention Plan at

What is an Eating Disorder?
Who's at Risk, Warning Signs, Med Complications