Help Exists For Eating Disorders

Dear Annie: I want your readers who think they may have an eating disorder to know that they are not alone and that their condition is treatable. I am living proof!

Throughout my childhood, I struggled with my weight and my relationship with food. When I reached the end of high school, I committed to being “healthy.” I lost more than 50 pounds by eating better and exercising. What a feeling of power it was to have made such a big and (I thought) positive change.

However, when I went away to college, I started to throw up when I thought I had eaten too much. I only did it occasionally, but it crept up eventually to twice a day. I realized that I was purging to cope with my feelings of depression and restricting my food intake to have a feeling of control over my life. My feelings may have been out of control, but I knew exactly how many calories were going into my body at any moment.

I wore my dizziness and lightheadedness with pride. After all, I was getting compliments from people about how great I looked.

Eventually, all the purging and restricting could not keep my depression at bay, and my health started to decline. I enrolled in a treatment program, and I am happy to say it worked. Though I don’t know that I’ll ever be completely “cured,” I live a happy and healthy life now. I want other young women to know that there is help. — Living a Sunny Life

Dear Living a Sunny Life: Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. Next week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and people can check their symptoms at It takes only a few minutes. It is free and anonymous, and it could change your life.