Hi, I am 19 years old. I have been struggling with binge eating disorder for 3 years. My severe binge eating started when my younger sister developed OCD, dropped out of school, and never left the house. She completely broke down – doctors and medication didn’t work – and my parents stayed at home with her. Her constant fits and breakdowns made my house an extremely uncomfortable place for me. I was very involved in school and extracurriculars so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the horrible family life at home. I received little to no attention for the first two years, and I continuously assured my parents that I was okay. I have always tried to please my parents and make their lives as easy as possible, so I refused to let my sister’s problems affect me, even though they were. For a while I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about my situation at home, so I turned to food to comfort me. By the second year of my binge eating I would binge throughout the entire day, eat until I was sick, and never exercise. I would stay in bed and spend almost all my time at home. I gained 20 pounds and couldn’t fit into my prom dress. I spiraled downwards and developed depression.
Even after seeing a therapist I am still binge eating. My freshman year at college, this past year, I was able to break from binge eating. I ate until I was full and resisted the urge to binge because I was always around other people. Also, being around other people led me to exercise more regularly, so I lost the weight. Now that I’m home for the summer, I have nothing to do, I feel alone, and the house is triggering me. I’m returning to my old habits and spiraling downward once again. I am so afraid that I will gain back the weight and fall back into the vicious cycle of eating, feeling bad about myself, and eating more. I know that the only way for it to change is if I take control, but when I am in the moment of a trigger to binge I lose all motivation to stop. I don’t want to create another problem for my parents so I keep the bingeing to myself and eat in private. I have gotten so many tips and advice for how to change but nothing is strong enough to break my unfortunate bond with food. I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s so frustrating to know how to eat normally and live normally and still not be able to do it on my own at home.