How do I tell my Parents that I have an Eating Disorder?


There is nothing convenient about having an eating disorder, whether it be anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, purging disorder or binge eating disorder. There is also nothing convenient about telling your parents and loved ones about your personal struggles with one. Luckily, there are several resources that can help you prepare for when you tell them. Many therapists first recommend taking the NEDA online eating disorders screening which can be found at

If the quiz indicates that you could have an eating disorder, you might share the quiz results with your parents as an ice breaker. Here are a few steps to use in your plan of action.


1.Arrange a specific time and place to tell them.

Choose a setting that is quiet and calm and when both parents are in a positive mood. Make sure there are no distractions. If you have siblings that are around and you don’t feel comfortable with their presence, ask them to leave.

2.Be honest about what’s going on.

Reveal all details and hold nothing back. Tell them when you began struggling with your eating habits, what your exact eating habits are, how it has impacted your everyday life and why it’s important for you to get better.

3.Be open and understanding to what their response might be.

Their reactions will vary. However, most parents are overwhelmingly supportive of their children’s pursuit of improving their physical and mental health. Some parents may already be familiar with eating disorders and the treatment process and be proactive in helping you get into a treatment program.

4.Research and have a list of treatment centers for eating disorders already devised.

By having a list of treatment centers already made, you will be able to immediately sit down with your parents and begin looking at which treatment center may provide the best fit. Things to discuss include length of stay, which insurances are accepted, the center’s treatment philosophy and which treatment methods are offered, the location of the facility, amenities and self-pay options. You may also look for reviews for the treatment centers you’re interested in. Psychology Today and Eating Disorder Hope are two of the best online resources for finding treatment centers for eating disorders.

If you’re still uncomfortable about telling your parents that you have an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) has a toll free helpline that can be reached at 1-800-931-2237. The counselor you speak with be able to refer you to reputable programs and therapists that will best be able to address your treatment needs. You might also check with officials at your school to see if they have counseling resources available for students that are struggling with mental health disorders.

If yourself or a loved one are currently suffering from an eating disorder, consider enrolling at Magnolia Creek. Magnolia Creek is one of the leading eating disorder treatment centers for women in the United States and emphasizes self-acceptance, validation and personal empowerment. To learn more about Magnolia Creek’s treatment curriculum, please call 205-409-4220 to speak with an admissions counselor or complete our contact form.




Similar Blog Posts

Doctor in a lab coat sits across from patient at a desk explaining health consequences to them.

Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder

The effects of binge eating disorder (BED) may seem obvious such as weight gain. But there are other—more subtle and sometimes more serious—health consequences of binge eating. We’re going to take a look at those today. If you’re someone who struggles with binge eating disorder, it might be difficult to read through this list. But

Read More »
Line drawing of a woman thinking. A lightbulb is drawn next to her.

How to Eat When Recovering from Binge Eating Disorder

If you’re in recovery from binge eating disorder (BED), you know the binge cycle did not serve your body well. Still, finding the right way forward can feel tricky. Let’s look at a few strategies for eating that are simple to follow and will enable you to live free from disordered eating patterns. Before we

Read More »

5 Self-Affirmations for a Healthy Body Image

Thinking positive thoughts about your body can give you an emotional boost—but it’s not just about the feel-goods. Filling your brain with body affirmations might also move you to make different choices. After all, research shows us that focusing on perceived physical flaws is the leading contributor to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.1 Thinking

Read More »
Girl looking in mirror

How Body Image Issues Lead to Eating Disorders

Your body image is the way you view your physical self. When you struggle with body image issues, you do not see yourself as others do. In fact, you do not see yourself as you actually are. This can make you strive for ideals that do not balance with reality. How Body Image Issues Begin

Read More »
Scroll to Top