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To Sam

GCSEs with an Eating Disorder

hi sam,

im really worried about gcses and its bringing up all my old problems which i worked really hard on getting rid off. Im forcing myself to eat nothing all day and im taking caffeine pills at night so i can stay up and excersize :/

i know how quickly this can get serious as i was put in hospital before because my weight was so low, but for some stupid reason i cant stop and im meant to be taking my gcses in a few months and i know that they will suffer.

i just want to be perfect so badly that i feel i have no other way. my results wont be what i want them to be as i missed the whole of year ten because i was in the stupid hospiral so now no matter how hard i try i wont get the 8s and9s that i wanted and i feel worthless.

ive told my parents but apart from pull me out of school again , which they wont do and i dont want them to do, they know there is nothing they can do.

i just feel like ill never get away from it and if i do it will be because its killed me.

what do i do? i feel so out of control. i need help

thank you.

Ask Sam



Exams can feel stressful and put people under a lot of pressure. Stress affects everyone in different ways and if someone has an eating problem stress and worry can be make it worse. Even people without eating problems might find their eating pattern changes which can make revision harder.

Studying for an exam can disrupt your normal routine as you may be working more than you were before. When routines get mixed up we can easily forget about eating properly and this can affect things like concentration.

You might find you eat more when studying – snacking whilst revising is quite common. Some people focus so much on work that they eat less than they normally would. This might be temporary and nothing to worry about but if you have an eating problem already it can make those habits worse.

You’ve told your parents about the problem you’re having which is a good start. Having someone who can support you can make things a little easier. They could help by making sure you stick to important routines and mealtimes. You could try setting up a study group to help you prepare for your exams. Childline has tips and ideas to help you take care of yourself as well.

I spoke to Samantha from Beat and she said having a think about the things that have helped you cope with your eating problem in the past can be helpful. You could already have all of the knowledge and tools to get through this tough time. Beat has a page about exam stress and eating disorders which has a lot of good advice on it.

As always you can talk to our counsellors here at Childline if you ever need support.

Thanks for your letter, take care.


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