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Dear Poll: Have You, or Someone You Know, Ever Been Affected by an Eating Disorder?

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and since as many as 10 million females and one million males in the US are suffering from an eating disorder, I'm thankful that we have resources such as the National Eating Disorders Association. Their main goal is to raise awareness, educate, support, and eventually help eradicate eating disorders altogether.

Body image issues are common all over the world and they can easily manifest in an eating disorder so I'm curious to see how many of you have either suffered from one yourself, or known someone that has. I know this is a very personal topic of conversation, but if you're willing to talk about it, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


tayrose tayrose 7 years
I suffered from bulimia during my first year of college. I've always had a distorted body image since I can remember. I've always been overly self conscious about my weight. I remember the first day I purged so vividly. I was eating by myself at a little coffeeshop on campus. Someone I had used to work with now worked there and came up to me and said that I am gaining weight finally. He said you aren't a stick anymore. You finally have something other than skin and bones. I left immediately and went to a bathroom. I sat there crying for when I finally just made myself throw up. I purged everyday at least once a day for what seemed like an eternity. It became an addiction. All I could think was five more pounds and I'll stop. But I couldn't stop. Eventually, my best friend found out and he helped me stop. Last semester, I had to go to counseling for my ed, and it helped tremendously. I still do not feel comfortable in my own skin, but I'm getting better. Everyday I think of what it would be like to be comfortable with my body, and be able to stand in front of a mirror and be content. I hope I will know what it feels like one day.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
wow, this reponse is so overwelming. i'm so glad i grew up ina country where eating disorders was a rare thing. i can see that in States it's very common... i love food too much to have an eating disorder. i just can't :)
ckeller825 ckeller825 8 years
I've suffered through bulimia since I was 15 or 16, but I've never ended up in the hospital. It's really hard to quit, especially when you're so used to the lifestyle. I've been trying really hard to quit for good by eating very healthy, tracking down what I've eaten each day, and working out on the elliptical for 45 minutes a day or going to bikram yoga 4 days a week. So far, it has been helping me.
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 8 years
I have never had one or know a person that has.
JennyJenJenMurph JennyJenJenMurph 8 years
I have been bulimic for almost a decade. I've struggled to control my disorder but relapses are common, especially during stressful times. I must say though, that having my son has given me a new respect for my body and what it is capable of. Since his birth I've rarely had thoughts as obsessive as I used to--and that's with trying to loose the baby weight!
bimbi bimbi 8 years
My sister's roomate in college is a recovering bulimic. I really don't envy her situation because sometimes she can hear her throw up and has to decide how to deal with it... whether to confront her, call her family or what. It's so tricky, especially when you're not really close to someone. I myself have a strange situation. It's similar to omigosh's friend. For 4 years I've been having trouble eating. It started with getting a bit bloated after eating certain foods, then everything, and then nausea every time I ate to throwing up, stomach pains and unusual bowel movements (sorry if this is tmi!) I stopped eating as much and then eventually stopped eating altogether. I was hospitalised because of my symptoms and put on perscribed drinks with all the calories I needed, which were horrible and made me almost as ill as food. Everyone thought I had an eating disorder but where anorexia varies from anorexia nervosa is that I wanted to eat; it wasn't an image thing, and I persevered with the drinks for 18 months. I lost nearly 4 stone but I was slightly overweight to start with thank goodness, or I'd be incredibly unhealthy now. I'm now with the help of a dietician beggining to eat again. So please don't immediately jump to eating disorder, especially if they're being seen by a doctor and have the support of their parents - they could just have intestinal problems!
bbkf bbkf 8 years
I've never known anyone with an eating disorder.
juicebox07 juicebox07 8 years
I've never known anyone with an eating disorder.
pinaywriter pinaywriter 8 years
One of my high school classmates is bulimic. She used to eat a lot then throw it up after she eats it. She doesn't care if it's in the bathroom or in a trash can. It was scary. She did it so often that people thought she was really sick. She ate very little to throw anything up too. So it was very disturbing. Then a gay friend of mine who kept telling us he was getting fatter (which was true for most of the people in our group of friends) told us he was on a water diet. We rushed in to stop him. He got sick because of what he did and he learned his lesson.
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
I've never known anyone with an out right eating disorder but I was borderline when I was younger. I've never felt secure in my body, even to this day I hate to look in the mirror. In grade school I was considered the chubby one and it hurt and left a lot of problems for me. I spent part of grade school and Junior High School focused on food. Whenever I could cut out eating I did, but I've never been able to deal with the not eating cramps so I eventually ended up eating. Not a compelling story but I still have a problem with my self worth.
campgirl84 campgirl84 8 years
i work in the fitness industry and as personal trainers and group exercise instructors, we are constantly being critiqued by our clients. personally, i have not suffered any body issues, but out of the last four woman co-workers i've had, three of them have an eating disorder in their past. one still shows traces of exercise bulimia... very sad.
Niami Niami 8 years
All my life I've had one. Mom was anorexic. I have a hypothyroidism and PCOS. That = weight issues. She would starve me and call me fat. I would get into trouble even when I went into the kitchen for a glass of water. My entire childhood revolved around being hungry and denied food. I grew up thinking the ideal weight was 100-103 pounds. hah. I've binged, purged, starved myself, overeaten, used laxatives, diet pills, etc. I think if I had a normal childhood and didn't have the PCOS and thyroid junk, I'd never have had a problem with body image and food.
emalove emalove 8 years
I've always had a healthy relationship with food and my body, so not me personally. But I've definitely had a few friends who have suffered from eating disorders over the years.
robinlh912 robinlh912 8 years
Almost. I was 17 and I had lost some weight by just eating less, drinking less soda, the right way to do it. Then I just stopped having lunch, less at dinner. Cutting back where ever I could. I just wanted to keep losing weight as quickly as I had been. It got to the point where I was laying in bed one night with a headache and a stomach ache from not eating. I was literally picturing myself on the edge of a cliff, one way was falling into anorexia, and the other way was just walking away. I chose to walk away, and I'm glad I did.
partysugar partysugar 8 years
When I'm depressed or stressed or too busy the first thing to go is always my appetite. Was a problem when I was younger, but now I try to make it a point to eat three times a day.
sourringo sourringo 8 years
it's mind-blowing and really sad to see how many people are touched by this issue in some way. yes to both.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Yes to both.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
i didn't have an eating disorder in the classic sense. there was a point in my life when i felt like everything was spinning out of control. being a control-freak, i decided to take charge of the only thing i eating. i would feel proud that i could control myself for days at a time. it was never about being thin to me. i am a very confident person, so my weight has never been an issue and it wasn't about weight at all. once my pants started falling off my waist, i realized that what i was doing wasn't right and decided that i needed to put myself in control of something else...getting my weight back up. so, although it probably isn't considered an eating disorder in the DSM, it was a serious food issue that could have turned into something worse. the sad thing is i had a very close friend from high school who is still struggling from anorexia. she's been in and out of treatment for nearly 10 years. she had everything going for her, now her life revolves around food. we had an intervention with her in high school. sadly, she still doesn't understand that we were trying to help her, so nobody has really had any contact with her since then. she thought we were all against her, when we were just trying to save her life. but i digress, please ladies, if you sense something is up with somebody, try to get help. i can't help but think how things would have been different if we would have intervened when we first thought something was wrong instead of waiting until she was basically a walking skeleton. probably my biggest regret of my high school days was not helping her the second i knew something was wrong.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i've known people with eating disorders but never had one myself. when i was a kid i was a figure skater and lots of girls had body image issues. it starts early with girls. my middle daughter is in 4th grade and there is already talk about who is fat and who is "super skinny". we try to focus on what is healthy, and don't have television, but the media is really providing a poor example of what beauty is. even the cover of magazines that are next to every checkout at the grocery store just scream "YOU NEED TO LOOK LIKE A STICK OR BE NAKED TO BE NOTICED!!"
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I've never had one, but known people who did. One college friend went to rehab for it, but I'm pretty sure she has other issues on top of bulimia. The other person I knew was an ex-boyfriend. He was constantly "dieting", or not eating at all, and riding his bike up to 80 miles a day. Crazy.
PrincessVika PrincessVika 8 years
i have suffered from an eating disorder and I have a friend who has. My eating disorder was not bulimia or anorexia, I took prescription drugs (which were not prescribed to me) to me which suppressed my appetite. This is the first time I ever admitted to it, why are things so much easier to admit when it isn't verbal, to people that don't know me and probably never will. SO much easier to hide behind a computer.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I was anorexic, and denied it all the time. I was 14 years old. In high school, I felt so fat, I would not eat...but get this...since I was anorexic, my metabolism shut down, so I lost nothing. I stayed the same weight for 5 years. Then? I started eating again and gained 70 lbs! I am now trying to lose weight again...but I will remember what that bout of not eating did to my body. I was not eating so I would never be hungry after my stomach shrank, I was very pale, looked sick all the time -- and when I finally started to REALLY nourish myself with more than 1 eal per day, I gained weight. It was absolutely insane, What made me that way? It's sad to say that a health class on obesity, body calibrations, and all that. I just wanted to starve myself to not feel so huge anymore.
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
I have never suffered from an eating disorder, but in junior high one the girls I went to school with suffered from an ED and we were all very worried. Eventually, we talked her into getting help.
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