My eating disorder really started when I had the flu and I lost a few pounds. When I went back to university, I stopped eating carbohydrates (I liked that I was getting thinner) and I lost more weight.
On spring break I lost even more. I wasn't really aware of what I was doing really - just that I couldn't eat much at all. I think this may have been due to breaking up with my boyfriend at that time and other men problems previous to that AND the transition of going to university 200 miles from home.
At home during the summer, I went to the doctor and was referred to a counselor who I didn't really like. She said it was all because of my boyfriend and I should stop all contact with him. My weight didn't really increase much at all despite my efforts to eat.
Back at university, I lost more weight. I saw a counselor there and continued to do so until July. My weight stabilized at a higher weight and it was pretty constant at this weight for a while.
This past summer I got worse. I was sick of being "fat" and I wanted to be skinny again. Even though I had only gained back half the weight I had lost, I felt fatter than ever. This summer was characterized by lots of bingeing and purging, laxative and ipecac abuse etc. My weight is still the same.
At university now I am on a waiting list to see a psychologist and I'm on medication to control my bulimia, as I have a mix of that and anorexia. I don't really know why I developed my eating disorder. Lots of reasons have been suggested, but I still have it, so I really don't know.
I think maybe I was predisposed to this and a whole series of events triggered it. I've always been weight conscious even though I was quite slim - I had never had a problem with weight but now I do. I want to be normal again.
At the moment I can't go out without getting upset. I feel that I am the fattest person in the club and that all the other girls are prettier than me.
I am trying to cope with the last year of a degree in biology, too, and I do lots of work on the student union. I find that I'm trying to take on lots of projects to busy myself - I think I'm trying to see how far I can go.
I believe that eating disorders are caused not only by the media although that, and the pressures of society, don't help. It's a more internal thing that can be triggered by events, upsets, family - lots of different things.
Sometimes it is just a diet that goes too far. Your perception gets messed up. I have been like this for almost two years and it's scaring me how I behave. I'm hoping now that my treatment will help me get rid of this disease - I'm tired of it now.
- C, age 20