I was first diagnosed with depression at age 13, but my world was dark long before my first diagnosis. I was never suicidal, but everything was almost painfully numb. My life felt empty. Two years later, I was diagnosed with social and generalized anxiety and anorexia. My eating disorder took its root in my thoughts as early as age six, with body dysmorphia and a perception of food that led me to glamorize extreme weight loss. I’m not sure when these anorexic thoughts were triggered, but I think it had a lot to do with my extreme sensitivity to societal messages, low self esteem that stemmed from bullying, and a mother who struggled with disordered eating.
Around this time, social anxiety ran rampantly in my brain and left me so terrified of the world around me. Generalized anxiety started to rule my life around age 13, as did the symptoms of anorexia: restriction, over exercising, calorie counting, and obsessive weighing. By age 14, I was on a cold, dark path toward death.
At age 15, I was admitted against my will to inpatient treatment for anorexia for five months. I have been out of the hospital for about a year, and am still struggling quite a bit but have come further than I ever imagined. I am fighting PTSD in addition to anxiety, depression, and anorexia. I have battled self harm off and on, as well as suicidality. The eating disorder thoughts are terrible, but they don’t dictate my life most days.
I am living proof that there is hope.